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BK-Hunters

WAYFROG - Spammers which need to be dealt with

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Hi Wayfroggie. We have learned that spammers are using uncategorized WMs to post ads and figured they were not to be welcomed here.

 

Take this URL and you should see five ads on the first page:

 

Lisa Katharina Designs

Window Guardians

RLS Logistics

M3 Printing

Atlantic Group - Recruiting Agency

 

Keith

PS - If you search for WMs, 100 km out, on 39.959305, 75.173814, you'll find a bunch of spam WMs that have actually been posted by various establishments to advertise their bars, dance clubs, etc. Those coords are near the ones used by one of the spammers in uncategorized, all of them inadvertently posted as -75.XXXXX W(est) instead of 75.XXXXX W.

Edited by BK-Hunters
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At least thirteen got through the review process!!!

 

The reviewers did not notice the businesses were miles and miles away from civilization: Independent Diners, Independent Pizza Restaurants and one Dance Clubs need to checked.

Edited by elyob

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Looks like we've opened the proverbial can of worms here. Lots to do for the Wayfroggie.

Keith

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16 minutes ago, BK-Hunters said:

Looks like we've opened the proverbial can of worms here. Lots to do for the Wayfroggie.

Keith

Totally agree, it's still amazing that some people benefit in this way!

Philippe

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Yes, for me this is spam, too. But apart from some (important) details like messed up coordinates and the fact that they seem to be part of a chain and not independent, they look like acceptable submissions to me.

 

They main problem are the categories that allow and attract these submissions, not the submissions themselves. As long as we don't find any helpful specific paragraph in the Groundspeak TOUs, I don't see much we can do against it.

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Maybe I should just suggest an edit and provide coordinates. It would at least improve the listing. 

 

20 minutes ago, fi67 said:

Yes, for me this is spam, too. But apart from some (important) details like messed up coordinates and the fact that they seem to be part of a chain and not independent, they look like acceptable submissions to me.

 

They main problem are the categories that allow and attract these submissions, not the submissions themselves. As long as we don't find any helpful specific paragraph in the Groundspeak TOUs, I don't see much we can do against it.

 

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43 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

Maybe I should just suggest an edit and provide coordinates. It would at least improve the listing. 

 

Well, no! At least the few ones I checked were chain restaurants that should not have been accepted in the Independent Diners category. But this has to be verified on a case by case base. I think we do not have the instruments to ban them altogether in general. As far as I know, it does not state anywhere that you cannot be the owner of a location or in a business relation with him to post it.

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5 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Maybe I should just suggest an edit and provide coordinates. It would at least improve the listing. 

 

 

when I first noticed them in the uncategorized waymarks I thought I figured they were posted by newbies trying to promote their business, and thought that if I could fit them to a category I would. Except they were missing the all-important photos of the buildings / locations, at least the few I bothered to look at. It was only after that when I clued in what was happening,and posted the initial thread

 

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5 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Maybe I should just suggest an edit and provide coordinates. It would at least improve the listing. 

 

 

That is a very good idea because, at the least, some relevant officers will then become aware that more care is required.

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19 minutes ago, elyob said:

That is a very good idea because, at the least, some relevant officers will then become aware that more care is required.

Have the officers been notified?  They can go back in and reevaluate and deny since the Harvest Grills and the Tony Ronis are obviously small franchises and not the independent diners for their category?  Easy peasy and since these "waymarkers" were created JUST for the purpose of creating this spam, they aren't going to hurt the people's feelings or hurt the growth of the hobby.  In fact, they will help the hobby by not allowing this stuff to stand!

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10 hours ago, pmaupin said:

This one now has an edited location.  I requested edits on fifteen others incorrectly published as a location in China or India, east versus west longitude.

 

I don't know which concerns me more, the spam or the poor review process.

Edited by elyob

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6 minutes ago, QuarrellaDeVil said:

Try this little stunt that someone pulled a few weeks ago.  Either this guy should have his account pulled (if it hasn't been done so already), or he should be on the receiving end of the Blood Eagle.

 

http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMY5A3_AOL_1866_2016261_AOL_desktop_Gold_Password_reset_Contact_tech_AK_47

That's so bad!

