Is this request legit?

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Is this request legit?

Postby aa3jy » Nov 23, 2015 6:48 am

Received a letter from an individual basically stating that he will pay me money if I knew of caves or caverns(no mention whether Dry or Wet??) in my State. He further states that he is a member of NSS and obtained my info from the 2014 NSS Members Manual.

However I could not find his info in the 2015 Members Manual but did provide his address, phone number and email address in his letter.

Just curious...

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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby batrotter » Nov 23, 2015 8:45 am

It may be legit, but I've never heard of a caver willing to pay for locations.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby caverdan » Nov 23, 2015 9:19 am

You can check with the NSS office and see if he is a current member.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Nov 23, 2015 10:15 am

Or try here:
https://caves.org/membersearch/

Though I don't guess it really matters if he is a member or not. Any request to buy locations should be treated as illegitimate and lazy.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby caverdan » Nov 23, 2015 11:08 am

The more I think about it......it sounds like it could be an E-mail scam of some sorts. I'd delete it and pretend I didn't receive it. I've been getting a lot of weird E-mails lately with attachments. I delete everything. Don't open anything.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby CaverScott » Nov 23, 2015 11:39 am

I saw a letter posted to various caver FB accounts that indicated the same thing. IT was sent to at least two different people that i recall. betting it is some kind of scam.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby tncaver » Nov 23, 2015 12:21 pm

aa3jy, I suggest you do not give or sell that person any cave locations as it could be an attempt to locate caves for
illegitimate purposes such as vandalism, rock collecting or destruction of property. Most illegitimate cavers belong to local
grottoes and they can find out about local caves by going on grotto trips. The person requesting the cave locations may
have joined the NSS simply to acquire cave locations for his own purposes which may or may not be illegitimate. Unless
you can get verification from someone who knows that fellow personally, it is probably unwise to provide the information
they seek.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby graveleye » Nov 23, 2015 2:38 pm

I also saw this one Facebook.

Betchya here is how it would go down. He would offer to send you $250 via Paypal, but oh wouldn't you know, his Paypal account doesn't work, so now he needs your bank account number so he can just direct deposit the money. You agree and next thing you know your account is cleaned out.

Either that or it's terrorists looking for a hideout and place to stash their WMDs and whatnot.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby CaverScott » Nov 23, 2015 3:35 pm

The weird part, to me anyway, is that they are real USPS letters. Not email!
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby graveleye » Nov 23, 2015 3:39 pm

maybe he thought he was being slick and could fool more cavers with a letter than an email?
I dunno...

...we're such a trusting and gullible lot though :tonguecheek:
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby NZcaver » Nov 23, 2015 5:55 pm

graveleye wrote:Betchya here is how it would go down. He would offer to send you $250 via Paypal, but oh wouldn't you know, his Paypal account doesn't work, so now he needs your bank account number so he can just direct deposit the money. You agree and next thing you know your account is cleaned out.

I agree it's probably a scam, but the bank account number thing doesn't quite work that way. Just knowing somebody's account number doesn't give a person access to withdraw money from an account.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Nov 23, 2015 6:03 pm

Are there return addresses on these letters? Are they identical? Has anyone done a simple white pages search to verify the residency of the individual? How does he propose to make payment?

Depending on the answers, I believe that this could well be a person desperate to find caves, for whatever reason. I can't imagine just how a scam would be carried out in this instance, since scammers are usually selling, not buying.
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby ohiocaver » Nov 23, 2015 6:13 pm

I'm thinking any legit caver would simply offer to buy, say for $25, a convention manual, a state karst book or the like which would have cave locations in it.
I'd have to wonder if this is not a real NSS member trying to prove some sort of point or another - but $250 is a lot of money. Why not "scam" him back? Ask for a Money Order for $250 and send him the coordinates and addresses for Penn's Cave, Indian Echo, Indian Caverns, etc. Maybe throw in Caverns of Lurray and Howe's Caverns since you're a good guy! :banana_yay:
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=http://postimg.org/image/eta4ctvar/][img]http://s21.postimg.org/eta4ctvar/cn_oh_isl_coils_cave_curt_sketch.jpg[/img][/url]
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby caver.adam » Nov 23, 2015 10:11 pm

You have to ask why he is willing to spend money. Likely it is one of two reasons: 1) He is rich enough to, or 2) He expects to make money from the caves.

If it is #2 is he collecting formations for sale? Or doing something else?
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Re: Is this request legit?

Postby Bumbalawski » Nov 23, 2015 10:17 pm

This was also posted on the NSS Facebook page. It was eventually removed. Four people in all received this letter. The writer of the letter was NOT a NSS member. This is my opinion: This day and age, when someone sends a letter out like that with false information in it, asking about caves within 170 miles of Philly (a very large population center), it throws up many red flags. In my opinion, the guy was one of the following, just plain stupid, a cave formation thief, a want to be terrorist or an actual terrorist.
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