Flirty Models Roped Guys Into $4K Bone Marrow Test
Thousands unwittingly signed up for pricey DNA test
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2010 7:04 AM CST
'Can I swab your cheek, handsome?'   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – How do you get a guy to sign up to be a potential bone marrow donor? Simple: Hire models to canvas malls in high heels, short skirts, and lab coats—and don’t mention that after they take a swab of his DNA, his insurance will be billed up to $4,300. That’s the tactic Caitlin Raymond International allegedly took—spending up to $60,000 a week on the models—and it’s landed it in hot water with the law, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors in New Hampshire say thousands provided DNA swabs, unaware their insurance would be billed.

“The models worked the crowds, if you will,” said the state’s senior attorney general. “Basically they would engage a lot of younger men with some sort of flirtatious thing: ‘Hey, don’t you want to be a hero? Come on!’” That might not be a problem, if New Hampshire hadn’t passed a law in 2006 requiring insurers to pay for tissue-typing for potential donors. At the time, lawmakers were told the tests would cost $100 or less. So when the city of Manchester complained that it was billed more than $8,000 after two employees gave mouth swabs at the Mall of New Hampshire, the state started investigating.