Home > Long Lost Relatives > Meeting Long Lost Relatives

Meeting Long Lost Relatives

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 25 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Long Lost Relatives relative Scams

Unfortunately there are a lot of people who like to get something for nothing and those who pop up as “long lost relatives” may well be attempting to pull off some sort of scam. If you are about to meet someone who claims to be a family member that you’ve never heard of, approach the situation with caution. Ask for and verify documents that might establish a family relationship, agree to meet this individual in a public place and withhold any personal or contact information about yourself until you get to know the individual better. If the individual asks for something inappropriate such as money, access to family assets or to see children, consider detailing the meeting to your solicitor or a police officer just to be on the safe side.

Ask For and Verify Documents

In today’s world strangers can obtain information in a variety of ways. Public records can be searched in hard copy or online, phone books will yield contact information and people’s personal websites and ‘blogs can all contain details that, if memorised, can make it seem like an individual has intimate details of someone else’s life. Do not allow strangers to give small snippets of information and trust that this establishes a family relationship. Instead, ask for a number of documents that clearly show a relationship between you (birth certificates, passports, etc.) and verify these with an outside source. Have the individual send these documents through a general email address or a P.O. Box to avoid disclosing your home address. If you still feel uneasy or you can not verify the documents, consider running a private background check on the individual.

Meet In A Public Place

It’s only common sense not to invite a stranger into your home so agree to meet a potentially long lost relative in a neutral, public area. If you do not know what each other looks like, arrange a small signal such as carrying a particular book or wearing a particular button. Cafes and restaurants are always good choices for meetings, as are public museums or galleries or even libraries or genealogical services which could help you further investigate your family relationship.

Withhold Personal and Contact Information

It might be tempting to want to give a stranger more information about yourself if (s)he seems normal upon your first meeting. Resist this urge. If in fact the individual is a seasoned con artist then it is literally his or her job to charm information out of you. Do not give him or her details of your home or office, refrain from offering details about your living relatives and their home lives, and if you feel that the other individual is asking too many questions simply say that you’d like to keep the conversation focused on your family history. Once you leave the meeting and have time to reflect on the conversation you’ll be in a better position to judge how you’d like to proceed.

Follow Up With Professionals

If you’re gut instinct is that your long lost relative is not telling the truth, follow it. Detail your meeting to a solicitor, police officer or professional private detective and follow any advice that your are given. At the same time warn family and friends of your interactions as the same individual may attempt to get in touch with them in the future. Explain your reasons for not trusting the individual and produce any evidence that you have to refute his or her stories. The more people you can warn about this person, the safer your family will be.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Bilaljaved
    Re: Spotting Student Plagiarism
    I checked the plagiarism initially and it was 48%, I managed to reduce it to 18%. when uploaded on university blackboard. Later,…
    9 April 2021
  • Grape
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I’m a 13 year old boy from the UK I have been interested in MI6 for a while now I am a shy individual that has not many friends making me a perfect…
    21 October 2020
  • Lucifer
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I wanna join you, , , iam a killing machine and willing to die in the battle field
    28 June 2020
  • Apola
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I certainly thought this would have at least any older people to leave a comment, but all I see is preteens being desperate to be an agent. Just…
    23 May 2020
  • riama
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I'm a 12 year old girl and have always been interested in joining SIS/MI6. I would like to find out what the GCSE requirements are so I can work…
    29 April 2020
  • Blinkers
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Joined the Cyprus army at the age of 18, i may bot be the smartest person in the room but my i can be very street smart. i feel like i could be at…
    24 April 2020
  • Dead
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I want to join MI6 please fams, don't have ID though.. Immortal on a good day, 5ft 500pounds speaks dog language, i have some people ide like to…
    4 February 2020
  • Fruits
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Hi im a 12 year old girl and i am really interested in MI6, Ive always wanted to join and be a spy doing secret missions.The thing that inspired me…
    27 December 2019
  • TomCallan
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Y’all aren’t the most perceptive people are you? First things first, you need to be at least 17 and a half to apply and have full British…
    22 September 2019
  • healer
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Hi Im healer and please take me I will do all the missions and I will always follow the orders please take me Thank you!
    11 August 2019