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Phantom cachers


hikemeister
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This probably is an old topic -- and if so, please just refer me and that will take care of it,

 

What do you do about phantom cachers -- folks who post find logs online but have signed none of the physical logs? Frankly I do not pay much attention to this, because it is not a competition and anyone doing this is missing out on some real fun. However, recently some local cachers have contacted us about a person in particular who is logging many caches (including several of ours -- we checked) only online.

 

Is it common protocol to

 

1. Ignore it -- my most likely action

 

2. Send an email asking if the person visited the cache

 

3. Delete the log with a note saying that the log book was not signed

 

Any thoughts? :D

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This probably is an old topic -- and if so, please just refer me and that will take care of it,

 

What do you do about phantom cachers -- folks who post find logs online but have signed none of the physical logs? Frankly I do not pay much attention to this, because it is not a competition and anyone doing this is missing out on some real fun. However, recently some local cachers have contacted us about a person in particular who is logging many caches (including several of ours -- we checked) only online.

 

Is it common protocol to

 

1. Ignore it -- my most likely action

 

2. Send an email asking if the person visited the cache

 

3. Delete the log with a note saying that the log book was not signed

 

Any thoughts? :D

 

If a cacher visited a cache of yours and there was a logbook present and in signable condition and he did not sign it, then he did not visit your cache.

 

If it were mine, and it was important to me, I'd delete the log and tell the 'finder' why. Now for me, this is an academic exercise since I never audit my cache logs against the online logs. This is because I don't care if some poor lost soul logs a cache of mine without having signed the physical logbook.

 

If it is your cache, do as you wish, that is what I do.

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I have witnessed two such 'drive-by cachers'. (I think of 'phantom cachers' as those who sign the log book, but never log on-line. And I have met a few of them.)

One aroused my suspicion for logging two of my caches, about a mile and a half apart. (As well as eighteen others that day.) They may only be a mile and a half apart, but the driving time is over an hour. Neither cache had a signature. Not did any of the thousands of others logged on-line. All of those logs were deleted.

The other drove through the state, when the snow conditions basically closed the state down. The finds included a ten-mile round trip on the Interstate (for caches on both sides of the Interstate). Plus one that was two miles down an unmaintained road, with seven inches of snow on the ground.

I deleted the logs of both, accompanied by an e-mail saying that the guidelines are: Find cache. Sign log. Log on-line to receive a smiley. Neither had found any of the caches, nor signed the logs. It seems to me that they were falsifying all of ther logs.

For someone who is deliberately lying about the caches that they have found, I feel the the most appropriate action is #3 Delete the log with a note saying that the log book was not signed

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Spotted my first to (alledged) finds like that while out caching today. I was curious, because one of the finders reported in his online log that the log book was wet and he was unable to sign it. But the book that I found was bone dry and had no smudged or blurred signatures anywhere. There were actually two (alleged) bogus logs, for two cachers, on two different dates. Both cachers seem to be from the general area, or at least, have logged finds in the general area.

 

 

What I did? I emailed the cache owner to alert him, then let it drop.

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I must admit that I do not make a practice of auditing the logs on my caches. If I became aware of a questionable online "found it" log I would go with the #2 then #3 process. I don't play cache police but I also don't condone false logging.

 

I have deleted bogus logs on trackables I own. Sent emails to the loggers telling them I was deleting their logs because I believed them to be bogus but they were welcome to reply and prove me wrong. No replies yet.

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I would pick # 1, as I have never audited my physical logbooks. While geocaching for some may be about the numbers, (which is fine, play how/why you want), for me geocaching is about the experiences I have and the people I interact with. Being anal retentive with my logbooks would detract from the reason I play this game.

 

The fact that a good number of Mr Riffster's caches are generally very hard to get to is the real reason he probably doesn't want to check the physical log books.

 

To answer the question posed in this thread. I've deleted logs when it was obvious that someone hadn't been to one of our caches. This was when someone from way up north somewhere logged a couple of our caches, and several of our friends. All done on the same day. But in reality would have taken several days to find them. Not to mention that they logged caches in different states that same day. I sent them an email and told them why I didn't think they had visited our caches. I never got a response and they never relogged them.

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If a cacher visited a cache of yours and there was a logbook present and in signable condition and he did not sign it, then he did not visit your cache.

 

:) This is taking puritanism to a new level. Surely you meant to say if a cacher visited a cache of yours and there was a logbook present and in signable condition and he did not sign it, then he did not find your cache. Personally, I can't see how not signing the log would affect either the fact that I visited your cache or that I found it. What failure to sign the log would do would be to make it harder for the cache owner to verify that I found the cache. That would mean that if the cache owner felt my log was bogus he could delete it without consequence. The no ALR guideline would mean that if my signature was in the log book then the cache owner could not delete my online log.

