If you're going to play away on your girlfriend, try not boasting about it on a packed train next to someone with social media access. That's the lesson learned the hard way by "Cheating Ben", as Twitter has dubbed him, after a posting shaming the oats-sower was shared thousands of times.

Ben, whoever he is, was exposed after boasting to his friends about his affair while on the Bournemouth to Manchester train on Friday (1 December). His girlfriend has been advised to "dump his ass".

The search started at 5pm when Emily, under the Twitter name @emilyshepss, tweeted: "If anyone has a boyfriend called Ben on the Bournemouth - Manchester train right now, he's just told his friends he's cheating on you. Dump his ass x"

The tweet has since received more than 25,000 retweets and 65,000 likes as people shared the post in an attempt to find and shame Ben.

Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden was the most high-profile name in the search party. On Saturday she tweeted: "Dear cheating Ben... can you please make yourself known before all the non cheating Bens find out where you live..."

After receiving a reply from an innocent Ben, she soon added: "Dear cheating Ben... are you a Benjamin or a Benedict. We have people anxious to know?"

Emily, 23, received plenty abuse for her tweet, with many calling her a "grass" or "snake" and saying it was not her place to publicly shame Ben. She shared one message that appeared to threaten her, saying "snitches get stitches".

But many others supported her, saying it was Ben's own fault. One person tweeted at Emily saying: "Ignore the trolls, you did the right thing. If I was in the position that I didn't know my better half was cheating I'd want to know. I really hope Ben is found and learns a valuable lesson. If he's gonna cheat, keep his mouth shut about it."

Meanwhile a tweet from Jess, who defended Emily after a man called her a snake, received 1,000 likes for telling people not to condone cheating. She said: "why because she exposed a dude for not treating a girl right? knowing damn well if the shoe was on the other foot you boys would be speaking nothing but hell about this girl, saying she being disrespectful and all that. smh, stop praising and promoting cheating"

Two days after cheating Ben was first exposed, Emily confirmed he had not yet been found, as far as she was aware. On Sunday evening, she said: "For everyone asking: Ben is yet to be found, I've had several messages but nothing yet. I'm now on the Manchester - Bournemouth train and no sign yet... thanks to everyone calling me a grass and a snake, you're all great X"

But with the number of people who have seen and shared the post, it is still perfectly possible that Ben's girlfriend has seen the tweet and taken her vengeance privately.