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6 minutes ago, QuarrellaDeVil said:

Try this little stunt that someone pulled a few weeks ago.  Either this guy should have his account pulled (if it hasn't been done so already), or he should be on the receiving end of the Blood Eagle.

 

http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMY5A3_AOL_1866_2016261_AOL_desktop_Gold_Password_reset_Contact_tech_AK_47

 

Texas Historical Markers only allows the official ones, he should have tried Signs of History.:ph34r:

 

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1 hour ago, fi67 said:

 

Texas Historical Markers only allows the official ones, he should have tried Signs of History.:ph34r:

 

 

Too Much!!! The Swiss have always been known for their "off the wall" sense of humour... :D

Keith

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12 hours ago, fi67 said:

Yes, for me this is spam, too. But apart from some (important) details like messed up coordinates and the fact that they seem to be part of a chain and not independent, they look like acceptable submissions to me.

 

They main problem are the categories that allow and attract these submissions, not the submissions themselves. As long as we don't find any helpful specific paragraph in the Groundspeak TOUs, I don't see much we can do against it.

 

Good points. I had looked at the offending WMs in the same light, in that at least some of them were of similar quality to other WMs in the category and violated no known rules, the chain establishments aside. Though I thought I had read something to the contrary years ago, Groundspeak doesn't say much one way or the other on the matter, from what I've found so far. In fact, two excerpts from the guidelines seem to be from opposite sides of the fence:

 

From Terms of Use:

C: License. Subject to your compliance with this Agreement, Groundspeak hereby grants you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, fully revocable license to view and use our services for your own personal, non-commercial purposes in accordance with this Agreement and any guidelines or policies posted on our websites or applications.

 

The above seems to suggest that use of the site for commercial purposes is admonished or proscribed.

 

From the Waymarking FAQ:

Can I submit a waymark for a commercial location?

Sure. There is no restriction on posting commercial waymarks or waymarks which charge an entrance fee.

 

No distinction is made here with regard to who may submit the WM, IE with respect to one's personal affiliation with the site in question.

 

Shall we call in the lawyers? :ph34r:

Keith

Edited by BK-Hunters

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15 hours ago, pmaupin said:

 

Here's what stands out to me with these waymarks. Since the content in the long description is so uniformly the same, it's likely that they were all created by the same person. Interestingly, this person created a new Waymarking ID for each location, probably so mail would properly go to an appropriate person at each site. This person was on a one-a-day or every-other-day pace (2/22, 2/23, 2/25, 2/27, 2/28, 3/2, and a straggler on 3/20. If you notice, the Waymarker ID has not been logged in since they day they created each waymark!

 

The person didn't pick the appropriate category for the first Pizzeria. It probably should have been Pizza Shops - Regional Chains, but Independent Diners may have sounded reasonable (they didn't find the appropriate category) and so, it got approved. A day later, they created another Waymarking ID and another waymark in the same category for another Pizzeria. It also got approved and the loop continued.

 

When they started with the Bar & Grill, they stayed with the Independent Diners category, because it was working for them.


 

4 hours ago, elyob said:

This one now has an edited location.  I requested edits on fifteen others incorrectly published as a location in China or India, east versus west longitude.

 

I don't know which concerns me more, the spam or the poor review process.

 

I don't even consider these spam. Any business owner ought to be able to create a proper waymark for their establishment in one of the many Waymarking categories for businesses. It probably has very little commercial value other than appearing in a Google search. I'll bet it happens on Yelp, Foursquare, Google Reviews, Yahoo local listings or Angie's list all the time!

 

The problem is with the reviewers. 

 

First a glance at the map inset should have said to the reviewer that something was wrong with the coordinates. Next, when I see a Waymarker ID that I've never seen before, I take a glance at their profile. I would have seen that this was the waymarker's first submission.

 

For the Pizzerias, I would have declined them with a suggestion to resubmit to Pizza Shops - Regional Chains and correct the coordinates. 