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If I have a good reason to believe that the person was lying about finding the cache I will delete the log. A single missing paper log from a cacher won't get my attention, especially if he has a plausible explanation as to why he he didn't sign the logbook in his online log.

 

Some things that would lead me to believe that someone is lying include descriptions of the hunt that don't come close to matching the actual cache. An "easy walk and a quick find" log on a 3/3 cache will activate my phony radar. Also someone who has numerous finds with no corresponding signature on the paper logs will get my attention. "Forgetting" to sign a log once or twice is one thing, but "forgetting" to sign 20 cache logs

is a different story.

 

Widely spaced finds on the same day with no corresponding paper log , or other patterns that make no sense and are not accompanied by a paper log will also raise my suspicion. Ignoring my inquiries about their unusual pattern and lack of paper logs will cement my belief that the log was phony.

 

Of all of the thousands of logs on my caches over the years I think I've deleted maybe a dozen finds. Could I have deleted a legit find? Though unlikely, it is not out of the question, but not one person whose logs I deleted has ever protested.

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I have over 30 caches out right now. It never occurred to me that someone would actually play dishonestly by logging a smiley but not actually find the cache and signed the log. To me, it defeats the entire purpose of Geocaching. Why even play if you are not going to go out and "earn" the smilies? If you are doing it for numbers, get into coin collecting or baseball cards!

 

(I feel a new topic coming on following this next line) I got into this sport/hobby/obsession mainly for the hunt/exercise. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting out into the many forested trails in my state (Washington, that is) to find containers and really enjoy the outdoors. Someone who foregoes the experience of physically finding the container, in my mind, is frauding the entire Geocaching community.

 

My motto in Geochacing is, "Cache it Real". It means to play fair, tread lightly, respect the environment and CITO when you can. People who take credit for a cache they didnt find, is most certainly not "Caching it Real". To those folks, recommend that you log off permanently and get out of the game. We do not need people like you involved in Geocaching.

 

Cache it Real, Amigos!

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My motto in Geochacing is, "Cache it Real". It means to play fair, tread lightly, respect the environment and CITO when you can. People who take credit for a cache they didnt find, is most certainly not "Caching it Real". To those folks, recommend that you log off permanently and get out of the game. We do not need people like you involved in Geocaching.

 

Who are you to tell others how they should play the game? Geocaching is a game that is played in many ways by many people. Why do they need to live up to your personal standards? What if they are handicapped and can't actually find caches? The finding of geocaches may be YOUR standard, but that is YOUR standard. Don't try to force your version of the game on everybody else.

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My motto in Geochacing is, "Cache it Real". It means to play fair, tread lightly, respect the environment and CITO when you can. People who take credit for a cache they didnt find, is most certainly not "Caching it Real". To those folks, recommend that you log off permanently and get out of the game. We do not need people like you involved in Geocaching.

 

Who are you to tell others how they should play the game? Geocaching is a game that is played in many ways by many people. Why do they need to live up to your personal standards? What if they are handicapped and can't actually find caches? The finding of geocaches may be YOUR standard, but that is YOUR standard. Don't try to force your version of the game on everybody else.

brian forgot the smiley. I'm sure he was just being sarcastic. He probably wanted to post before someone like me came along to explain that while there are sometimes people who simply log a find on something they never even looked for, most cases of people who log a Found It without having signed the the log will have an excuse that at least makes a little sense. The forgot a pen or a pencil and the one in the cache wasn't working. The log was too wet to sign. They were so excited finding a cache with swag they could trade for that they simply forgot. (I once wrote several paragraphs in the log and forgot to sign my name at the end.) They found the remains of what was obviously the cache but there was no log in it to sign. Some excuses are more "acceptable" to some cachers than others. Some will log a find because they found where the cache should have been but it was missing (particularly if later confirmed missing by the owner) or they log a cache that was missing so they left a replacement cache and logged it as found. I'm not saying that one should log a find in these cases, but I still would not put the people who do in the same group as someone who is logging caches without even looking for them. If they are honest and say what they actually found that makes them think they should get a find for it, I can read the log and decide if the real cache might still be there to search for or not. Often the replacement cache will have long since become the defacto cache to find by the time I go look for it anyhow. I wouldn't tell these players to immediately quit and stop geocaching. I might try to convince them why what they think is a find is not a find but it is up to them to decide for themselves (along with the cache owner) whether or not to post that Found It.

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I was curious, because one of the finders reported in his online log that the log book was wet and he was unable to sign it. But the book that I found was bone dry and had no smudged or blurred signatures anywhere.

