Thursday, May 15, 2014

A new-to-me DNA cousin, or a scam?

Found this email in my junk folder this morning, subject: DNA cousin:

I'm sorry to be bothering you, but I have news for you. My name is Nelson Ivandro Lima Zêgo, was born in Santo Antão island - Cape Verde.
 I Did the dna test - family finder in family tree dna match and told me that we are cousins.
Testing my I'm 56% West africa (bantu people), 36% European (French, Norway, germany, Russian, spanish and tuscan) and 8% Middle East (turkey Jewish and north africa jewish).
My facebook is ivandro Zêgo
Nelson Zêgo
A new DNA cousin, I thought when I glanced at the subject line. But then got very suspicious when I read it. The main thing that struck me is that I haven't tested with Family Tree DNA!
I checked SNOPES but it had nothing for me. Maybe this scam is new. Where are they picking up email addresses, that's what I'd like to know. Obviously I have an interest in DNA for genealogy, but probably don't match Bantu people (more likely Ghana for my 1% West African DNA), Jewish, Spanish or... Tuscan?? What's Tuscan DNA?!
Just thought you'd like to know.


  1. Diane,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks so much, Jana! Have a lovely weekend too:)

  2. I received an email from the same guy last night that said:

    "Good night, Im sory the inconvenience, I saw an email in gedmatch. The gedmatch and family finder says we are cousins. My name is Nelson Ivandro Lima Zego. I am from Cape Verde and I live in Portugal and my facebook is ttps:// I hope to have more information! Nelson Ivandro Zego"

    I went to my GedMatch and searched all those names in my hits and, of course, he wasn't there. I did not click on the link in the email but did find the account when I searched for him on FaceBook.

    This is sad if it's a new form of phishing because it makes you less likely to trust those who need or want to give ancestry help!

    1. Maybe you should look more carefully. Nelson Ivandro Zego is a Portuguese man living outside Lisbon and born in Cape Verde who is definitely on Gedmatch. He matches me, my Aunt, and my first cousin as well as a host of other DNA matches from both Ancestry and other systems who also match me. If I could attach a jpg of my matches here I would...and you would see him in the 20th position on my list as a "cousin" at the 4.7 generation. He is not a scam and has been treated very shabbily on this blog.

    2. Hi Walt.
      Thanks for the reply. I asked him for his GEDmatch kit number and he did give it to me so I'm investigating and reconsidering my posts. I still take umbrage with him, or anyone for that matter, calling me a racist. The way he presented himself, I think, is the issue here. I'll be doing a blog post about that as well and hope to clear up some aspects of this issue.
      Sorry if you and I got off on the wrong foot:)
      All the best, Diane

  3. Hey, w.b.! I

    Guess we're cousins too... due to our mutual cousin there in Cape Verde and Portugal!

    Am wondering, do you share his Tuscan DNA? Sounds tasty:) haha!

    Yeah, phishing. That's my guess too. Thanks for commenting.