Don't fall for fake surname genealogy books.
Psst … over here! Want to buy a book
with everything you ever wanted to know about your family tree? Scam
artists' efforts to sell unsuspecting people bogus family yearbooks and
surname books are reminiscent of the street peddlers who sell Rolex
knockoffs out of suitcases.
You might encounter an “opportunity”
to buy such a book at a mall kiosk, in a letter, online or by e-mail
(often from someone claiming to have researched your family or even be
a relative). According to the marketing, if you send some money, you'll
get valuable genealogical information, including a history of your
family in America, a list of family members, a coat of arms, recipes,
photos and more.
Don't bite. All these books actually offer is
general information about a surname, generic photos and coats of arms,
and telephone book listings of people with your name, whether or not
they're related to you.