 

 

I found a wet logbook once so i post a note and put in the cache a dry piece of paper where i could sign in. The true is some caches i could sign as i left a pen at home but i had a camera to take a pic as a proof i found it. What I mean there is usually a solution. But if somebody have af un with cheating its his problem. I do caching on my way :antenna:

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If a cacher visited a cache of yours and there was a logbook present and in signable condition and he did not sign it, then he did not visit your cache.

 

:antenna: This is taking puritanism to a new level. Surely you meant to say if a cacher visited a cache of yours and there was a logbook present and in signable condition and he did not sign it, then he did not find your cache. Personally, I can't see how not signing the log would affect either the fact that I visited your cache or that I found it. What failure to sign the log would do would be to make it harder for the cache owner to verify that I found the cache. That would mean that if the cache owner felt my log was bogus he could delete it without consequence. The no ALR guideline would mean that if my signature was in the log book then the cache owner could not delete my online log.

 

"Puritanism", at any level, is not necessarily a bad thing, as you imply.

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Who are you to tell others how they should play the game? Geocaching is a game that is played in many ways by many people. Why do they need to live up to your personal standards? What if they are handicapped and can't actually find caches? The finding of geocaches may be YOUR standard, but that is YOUR standard. Don't try to force your version of the game on everybody else.

 

Oh, Brian!!! You're right in saying that he should not tell others how to play. Groundspeak does that. There has to be RULES, tho, dadgummit! I bet you wouldn't want me to chew on your ear in the pile during a flag football game...

 

ps I can outrun you.

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This probably is an old topic -- and if so, please just refer me and that will take care of it,

 

What do you do about phantom cachers -- folks who post find logs online but have signed none of the physical logs? Frankly I do not pay much attention to this, because it is not a competition and anyone doing this is missing out on some real fun. However, recently some local cachers have contacted us about a person in particular who is logging many caches (including several of ours -- we checked) only online.

 

Is it common protocol to

 

1. Ignore it -- my most likely action

 

2. Send an email asking if the person visited the cache

 

3. Delete the log with a note saying that the log book was not signed

 

Any thoughts? :antenna:

 

 

 

Most of the fun of Geo caching is the exercise,company of a family member, friends and the challenge of the find. They are certainly not getting any of those unless they are together laughing over this crazy act. I have found several caches where the log was signed but they have never recorded them as found on the site. This is probably because they usually do not close the caches or return them to their special spot. On drizzly days this really is annoying since everything gets wet and trying to dry it out isn"t easy.

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This probably is an old topic -- and if so, please just refer me and that will take care of it,

 

What do you do about phantom cachers -- folks who post find logs online but have signed none of the physical logs? Frankly I do not pay much attention to this, because it is not a competition and anyone doing this is missing out on some real fun. However, recently some local cachers have contacted us about a person in particular who is logging many caches (including several of ours -- we checked) only online.

 

Is it common protocol to

 

1. Ignore it -- my most likely action

 

2. Send an email asking if the person visited the cache

 

3. Delete the log with a note saying that the log book was not signed

 

Any thoughts? :antenna:

 

We had a bogus cacher log our earthcache as found - no answering to questions, no photo. Profiled geocachingdog and it appears they signed up as a member on 12 December 2009 and by 14 December 2009 have logged over 130 finds - all in one day in Iraq, USA, France, NZ, Australia, Bahamas, Mexico and so on. Obviously this is not possible. I believe it makes a mockery out of a great sport so we deleted the bogus log. However, we did email first, but I say delete. Gotta think that a person who does such a thing is a pretty sad type of person.

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I have seen several cases where someone obviously logged the wrong cache. In other words, there is a virtual log and a paper log, but not on the same cache. i have emailed the cacher in case they want to correct things for their own records. I've also made a note on the cache page, say, if the logger talked about a soaked logbook or a cracked container. The only log i can remember deleting was when a new cacher logged a "find" on a multi when he said in his log he had only found the first stage. if I thought someone had clearly, purposely lied about a find, I would delete the log without hesitation, but as far as I know that's never happened on any of my caches.

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This is taking puritanism to a new level.

 

you keep using this word "puritanism" as if it did not already have two well-established meanings, neither of which applies to your point.

 

the word "purist" would fit according to its meaning, but i have not noticed that accuracy of meaning is very important to you.

 

go ahead, call me a purist. but it has very little to do with strict sexual morals and less to do with church reformation.

 

i'm certain that you mean it to be more derogatory than the other, more accurate word and therefore handy for name-calling, but it's no more appealing than when people say "irregardless", or "nuke-yu-lar", or "triangularization".

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Who are you to tell others how they should play the game? Geocaching is a game that is played in many ways by many people. Why do they need to live up to your personal standards? What if they are handicapped and can't actually find caches? The finding of geocaches may be YOUR standard, but that is YOUR standard. Don't try to force your version of the game on everybody else.

