• Random Images


  • Be aware of scammers praying on families of hikers completing the trail

    I just received an email from a family that just got hit with a scam that I wanted to make everyone aware of. Here is a portion of the email.

    I am the father of a thru hiker that just completed the AT this month. Our family just got hit by a scam we believe involves AT hikers that anyone on the trail or planning to be on the trail should be aware of. There is a scam ring on social media watching those who complete the trail, and, if they can determine who their elderly relatives are (also through social media), they attempt to pull off the 'Grandma Scam'. They contact the grandparents posing as the hiker saying they've been in an accident, need money, not to tell their parents - and elderly grandparents fall for it, and send money to the scammers using numbers from untraceable Target or similar gift or bank cards - typically around $2,000-$4,000 worth. It is a masterful scam- they know their families and know their grand kid just completed the trail and are on the way back home etc. The scammers string of phone numbers are landlines from NY State. We think all hikers (current and future) should alert their families of this scam.
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Hot Flash's Avatar
      Hot Flash -
      Preying. Kind of a big difference
    1. Slow Trek's Avatar
      Slow Trek -
      Another good reason to avoid Facebook.
    1. Professor Paul's Avatar
      Professor Paul -
      Some people really suck.
    1. Curious G's Avatar
      Curious G -
      I'm curious about who the source of this info is. Every hiker ever is supposed to contact their entire families and scare them more about trail life because an anonymous poster allegedly got an e-mail? Anybody else seen proof of this? Know who this poster is? Heard of this scam? Let's just say for the sake of argument that the real hoax is this post and a real live kid needs help out there but gets jammed up because of a booger bear story.
    1. Francis Sawyer's Avatar
      Francis Sawyer -
      When you post all of your comings and goings in a public forum you become easy pickins.
    1. nc_mike's Avatar
      nc_mike -
      Quote Originally Posted by Curious G View Post
      I'm curious about who the source of this info is. Every hiker ever is supposed to contact their entire families and scare them more about trail life because an anonymous poster allegedly got an e-mail? Anybody else seen proof of this? Know who this poster is? Heard of this scam? Let's just say for the sake of argument that the real hoax is this post and a real live kid needs help out there but gets jammed up because of a booger bear story.
      I am the source; this is legit. I am sorry I could not directly post and respond sooner; I can understand you being cynical. When our family was scammed I registered on this site but could not post until the admin helped resolve it. Instead, the site admin posted for me as I felt time was of the essence. My child completed the AT from Georgia to Maine in early Sept. Likely with a series of shared social posts on FB, Pintrest, and related channels, the scammers could figure out timing and relationships. They took advantage of an elderly family member, but luckily, we could stem most, but not all of the losses. Just be careful; The scammers likely figured out that those coming off the trail are easy pickin's with not having consistent communications and needing to travel. There were many more clues picked up from the police that the scammers were looking for AT hikers. Watch what is posted, and what is shared. You don't have to contact your entire family, but based on our experience I would suggest making sire older relatives be fully informed.

      Take it for what itís worth; I was compelled to share and inform as best I could. When your child is on the trail, there is a sense that all the hikers are your family. I am sure many here can relate.

      NC_Mike
    1. Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
      Sarcasm the elf -
      I've been the recipient of this type of scam attempt via email in the past involving friends who were traveling abroad. It worked almost identically to what was described above, was very well planned, and it was clear that the scammers were in possession of a certain amount of personal information from the marked friend. Fortunately I was skeptical enough not to fall for it, but I can certainly see how more trusting people may not be so lucky.
    1. HooKooDooKu's Avatar
      HooKooDooKu -
      It sounds like a legitimate spin-off on the general grand parents scam...
      A scammer contacts an older person, potentially by phone, text, or even facebook. They then convince the mark that they are one of their grand kids in some sort of trouble and need money for bail, to pay a fine, or travel expenses.

      I've personally known someone who has fallen for this scam by a scammer that was good enough to simply make leading statements and convinced the mark they were one of their grand kids when the spammer didn't even know the name of any of the mark's grand kids at the start of the call.