If I were an active officer in the Independent Diners category, I might have accepted the first Bar & Grill (and corrected the E-W problem for the newbie), but when I saw that same name of an establishment submitted the next day, I might start to be thinking that this wasn't an Independent Diner, but a chain of diners and it was being submitted to the wrong category. I don't know what category to suggest, but I would go back and decline the first one accepted.

 

I think these seven should all be reevaluated and declined with suggestions for a better category. I do think they are probably all acceptable waymarks, if an appropriate category can be selected and the E-W coordinate problem is fixed. 

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I suspected the same person created them because of the coordinates. Too coincidental that several people all made the same mistake.

 

I make mistakes like everyone else, but one of the FIRST things I do when reviewing a waymark (and creating one, as well as Geocaches) is to LOOK at the map. Does it look about right, or is it in the wrong state/country?  Just glancing at the map can be very helpful.

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5 hours ago, QuarrellaDeVil said:

Try this little stunt that someone pulled a few weeks ago.  Either this guy should have his account pulled (if it hasn't been done so already), or he should be on the receiving end of the Blood Eagle.

 

http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMY5A3_AOL_1866_2016261_AOL_desktop_Gold_Password_reset_Contact_tech_AK_47

 

This is despicable and the worst waymark I've ever seen.

 

I noticed that this person's Waymarking ID, cartoonedward, (and geocaching ID) now has a status that I've never seen before - Locked Member.

It looks like they've been dealt with.

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The aforementioned Toni Roni's Pizzerias franchises in the Independent Pizza Restaurants category now have corrected co-ordinates.

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2 hours ago, DougK said:

 

 

Here's what stands out to me with these waymarks. Since the content in the long description is so uniformly the same, it's likely that they were all created by the same person. Interestingly, this person created a new Waymarking ID for each location, probably so mail would properly go to an appropriate person at each site. This person was on a one-a-day or every-other-day pace (2/22, 2/23, 2/25, 2/27, 2/28, 3/2, and a straggler on 3/20. If you notice, the Waymarker ID has not been logged in since they day they created each waymark!

 

The person didn't pick the appropriate category for the first Pizzeria. It probably should have been Pizza Shops - Regional Chains, but Independent Diners may have sounded reasonable (they didn't find the appropriate category) and so, it got approved. A day later, they created another Waymarking ID and another waymark in the same category for another Pizzeria. It also got approved and the loop continued.

 

When they started with the Bar & Grill, they stayed with the Independent Diners category, because it was working for them.


 

 

I don't even consider these spam. Any business owner ought to be able to create a proper waymark for their establishment in one of the many Waymarking categories for businesses. It probably has very little commercial value other than appearing in a Google search. I'll bet it happens on Yelp, Foursquare, Google Reviews, Yahoo local listings or Angie's list all the time!

 

The problem is with the reviewers. 

 

First a glance at the map inset should have said to the reviewer that something was wrong with the coordinates. Next, when I see a Waymarker ID that I've never seen before, I take a glance at their profile. I would have seen that this was the waymarker's first submission.

 

For the Pizzerias, I would have declined them with a suggestion to resubmit to Pizza Shops - Regional Chains and correct the coordinates. 

If I were an active officer in the Independent Diners category, I might have accepted the first Bar & Grill (and corrected the E-W problem for the newbie), but when I saw that same name of an establishment submitted the next day, I might start to be thinking that this wasn't an Independent Diner, but a chain of diners and it was being submitted to the wrong category. I don't know what category to suggest, but I would go back and decline the first one accepted.

 

I think these seven should all be reevaluated and declined with suggestions for a better category. I do think they are probably all acceptable waymarks, if an appropriate category can be selected and the E-W coordinate problem is fixed. 

I'll let you know that a new pizza chain has to be pre approved before it can go into the regional pizza chains (category requirements, I'm an officer in the category).  Hopefully, I would have denied the waymark for the bad coordinates - I'm usually pretty good about that, BUT they slip through sometimes...

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The Harvest Seasonal Grill started appearing in the Gluten Free Restaurants Category a few days ago.

The first one had photo of building and Gluten Free menu looked good. I approved it.

