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Charged for something without your permission? Report it

Say you’re interested in learning about your family’s ancestry or your likelihood of developing certain genetically related health conditions. You compare reviews online and order a DNA testing kit. But can you trust the marketing claims and reviews you find? The law, the FTC, and the State of California say you should be able to.

Today, the FTC and California filed a lawsuit claiming CRI Genetics, a California-based DNA testing company, created misleading websites with fake reviews and ratings claiming their DNA tests were more accurate than other companies'. The agencies also say the company used a series of sneaky practices that tricked people into making purchases they didn’t intend and kept them from easily canceling or getting their money back. To settle the case, CRI Genetics will pay $700,000 in fines to the State of California and agrees to no longer make marketing claims without scientific evidence to back them.

If you’re considering using a DNA testing service, here’s what to know.

  • Make sure you didn’t get charged for something you don’t want. It’s against the law for a company to charge you for anything without your permission. If it did, contact the company to cancel and get a refund. Make sure you get — and keep — the written confirmation of the refund.
  • Think about the source of the reviews you’re reading. What do you know about the reviewers that makes them trustworthy?
  • Be wary of companies that say their reports are the most accurate at predicting ancestry. It can be hard to compare accuracy between companies because results depend on the number and types of DNA samples matched with yours.
  • Report to the FTC. If you’re doing business with a company and you notice that you can’t easily cancel or get your money back, report it to the FTC at

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November 21, 2023

What about restitution?

Lisa McKown
December 21, 2023

In reply to by McLean

I spent $186.00 on tests from CRI Genetics. I didn't know that they would be sending my DNA to other people. I am not sure about the results of my tests. I just want my money back.

R. W.
November 21, 2023

I literally just did the CRI Genetics test based on reviews and data seen on websites. I received my results and contacted them because the results did not match up with another dna test I did. Are their tests accurate? Or are they only accused of fake reviews? I'm really confused now

Heather Gerson
November 22, 2023

CRI is still in touch to date (monthly), sending me more and more offers. After I signed up and received my DNA information, I knew that I had wasted my money and have been angry with myself ever since! Please take these people down…they are cheats and liars!

Tammy Lea Muse
November 22, 2023

I sure wish I'd known all this like a year ago

Wiley Williams
November 22, 2023

I think that this is great information. Every consumer need to get the FTC web site. Thank you very much. I will pass it on to my family and friends.

Lois Bailey
November 22, 2023

I just recently used this company I paid for heritage and medical but now they want me to buy credits to get more information and the only medical I got was I might be salt sensitive. I’m a 80 year woman and wanted this info to pass on to the next generations

November 29, 2023

Anyone should tell you the tests are partial sampling and not comprehensive. A lot of guess work as used.

December 04, 2023

CRI sent me a test kit with someone else’s name on it. That was it for me they lost my trust and I had to fight tooth and nail to get a refund.

December 18, 2023

In reply to by F.W.

I had a result that was truly impossible about 3 yrs ago and contacted them - no reply at all, not even for retest. Anyway, I have just received their statuary email after the court case and if there was any further proof needed - it addressed my by the wrong name. Glad you got a refund.

December 04, 2023

Can we eve trust the results we were given? Can we have our money returned?

December 18, 2023

In reply to by Cindy

That's the same question I have. If it's been over a year how do we get our money back?

Barbara M Freeman
December 18, 2023

In reply to by Cindy

After getting sketchy results, this company continued to hound me daily to buy more tests.
I wnat my money back!

Mary Cook
December 18, 2023

Then we should all get our money back. Why pay all that money for the test that might be inadequate and the info is not correct. Who are we and where do we come from?

Mr. William Gallant
December 18, 2023

When a company such as CRI Genetics refuses to publish any raw data for use in Family DNA searches claiming it's a patented protected secret you should immediately think fraud. For years I've been sending them requests for my raw DNA and they've refused. Your legal challenge was good news but $700,000 awarded to no one is a joke, and not forcing them to acknowledge and give customers what they paid for : Raw DNA for family research. What a waste!

December 18, 2023

I cannot possibly express how wrong their report was. I got in touch with them saying that I thought they had moved mixed my sample with someone else - no reply, ever. I even explained that I’d have been totally happy with the result should it have been accurate (I wasn’t looking for compensation ) but it was truly impossible. So pleased to hear the result of the court case

Jamillah Washington
December 18, 2023

Will I receive a refund from CRI Genetics or a settlement from the lawsuit? I was misled by their reviews and website. I think everyone who purchased a DNA test from CRI should be refunded or receive a settlement.

December 18, 2023

I did the CRI DNA test back in 2017. Then a couple years later they updated their systems and I was no longer on their site. I contacted them and because of their systems they had to run my sample again. It came out completely different. I don’t even know if it was my sample they ran. I really would like to have my money back but realize that is unrealistic.

Edward Horne
December 18, 2023

Ancestry info they gave me was freakishly bad.

Darlene Clements
December 18, 2023

How could the victims get compensation for this false claim? I paid for my mother Clara Clements and myself.

Suzanne Horvath
December 18, 2023

How do I get them to delete my information?

December 27, 2023

We paid quite a bit for our DNA testing, not sure what is true or false. Want our money back!

December 27, 2023

Called CRI genetics’ because the information did not seem accurate. Paid quite a bit and trusted them based on the reviews!

January 02, 2024

I just ordered the CRI test for my son but now I’m reading this and with everyone saying this now I’m worried I’m gonna get incorrect results about my son…great