 

Oh, Brian!!! You're right in saying that he should not tell others how to play. Groundspeak does that. There has to be RULES, tho, dadgummit! I bet you wouldn't want me to chew on your ear in the pile during a flag football game...

 

ps I can outrun you.

 

Gosh you certainly can out run me. When I was in my athletic prime speed was not my forte. Now I'm slower than a herd of turtles in peanut butter. As far as chewing on my ear, it depends on your sex and how cute you are. Considering that your name is Patrick I might not be too keen at the idea (no matter how cute you are).

Edited by briansnat
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Here are some "excuses" I have used for not signing the log.

 

Excuse - Solution

No pen - left signature item

log book too wet - Used sharpi

Log book too wet and no sharpi - E-mailed description of cache

No room on log book - Wrote on piece of (someone else's) smokes package

No room on log book in nano - e-mailed description of cache location

found location cache should have been - kept searching until I found it somewhere else, e-mailed CO and notified them of were it had migrated to. CO happy because she couldn't find it even though people were posting found logs.

Edited by Andronicus
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If nobody audits the log books, why have them?

I include a logbook in all my caches for two very good reasons:

1 ) So folks can write about their experiences when they found my cache.

2 ) So the reviewers don't beat me with rotting lemming carcasses.

 

In the beginning the logbook was for cachers to write about their experiences and note what they traded. The online log was intended to mirror what was in the logbook. At some point microcaches, tricky hides, numbers, and competition came about.

It was a different path but traveled more.

One such route seemed much a bore

The two paths diverged in a green wood.

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the FTF for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever not bushwack

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference in my numbers. :surprise::laughing:

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THE PLOT THICKENS !

 

Yesterday I checked my caches and then deleted the fake logs from the web. I also talked to a friend and found that the same person logged about a dozen virtuals in the area and sent no answers to the questions.

 

I emailed another cacher who recently had about 12 caches found by the same phantom (maybe this is where I crossed the line) and got FLAMED! ... with an email calling me arrogant, a big shot, and an A##HOLE.

 

It turns out that the person I contacted was a sock puppet of the phantom cacher! Shortly afterwards, the person in question emailed me, apologized, and deleted all of her fake logs from that day -- mine and all the others.

 

End of story.

 

:laughing:

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We had a bogus cacher log our earthcache as found - no answering to questions, no photo. Profiled geocachingdog and it appears they signed up as a member on 12 December 2009 and by 14 December 2009 have logged over 130 finds - all in one day in Iraq, USA, France, NZ, Australia, Bahamas, Mexico and so on. Obviously this is not possible.

It will be a whole lot less possible now. Profile this user again, and look at the note in the "Email address" field. It reads "The "send message" feature is disabled because this user is currently banned."
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Now as much as i disagree with people 'Faking' logs on a cache, i do believe that it isnt always the case if a log book hasnt been signed.

 

I recall one occasion where me and a fellow cacher accidentally left our pen in a cache, then drove miles to another country park to do another series and 4/5 caches had no pen/pencil. We didnt realise we had lost our pen untill we got there and we couldnt drive back to retrieve it. So those 4 caches had to go unsigned but i did make it clear on my logs that this was the case.

 

Personally i think it is the 'Faker' who is at loss because they are missing out on a truly brilliant activity and for what? You dont get any prize for having the most finds so its purely for bragging rights which to me, means diddly squat.

 

The one problem i can see is if a cache hasnt been found by the last 3,4,5 cachers and then there is a entry as found, i then go along and then find out that it has infact been muggled and i have wasted my time.

 

Dubzie86

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We didnt realise we had lost our pen untill we got there and we couldnt drive back to retrieve it. So those 4 caches had to go unsigned but i did make it clear on my logs that this was the case.
FWIW, I've found a number of caches that had been creatively signed by previous finders who lacked a pen or pencil. There are all sorts of materials that can be used to mark your name in the log.
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We didnt realise we had lost our pen untill we got there and we couldnt drive back to retrieve it. So those 4 caches had to go unsigned but i did make it clear on my logs that this was the case.
FWIW, I've found a number of caches that had been creatively signed by previous finders who lacked a pen or pencil. There are all sorts of materials that can be used to mark your name in the log.

 

Yep, there is a real sinking feeling after searching long and hard for a cache and then on finding it, realizing you forgot to bring a pen or pencil. We have signed logs with a stick, piece of rock, and other items -- typically just one initial and an email to the owner. Last summer my two brothers and I found an ammo can about 50 up in a blue spruce tree. When opened, the pen dropped out and we could not find it! Fortunately we were able to make a short drive to get another pen, and then a relay of the log book and pen up and down the tree.

 

But this thread and its original intent has a happy ENDING --

 

I confronted the fake cache logger, and after calling me an A@#HOLE, she deleted all of her logs from that day, not just mine but all the other fake logs she posted in our town.

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