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Controversial Cache Stealing Website Back Online | The Geocaching Junkie

I tend to steer clear of negative aspects of geocaching on my blog, as I figure there is enough negativity on your social media feeds without me highlighting any negativity that might exist in our hobby. However, upon much reflection, I’ve decided to talk about the reappearance of what is basically an anti-geocaching site.

The website promotes the muggling of caches to “cleanup [sic] our land, our parks, our cemeteries, historical landmarks from these caches” and requests a $29.99 fee for the privilege of doing so.

The front page of Muggled.net states:

THE GATES HAVE OPENED ON 08.16.2016! WE ARE BACK AFTER 4 YEARS AND ARE READY FOR THE MUGGLE COMMUNITY TO PROSPER! WE ARE THE FIRST AND ORIGINAL WEBSITE COMMUNITY TO HOST MUGGLING OF GEOCACHES! BE A PART OF GEOCACHING HISTORY AND JOIN THE THRILL OF OUR SOCIETY…

The only prerequisite for membership is to have an account with a geocache listing site, ‘that does not muggle caches’. That, and thirty US dollars.

The site is owned by Gerald Roman, who joined various geocaching Facebook groups worldwide over the past few days to promote the reopening of his page.

muggled net FB

Interestingly, the site was closed down by founder Roman in 2013, when he contacted New Zealand based blog It’s Not About The Numbers to apologise after realising the site was a stupid idea. Speaking to the blog, the Alabama resident stated that it would be shut down ‘for good’ and admitted that they had no members anyway.

In fact, the homepage for the site was changed with a statement that they ‘deeply apologize to any geocachers or followers, that we might have offended with our site.’ The premise of the site three years ago was to encourage members to steal caches, and list them on muggled.net for a $10 listing fee. Cache owners who were victims of this theft could then pay $10 to have the cache returned to them, in what essentially amounts to extortion.

According to a news article from Apalachicola Times in September 2013, Groundspeak had moved to sue to have the website taken down:

(Roman)… maintained that geocaches, once placed, were abandoned and belonged to nobody. Groundspeak disagreed and had set litigation in motion. But, in June, Roman voluntarily took down the website and the YouTube posting after he said he received threats to himself and his family.

Obviously, Mr Roman knows that geocachers love stats, so he has this eye-catching number on his front page:

mugglednet

That’s right, a whopping ZERO caches muggled to date. He obviously has high hopes though, as he’s set up a nine digit counter.

Needless to say, the reaction of the caching community has been a mix of shock and anger, with a note already set up on Facebook by Dane Morgan (caching name Team AMZO), instructing concerned geocachers on how to report the site to PayPal, where he is collecting ‘membership’ fees, Go Daddy, where the domain is registered and In Motion, where the site is hosted. Morgan writes:

Engaging in discussions with these people and arguing the merits of the situation is fruitless and futile. They choose to violate the law and justify their actions with banal and juvenile fallacies.

The post has been shared 138 times so far and is still gaining traction.

It is hard to believe that someone who calls themselves a geocacher can have so much hate for the game. It is NEVER ok to steal someone’s cache that they have spent time, money and effort creating. If you don’t like the cache, that’s fine but just because you’re not fond of finding tupperware boxes does not mean it’s ok to take away the enjoyment from others.

Time will tell how long the site will stay live for on this occasion. One thing is for sure, the global caching community has a loud voice when we shout in unison and the complete rejection of this site is coming across loud and clear.

Sarah

© 2016 | Sarah Murphy | All Rights Reserved

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Controversial Cache Stealing Website Back Online | The Geocaching Junkie

  1. I just checked out their site and it’s only a single page… no matter what link you click on, it only brings you to one page (other then the “sign up” page I guess)

    Seems pretty clear that this is just a lonely man who is looking for attention in whatever way he possibly can. a Lonely troll living under a bridge looking for someone to talk to… even if it is him patrolling the bridge and being a jerk, at least he’s talking to someone.

    I imagine if we all just leave it along and ignore him he will go away shortly with his tail between his legs.

    1. Let’s hope so. This is why I thought long and hard about even writing this blog post – it’s the age old ‘don’t feed the troll’ but I wanted to make people aware that unfortunately this happens and it’s not ok

    2. Ostensibly there are more pages once you’ve paid at payPal,

      That is unclear though as the PayPal button is not connected to any automated cart system. BuddyPress membership software is installed on the site, but once you’ve paid you are sent to a form to fill out requesting your membership, which he promises to process, manually, within 24 hours.

    3. I love the idea of this actually. It isn’t like it has to be hatred for the game. It to me is just another way to play the game. I don’t see it as negativity I see it as fun. And I did sign up and the site is pretty well put together. It isn’t just 1 page. It is until you sign up then you see the rest of it. I am excited about it.

  2. ================
    muggled.net Update
    ================

    The site is still available so GoDaddy and InMotion have not taken any actions to defend their policy agreements, but when you click through to the PayPal buy button, Paypal is reporting an error that:

    “This transaction is invalid. Please return to the recipient’s website to complete your transaction using their regular checkout flow.”

    So for now, at least he cannot take payments for memberships and realize a profit from promoting criminal activities.

    Thanks to your efforts we have deprived him of a resource for running his network.

    Pat yourselves on the back, but be ready to take more action if he tries again.

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