The second one was submitted a couple days later. I then noticed Waymark owners name seemed to be sock puppet variations of same name. No photo of building. I submitted for group vote to make fellow officers aware. Group Vote ends tonight.

Two more have since been submitted with only one photo of their logo. All have identical one sentence write-up. Similar sock puppet variations of same name.

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3 hours ago, 8Nuts MotherGoose said:

The Harvest Seasonal Grill started appearing in the Gluten Free Restaurants Category a few days ago.

The first one had photo of building and Gluten Free menu looked good. I approved it.

The second one was submitted a couple days later. I then noticed Waymark owners name seemed to be sock puppet variations of same name. No photo of building. I submitted for group vote to make fellow officers aware. Group Vote ends tonight.

Two more have since been submitted with only one photo of their logo. All have identical one sentence write-up. Similar sock puppet variations of same name.

Did the sock puppet get the co-ordinates correct the first time or did you have to edit?

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4 hours ago, elyob said:

Did the sock puppet get the co-ordinates correct the first time or did you have to edit?

Coordinates were correct when submitted. I suspect I got the updated versions after they were rejected by other Categories.

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22 hours ago, 8Nuts MotherGoose said:

Coordinates were correct when submitted. I suspect I got the updated versions after they were rejected by other Categories.

My suggestion would be to be absolutely by the book as far as category requirements.  Don't do the work for them.

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1 hour ago, iconions said:

My suggestion would be to be absolutely by the book as far as category requirements.  Don't do the work for them.

We also need the reviewers to do the work that reviewers are supposed to do.

Edited by elyob

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58 minutes ago, elyob said:

We also need the reviewers to do the work that reviewers are supposed to do.

Touche!

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3 hours ago, BK-Hunters said:

And while we're on the subject of spammers, check out the two newest groups in Newest Groups, then check out Peer Review.

Keith

 

Looks more like a penetration test than spam to me. Especially the SQL injection try in the third officer rank and the js exploit try in the description of officer two.

 

The question is only, if this is happening with the knowledge of GS. At least, the officers have to be PMs and this is not the case here.

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8 hours ago, fi67 said:

 

Looks more like a penetration test than spam to me. Especially the SQL injection try in the third officer rank and the js exploit try in the description of officer two.

 

The question is only, if this is happening with the knowledge of GS. At least, the officers have to be PMs and this is not the case here.

 

"penetration test" - that, or something similar, is pretty much what I had suspected - WAYFROGGIE - mebbe you should check this out!!!

Keith

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13 hours ago, BK-Hunters said:

 

"penetration test" - that, or something similar, is pretty much what I had suspected - WAYFROGGIE - mebbe you should check this out!!!

Keith

 

Sure, this should be checked, although I see no real threat. I don't have all the facts, but to me this looks like either harmless script kiddies playing around with a Hacker's Guide from the late 90s (because what we see is far from state of the art) or a security test under supervision of Groundspeak. I see no real reason to "publish" failed attempts in a Peer Review.

 

On the other hand: "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." Wouldn't it be utterly clever to publicly play the harmless fool just to disguise the real target?

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21 hours ago, fi67 said:

On the other hand: "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." Wouldn't it be utterly clever to publicly play the harmless fool just to disguise the real target?

T'ain't everyone what quotes the bard accurately. :)

But, yes, that would be a (somewhat) clever ploy. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Hopefully the Wayfrog will let us know what he uncovers, if anything.

Keith

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On 9.5.2018 at 8:02 AM, BK-Hunters said:

Hi Wayfroggie. We have learned that spammers are using uncategorized WMs to post ads and figured they were not to be welcomed here.

 

Take this URL and you should see five ads on the first page:

 

Lisa Katharina Designs

Window Guardians

RLS Logistics

M3 Printing

Atlantic Group - Recruiting Agency

 

Keith

PS - If you search for WMs, 100 km out, on 39.959305, 75.173814, you'll find a bunch of spam WMs that have actually been posted by various establishments to advertise their bars, dance clubs, etc. Those coords are near the ones used by one of the spammers in uncategorized, all of them inadvertently posted as -75.XXXXX W(est) instead of 75.XXXXX W.

 

These are deleted now.

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