On Tuesday 16 March 2021, I received this message via my website’s contact form.
The message is well-written and didn’t trigger any spam filters. I was still a bit skeptical and decided to do some investigation. Jim offered to give free retirement advice to my readers. Although this seems wonderful, there is a nagging feeling that this is a little too good to be true.
The Money With Jim website only has 4 pages. A quick lookup of the http://moneywithjim.org/ domain information reveals it was registered using GoDaddy on 28 April 2017 and points to a DigitalOcean hosting server in the United States. The website itself does not have a secure certificate (HTTPS).
A reverse Google images search reveals Jim McKinley’s photo is lifted from Pinterest. Conveniently, we don’t get to see Jim’s face.
Jim claims to be a “retired banker”. He offers financial advice in the form of articles on first-time home buying, banking basics for teens and day-to-day budgeting. The best part is, all his services are “100 percent free of charge”.
His about page reiterates these services and the articles blog page has about 3 blog articles written by three other authors. The website also has a contact form to reach out to Jim.
If Jim McKinley were such a financial influencer, surely there would be more information about him online from other credible sources? A quick internet search reveals quite a number of Jim McKinleys but none that fit his biographical profile.
Everything so far doesn’t give us proof that Jim is not really who he claims to be. Luckily, a piece of information slipped through with the contact form submission and this is the last clue to this puzzle. Jim submitted his message from the following IP address: 188.8.131.52
A lookup on his IP address reveals the IP address originating from Kampala, Uganda.
In light of this, it is highly unlikely that Jim McKinley is a retired banker living in Uganda.