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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am in touch with Mike F Douglas 62 Michigan USA he has his

Customer Question

I am in touch with Mike F Douglas 62 Michigan USA he has his own business buying and selling gold, he has a son and been widowed for eight years. I met him on a dating site and want to check that he is legitimate and not a scam. I have looked on the scam site nothing appeared, I would like an expert like yourself to check him out before we go any further. We are in touch by email, doesn't know my address and hasn't asked me for money.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. As we are not a private investigations agency there is little we can do to check who this person is, all we can do is advise you of what the common signs of such scams are and how you can spot one as your relationship progresses
Ben Jones :

If you are happy to proceed on that basis then please let me know

JACUSTOMER-030etrll- : Please let me know
JACUSTOMER-030etrll- : Please let me know what the signs are
Ben Jones :

ok I will get my response ready for you. I have closed the second quesiton you just opened as you will get charged twice otherwise

Ben Jones :

The first important thing you should be aware of is that it is never possible to state with certainty whether someone you have met online is genuine or not unless you have actually met them in person. Therefore, there will inevitable be a degree of speculation involved.

With the anonymity of the internet, there has been a very significant increase in romance scams. The main way to identify such scams is not by tracing the person, which as mentioned would often be impossible, but by looking at the overall situation and identifying certain 'red flags'. The most common ones are:

  1. You have met this person online, usually through a dating or social networking website, or via instant messaging.
  2. They will usually be located in a different country to you.
  3. They will strike a long-distance relationship with you, they are very pleasant and romantic, some even fall in love straight away. They may take time to gain your trust, although often the relationship progresses unnaturally fast.
  4. They may use a photo of another person. You can actually try and trace the photo to see if it has been used elsewhere by using Google’s ‘Search by Image’ facility:
  5. They will eventually ask for money. There are various reasons used and a very comprehensive list of commonly used requests can be found here: However, the golden rule is that you should never send money to a stranger that you have originally met online, no matter what the reasons or who they say they are. You may not have been asked for anything yet but they often gain your trust first before making a request, so it could be weeks or months before they get to that stage
  6. Finally, they often request that the payment is made via some dubious money transfer method, with little or no fraud protection, such as Western Union, Moneygram, etc. These are also used because it makes tracing the recipients of the money very difficult, if not impossible.

If the above starts to looks familiar, chances are that the person you are involved with is a fraudster and you need to proceed with extreme caution, if at all. I strongly suggest you cease all contact with the person and certainly not send anything to them.

Ben Jones :

Hi there is no need to open new questions about this, please reply on here

Ben Jones :

Did you get my advice above?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am not sure if you had problems viewing chat so I have ended it and you can find my advice in a different format above. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything for you.