I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for your informative web site and especially for exposing those who wish to exploit the ignorant with regards to noble titles.
I was in the market for a baronage title (Scottish Origin) which I had been lucky to find from a reputable intermediary. I had an independant lawyer and had been in contact personally with the legitimate owner of the title. Luckily I am Scottish, residing in Scotland, and am able to take the steps necessary to establish the legitimacy of the title with the authorities. The new Scottish legislation on the "abolition of the Feudal system", and the decision to class all feudal titles as Incorporeal Property without the need to register in the "Sasines", will obviously make it easier for those looking to take advantage of others.
I would just like to join you in warning others of the scams, frauds and downright lies people are willing to tell in order to steal money from those who have a genuine interest in aquiring such titles.
I would like to give a few pointers ~
1. Never, never, never give money up front.
2. Always get an Independent Lawyer (if he does not know the law, he will find out for you.)
3. Question the price. If you are offered a Scottish barony for $15,000, forget it. A legitimate title will cost considerably more, even under the new Scottish legislation where you no longer need to buy the land also. Expect to pay at least $50,000 (if you are very lucky.)
4. If you have a genuine interest and can afford the true price of a legitimate title, then you should be able to afford the trip to the country of origin to investigate or to have an independent source investigate it.
5. Forget mail order or internet contact only. If the sellers are not willing to meet you in person or to put you in personal contact with the owners or the owners' lawyers, walk away.
6. If the owners have lawyers, check if they are a genuine law firm and registered. Get a lawyer of your own to contact them.
7. Rely on your own intuition. If it does not feel right or comfortable, walk away. Having a title is not as important as the money you will lose or the embarrassment caused by having a false title that, (a) might legally belong to someone else, or (b) no longer exists at all.
8. Remember that just because you can find the history of a title on a search engine or an internet site, it does not mean it legally exists for sale, can be legally sold or legally resurrected.
9. Find out everything you can about the feudal system. The more you learn about it and the law, the easier you will recognise the liars, and the more you will catch them out just from what they post on their sites, without even having to ask a question. See how fast they will drop you from their correspondence when you ask too many questions, and if they keep quoting the Hague Convention and lots of legal terminology as excuses, ask even more questions and then ask them to contact your own lawyers. See how they keep repeating themselves and then how quickly they disappear. They realize you are not so easily fooled.
Good luck and continue with the reporting.