      So any additional information a scammer could use to better sell the scam makes a lot of sense... especially if a scammer can match a grand parent to a grand child to a phone number to a situation (the grand child is known to be out of town).

      So this wouldn't only be an issue at the end of someone's hike... just simply using the knowledge a person is out of town would be enough to help get a mark to fall for the scam.
    1. hitrailer's Avatar
      hitrailer -
      Happened to me while I was on the AT with my son. Got a call that my son was kidnapped in Central America and ransom would be necessary to get him released. We both laughed and played along for awhile. Then I put my son on the line and told the caller to get lost and hung up. This was about ten years ago.
  • Recent RSS feeds

    map man

    Congress set to approve Welch legislation extending North Country National Scenic Tra

    The North Country Trail Association is already showing a tentative route for this trail extension on their interactive map. It crosses Lake Champlain

    map man 02-13-2019, 20:33 Go to last post
    WhiteBlaze

    Congress set to approve Welch legislation extending North Country National Scenic Tra

    Congress set to approve Welch legislation extending North Country National Scenic Trail into Vermont  Vermont BizVermont Business Magazine

    WhiteBlaze 02-12-2019, 20:50 Go to last post
    WhiteBlaze

    Kincora Hostel to soon reach 25,000 hikers hosted along Appalachian Trail - Blue Ridg

    Kincora Hostel to soon reach 25,000 hikers hosted along Appalachian Trail  Blue Ridge Outdoors MagazineBob Peoples, owner of Kincora

    WhiteBlaze 02-12-2019, 12:50 Go to last post
    WhiteBlaze

    PIPELINES: Feds echo Appalachian Trail concerns -- Tuesday, February 12, 2019 -- www.

    PIPELINES: Feds echo Appalachian Trail concerns -- Tuesday, February 12, 2019 -- www.eenews.net E&E News -- Start a free trial  E&E

    WhiteBlaze 02-12-2019, 08:40 Go to last post
  • Newest Images

  • Log in

    User Name:

    Password:
    Remember Me?
  • Make a yearly donation.

    Donate and support the web site and our writers


  • Have you thru hiked or section hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail? If you have, please add yourself to our 2,000 miler listing/database.

  • Recent Threads

    Nameth

    Gossamer/Borah Gear Combo

    Thread Starter: Nameth

    New, never used Borah Bug Bivy(6.98oz), side zip(R) and 2nd owner, never used by me Gossamer Twinn Tarp, w/Lineloc 3s and guylines(9.31oz), excellent

    Last Post By: Nameth Today, 21:44 Go to last post
    adam12

    Tipping Shuttle Drivers

    Thread Starter: adam12

    Is it appropriate to tip shuttle drivers?? How many of you do?

    Last Post By: Pringles Today, 20:54 Go to last post
    Former Admin

    Cougars ( mountain lions)

    Thread Starter: Former Admin

    There have been reports of mountain lions making a comeback along the trail. For many years these animals have been thought of all but extinct along the

    Last Post By: tdoczi Today, 20:35 Go to last post
    royalusa

    Tucson Area Day Hikes

    Thread Starter: royalusa

    Any recommendations for your favorite day hikes in the Tucson area? Nothing huge mileage wise - perhaps around 5-10 miles round trip.

    Last Post By: tdoczi Today, 20:15 Go to last post
    Mother Natures Son

    Romantic places on the Trail

    Thread Starter: Mother Natures Son

    This, being Valentine's Day, I have to ask, is there any romantic places, trail towns, that would cause your heart to flutter on a day like this? My personal

    Last Post By: tdoczi Today, 20:10 Go to last post
    Patrickjd9

    Synthetic Puffy to fit Broad Shoulders?

    Thread Starter: Patrickjd9

    I've been shopping for a lightweight synthetic puffy jacket for a vacation next month with limited luggage, then section hiking between Vermont and Maine

    Last Post By: iceaxe56 Today, 19:56 Go to last post