How the scam works:
You always wanted to find out about your family history, so you finally decide to research your family roots. As the Internet offers everything nowadays, you jump online and look for a free family tree search platform.
A few minutes after starting your quest, there is some good news! You come across a website that will do it for you, as long as you provide all the necessary details. You may get pulled into the trap with taglines such as: Find My Family Tree, Free Family Tree Search, or Find My Ancestors For Free.Although many services provide some certain findings, beware of purely useless websites, only created to steal all your personal information for nothing in return. Most of these "free family tree" providers are shameless scammers who are selling your info to third parties.
On the other hand, some of them might even charge you a fee for results generated automatically by software. In this particular case, scam sites have a small free sample test to lure people in. If you don't believe it, submit a fake name, such as @#$% Zxyz – you'll probably be amused to find that your family tree has origins in Scotland.
At the end of the day, how would you challenge something that you can't prove otherwise?
How to avoid the Free Family Tree Scam:
Before deciding to pay to find out about your ancestors –or even if it's a free family tree search website — google the name of the company. Go on speciality sites, forums, and even Facebook groups on the topic. Rely only on reputable services that deal with genealogy and do a lot of reading first. Better safe than sorry.
How to report the Free Family Tree Scam:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:Report Scammers To The FTC Here
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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