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Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic

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New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 06:32PM
I don't generally participate here any more, but I did know some here are involved in a welcome effort to make things hard for the permit scalpers for the HD cables. I got an email today that was so infuriating, I figured I'd post it here, in case someone knows who or where it can be reported to. Naturally it's through hotmail with a reply link through Yahoo mail, both of which are difficult to trace to the abuser. it's from ReserveYosemite@hotmail.com, but also uses
ReserveYosemite@yahoo.com

----------------
Fellow Campers/Hikers

Are you or your family/friends still looking for Half Dome permits or valley floor campsites in Yosemite National Park this summer? I may be able to help for a premium service fee. All reservations will be fully updated to your name to comply with the new required ID check-in policy (yes, it is possible). If you do not support American capitalism, please ignore this email and your email address will be automatically removed from the list.

ReserveYosemite@yahoo.com
-----------------

If anyone has an idea of who to report this to (other than the mail abuse at yahoo and hotmail), please do so or let me know where. This idiot has a lot of nerve citing "if you don't support American Capitalism" when he's nothing but a greedy criminal.

The temporary permit system is a disaster, and much too vulnerable to this type of abuse, as I see some members know since they're kept busy reporting craigslist abusers. I really hope they realize this and make some changes to it soon, even if it's absolutely no transfers and ID required.

Reminds me of the people who would book up the summer campsites and sell them on ebay, and then be self-righteous about being good old American capitalists. Now it's the cables too.

I could see a "chain email effect" of sorts making it impossible for this person to function with this; with the limited number of permits, no doubt he has to manually deal with emails, and if he got thousands, or even hundreds of responses that sounded serious but no one followed through, he'd maybe decide it wasn't worth answering emails all day when no one actually buys one of his ill-gotten permits. Maybe he's dumb enough to fall for "hey, where are you located, I'd rather just come by and pick up the permits". Or, if he uses Paypal to collect, they'd disable his account and put the funds on hold for illegal activity, not to mention being able to locate him.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2011 06:45PM by Sierrafan.
Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 07:34PM
yose_web_manager@nps.gov
enforcement@nps.gov
Matt_Holly@nps.gov


There was a thread a while back where someone posted the emails of all the heads of the NPS along with Yosemite's head honcho.

But, for now forward the chain of emails to those 3.
avatar Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 07:51PM
avatar Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 08:22PM
Gary,

I received the same emails, so I guess that this is round two, however, I did not open them (after a recent bout with a nasty virus).



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 08:33PM
Quote
Bee
Gary,

I received the same emails, so I guess that this is round two, however, I did not open them (after a recent bout with a nasty virus).

Well, at least we know that their craigslist business is not going as well as they've intended it to.

Flagging their ads is one thing, but I've been trying to post warning ads on craigslist to scare potential buyers.

The ads get proxy flagged by scalpers and though I would like them to read my ad, I try to put as much as I can in the title for ex: "Yosemite campsites - *NON-TRANSFERABLE* - BEWARE OF SCALPERS"

That way, even if the ad gets flagged in 10-15 minutes, the ad takes another 10-15 minutes to get removed from the listings, so at least potential buyers will see the title.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2011 08:33PM by sactown23.
Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 10:23PM
Yeah SierraFan,

the perp flamed out that email to a swath of the population; I got it too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2011 10:23PM by Anvanho.
Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 10:47PM
Thanks to all that replied; I'll forward the original message to the 3 email addresses given, and I did send them to the abuse@ for both hotmail and yahoo (yahoo replied that I need to follow a more complicated process, so will have to redo that one...the guy can just open a new account though, with a different address, so that will be of limited usefulness.

Bee, I have my mail reader set to read in plain text only (unless I click to allow anything else) which is pretty safe, but you're wise to be wary of email from anyone you don't recognize, and even at that, viruses will often send out emails from their victims, so it can still be hazardous if you know them.

I saw the threads about all the flagging going on at Craigslist, and those efforts are much appreciated, as I know it's time-consuming, but a worthwhile effort.

Actually, I think if these emails continue to be a problem and nobody can do much about them, that email-barrage I mentioned actually may work. A few Yosemite forums with just a small percentage of the members emailing the guy wanting to buy and asking a lot of complicated questions to waste his time, and then bailing out at the last second might make him think about if it's worth all the hassle. He can't block the emails, and has to read them and reply, or he won't sell any, so he's stuck.

He also, I think, would need to use his real name and address for the permits and campsite reservations in order to pay with a credit card, so it wouldn't be that hard to find out who he is.

I just noticed the last line in his mail, showing how honest he is:
"If you do not support American capitalism, please ignore this email and your email address will be automatically removed from the list."

Now how in the heck does he know if I'm ignoring the mail or not? Is he watching? If he IS watching, how does he know if it's his message I'm reading, and if I have to read the whole message to get to that line, is there still a way I can ignore it? And if I DO support American capitalism, but don't like greedy scumbags, can I still be removed from the list? This is complicated...



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2011 10:57PM by Sierrafan.
Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 09, 2011 11:11PM
the scalpers have been changing names to limit their original name exposure.

But, since they can't do that anymore with the new policy, the only way they've still been selling campsites is by having a pre-arranged time with a buyer by cancelling and having them pick it up.

The half dome permits are still fair game for them and that is something Yosemite needs to address for next year.
Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 10, 2011 09:14AM
Quote
sactown23
the scalpers have been changing names to limit their original name exposure.

But, since they can't do that anymore with the new policy, the only way they've still been selling campsites is by having a pre-arranged time with a buyer by cancelling and having them pick it up.

The half dome permits are still fair game for them and that is something Yosemite needs to address for next year.

Many thanks for your effort. One question, though. Wouldn't be easy enough to add a random time delay to the listing of cancelled reservations? That would put a quick end to this tactic....
avatar Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 10, 2011 12:43PM
I thought the time delay was part of the initial plan. So they haven't been following through with it? smh
Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 10, 2011 12:53PM
Quote
mbear
I thought the time delay was part of the initial plan. So they haven't been following through with it? smh

The plan consisted of 3 steps:

1) Deny the ability to change names on the reservation.
2) Check the ID's of campers so as to correspond to the original reservation name.

The last step, which has yet to be implemented since they didn't provide any timeframe and in turn is still allowing scalpers to sell the permits:

3) Cancelled campsites will no longer be recycled on recreation.gov, but rather by calling the reservation phone number.
avatar Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 10, 2011 12:58PM
Quote
mbear
I thought the time delay was part of the initial plan. So they haven't been following through with it? smh

That's not part of the plan. The plan is that at some point they'll switch over such that they'll only become available through the campground reservation office, I think. The exact wording is unclear if they mean the office in Curry Village or the Recreation.gov reservation number. I'm guessing it should be the former, but who knows for sure until there's a specific press release.

If it's the latter, that should make for some interesting goings on. If you call in your credit card number and name, but it doesn't match the reservation name, then I would think the reservation operator could deny a reservation. It could also be even more interesting if the same person cancels and it's obvious enough that it's the same person trying to book again (i.e. same credit card info and/or name), but with another name at the top of the reservation.

I would hope that they would have some safeguard such as denying a cancelled reservation going back to the same person (as identified by credit card info).
avatar Re: New cables and campsite scalper tactic
July 10, 2011 08:51AM
Well Gary, I still love you.

You are always welcome back.



Chick-on is looking at you!
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