The cradle of humanity
Home DNA only goes back a few thousands years - Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay



The popularity of home DNA testing and the ability to create cheap websites has allowed disreputable companies to scam consumers wanting to know their origins. Here is one DNA testing scam exposed.

A Home DNA's gene pools suggests we're all closely related.
A sample of “other gene pools” which is almost identical to mine, Dieter’s and Nanalyze’s too.

DNA testing is fascinating. After reading the Seven Daughters of Eve by Brian Sykes over a decade ago, I couldn’t wait for it to be affordable. In 2015, I had a test by DNA Ancesetry Project, which was expensive but incredibly informative. It helped me understand the whole subject better, which I greatly value.

Since then I have seen friends’ Ancestry and 23andme test results, which covered areas mine didn’t cover. Reading books by pioneers in DNA testing and genetics by Professor of Genetics at Harvard, David Reich and Pääbo Svante I heard how the Neanderthal genome had been identified and how contamination of samples could easily occur.

Mystifying Results

The results from one company with two names in particular are extremely mystifying. They are all the same for 4 different individuals. The same top three gene pools are displayed in the same order with the same parts of the world listed as smaller gene pools.

Firstly, the following information is taken from hindsight and is exactly what I wanted to find before I fell for a scam. With foresight, GPS Origins and Home DNA (same company) promised to give a deeper and longer history into my origins than its competitors.

The first thing that hooked me in were ‘fake news’ editorial websites that were selling the various home DNA tests. They had the big ones, Ancestry, 23andMe, LivingDNA and MyHeritageDNA and some others. Here’s a review with samples from each one with a test subject who already knew his ethnicity on Nanalyze.

Migration Routes

The cradle of humanity
Home DNA only goes back a few thousands years – Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

GPS Origins, as it was presented, intrigued me. It promised an actual migration route of my ancestors. Various websites provided reviews and ratings including Top10Reviews, DNATestingChoice, Top10 and their offshoot Top10BestDNATesting. This last one has the same icon as Top10.com, which suggests these URLs are simply to sell DNA tests for the less reputable companies. They have two nefarious agendas: to mine and sell your data and to pretend to give you information about DNA testing kits. DNA testing company pay to appear on these sites. For example, DNATestingchoice invites companies to have their test listed but doesn’t interact with consumers.

There are two articles I have found via Google in amongst all the sham ones. One is by Dieter Holger writing for PC World and another by Nanalyze. These give you a genuine review of GPS Origins and other testing kits. I wish I had read these, not all the fake review sites.

Are We All Related?

See below how my results are the same (considering this is supposed to be my male and female lines) as these three, two independent reviews and one fake news site.

My results from Home DNA
My results from Home DNA – almost the same as 3 completely different people.
Everyone is getting the same results
PC World’s Dieter Holger’s results with same top 3 gene pools in same order as mine.
Same top 3 gene pools again on this sham site
Same results as mine displayed on DNAtestingchoice website for the “reviewer”
Again the same top 3 gene pools are repeated in the same order for test subject on Nanalyze
Nanalyze used a test subject with known Lithuanian ancestry on one side and Italian on the other. This was backed up by 4 other DNA tests by GPS Origins have the same again
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Sophie Sweatman
Born in south London and brought up in Surrey I had a very enjoyable social and active childhood and then got sent to boarding school where the only escape was team sports and music. I greatly enjoyed trying to predict number one records. My first published piece was in the school magazine, then after my O’levels I got the plum work experience job on the local paper and after a second attempt at house style, got all the wedding reviews printed that I had written up, plus a few extra pieces. This led me to a job offer at GQ magazine but my “housewife and mother” education was continued and I went to cookery school. I started work writing for a café and booking bands, which led to work experience at Lynne Franks PR, where I learnt to do music listings, putting me in good stead for 10 years of music promotion. I booked bands at the Laurel Tree in Camden in 1997 amongst various other places, some sadly gone. Some curdled mayonnaise later I went to an art college, which was part of the American College in London to do all sorts of art-based subjects and being taught English in American was interesting but they taught Harvard Referencing so well it was no bother and I got a top grade for a 10,000 word dissertation on music law focusing on George Michael’s court case against his record company. After looking for work in non-arty south west London I moved to Crouch End and had a painting exhibition in 1994. After working for the local paper I got into the London College of Communication to do a postgraduate in periodical journalism. This was followed by an industrial placement at the Camden New Journal, where I wrote health columns inspired by What Doctors Don’t Tell You a newsletter started by Lynne McTaggart that still goes today. The Camden New Journal also inspired me to do theatre reviews, which I did each week for the London Newspaper Groups stable of papers from 1998 til 2000. My thirties was spent on self-development, resulting in a good job by 2010, when I started planning a move out of London. With an unconditional place at London College of Communication to do an MA in Broadcast Journalism but instead I moved to Falmouth and did a Professional Writing MA. In Cornwall I write for various publications and work for a record company promoting musicians and local artists. I still read What Doctors Don’t Tell You and research on health, nutrition, ancient humanity, science and various other subjects.