Someone is moving their position manually and making false reports

Jake Thompson

Enthusiast
Oct 27, 2014
4
9
1
Good evening,

Since the Spotter Network Twitter account isn't really monitored, I wasn't sure where to post about this and when I went to the website and clicked support, it directed me to this website/forum. I might sound like a Karen here, but it's getting to the point where it's getting a bit ridiculous and making false reports like this is a serious problem.

I first noticed this issue with this person where they are manually changing their position and making bogus/not creditable reports, mainly in the form of funnel cloud, hail and tornado reports. Her name is Laura Green and between Monday April 11 and Wednesday April 13, she had made numerous SN reports claiming to see a funnel cloud, tornado or large hail, but they are bogus/not creditable reports as she is not actively chasing these storms and appears to just be watching radar and making reports off that, or possibly making reports off what she may see online somewhere.

I had my suspicions on April 11 when she made a funnel and tornado report on a supercell in eastern Oklahoma where multiple chasers were not only chasing the storm, but streaming the storm and there was no such tornado observed at the time of the report. It was also noted that the time between the reports was 20 minutes whereas it would take close to a 30 minute drive from where the first report was made and where the second report was made and also noted that the reports were made in the middle of fields. Then a short time later, she made a report about a tornado being on the ground in Arkansas, but the time between her last report in Oklahoma about a tornado and then the Arkansas report was 14 minutes whereas it would be a 30 minute drive. The Arkansas tornado report was also made in the middle of a hail core whereas the area of interest was well to the south and well covered by storm chasers/spotters who would have made reports about a tornado if one was actually occurring at the time of her report. The same evening she made other funnel, hail and tornado reports in Arkansas where it was clear she was moving her icon/position around manually and making false reports as the time between the reports were shorter than the time it would take to actually drive between the reports.

Here are links to my tweets/threads addressing this issue:



Today, April 13, she is making more false reports in Kentucky, including funnel cloud reports: https://twitter.com/ChaserJake94/status/1514415783950135310?s=20&t=yTSpRPjXB-anvRKlocV7ag

Edit:
More documentation/proof: https://twitter.com/ChaserJake94/status/1514437003357601794?s=20&t=hDNS2h6zgyvDfiVC1t4ldA


Again, just trying to put this out there to the people who work at SN who can hopefully look into this more and hopefully ban/restrict this person from making reports.
 
Last edited:

M Kaiser

Enthusiast
Mar 22, 2022
8
0
1
Grand Junction, Colorado
I was made aware of the article that was posted by the NW Arkansas Gazette last night around 6 PM my time (I’m in Colorado), as I was one who was duped by the TOR- like almost everyone else.

When NWS Little Rock sent their survey teams out and reported that the damage was caused by just straight-line winds and large hail and not a tornado, I was like “How can this be?”

There was quite a number of people that were fooled by the reports. One of them was Ryan Hall, who got online and was reporting on this storm that was about to affect Walnut Ridge, Cherokee Village and a lot of smaller communities. The bad part about this is that the storm wasn’t real.
The article in the newspaper brought everything into perspective.

Spotter Network was hacked, as was NWSChat. I imagine that these two entities will also strengthen their security after what happened.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,439
1,001
21
52
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
I was made aware of the article that was posted by the NW Arkansas Gazette last night around 6 PM my time (I’m in Colorado), as I was one who was duped by the TOR- like almost everyone else.
That article was about the fake tornado reports from April 11th. The person doing that was manually setting their location and sending in false reports. Those reports were deleted and the person was banned.

When NWS Little Rock sent their survey teams out and reported that the damage was caused by just straight-line winds and large hail and not a tornado, I was like “How can this be?”
You are referring to another case - when the NWS issued a tornado warning for a storm based on radar, and then spotters ”saw” a tornado. Not only spotters - but storm chasers, emergency managers, police, county officials, and the public. That can happen especially at night during a tornado warning.

. The bad part about this is that the storm wasn’t real.
The storm was VERY MUCH real. The warning was issued based on radar, not any reports. All reports from that night were “real” - however the spotters, chasers, EM, police, and county officials were misinterpreting what they saw

The article in the newspaper brought everything into perspective.
No - as you misunderstood just about everything :)

Spotter Network was hacked
It wasn’t hacked in either event. The ability to set your location was there from the start, since many in the early 2000s had a separate GPS that wasn’t always easy to hook up to a computer.

THAT ABILITY NO LONGER EXISTS.

as was NWSChat.
NWSChat was ABSOLUTELY NOT HACKED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM.

I imagine that these two entities will also strengthen their security after what happened.
Nope. No security changes at all.

In the future - please ask questions if you aren’t sure. Don’t make claims that are easily disproven.
 
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Jul 5, 2009
1,337
1,371
21
Newtown, Pennsylvania
In the article, supposedly the perpetrator said her *phone* was hacked. I saw no allegations about SpotterNetwork or NWS Chat being hacked:

“Cavanaugh said Spotter Network tracked the Cleveland woman's internet protocol address. When contacted, she said someone had hacked her phone and filed the false reports."Spotter Network asked for proof, but she didn't comply, so they banned her account," said Cavanaugh.”

The woman’s claim is obviously bogus in any case, but the claim was only that her phone (and by extension maybe her Spotter Network *account*) was hacked, not Spotter Network itself.
 
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John Wetter

SN President
Staff member
Dec 11, 2005
945
114
11
Maple Grove, MN
www.WxChaser.com
I was made aware of the article that was posted by the NW Arkansas Gazette last night around 6 PM my time (I’m in Colorado), as I was one who was duped by the TOR- like almost everyone else.
Hi All, as has already been discussed, there were significant issues with the quoted story as well as some incorrect assumptions and assertions around these events. I'd be happy to answer any questions that might still be outstanding.

Another story that provides more context around these events and also additional commentary can be found in this article by the Washington Post.
 

M Kaiser

Enthusiast
Mar 22, 2022
8
0
1
Grand Junction, Colorado
That article was about the fake tornado reports from April 11th. The person doing that was manually setting their location and sending in false reports. Those reports were deleted and the person was banned.



You are referring to another case - when the NWS issued a tornado warning for a storm based on radar, and then spotters ”saw” a tornado. Not only spotters - but storm chasers, emergency managers, police, county officials, and the public. That can happen especially at night during a tornado warning.



The storm was VERY MUCH real. The warning was issued based on radar, not any reports. All reports from that night were “real” - however the spotters, chasers, EM, police, and county officials were misinterpreting what they saw



No - as you misunderstood just about everything :)



It wasn’t hacked in either event. The ability to set your location was there from the start, since many in the early 2000s had a separate GPS that wasn’t always easy to hook up to a computer.

THAT ABILITY NO LONGER EXISTS.



NWSChat was ABSOLUTELY NOT HACKED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM.



Nope. No security changes at all.

In the future - please ask questions if you aren’t sure. Don’t make claims that are easily disproven.
I got all of this lod and clear. I’m sorry for the trouble.
 

Stephane Laroche

Enthusiast
Jul 18, 2021
9
2
1
Blainville, Qc, Can
Hi all.... nice to see fake report are identified but being in camping last 2 days, I was unable to report properly since I could not force update manually my GPS position.. Vortex, poss tornado, damagea from trees broken... If there is no way to report when on the road, I wont report anything since I will be camping and in motorhome in Canada and US starting this year. Maybe SN should rethink this! IT'S like someone having a headache and cutting everyoned head just in case. Void her account.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,439
1,001
21
52
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
Hi all.... nice to see fake report are identified but being in camping last 2 days, I was unable to report properly since I could not force update manually my GPS position
Two-day old reports are not to be sent via SN, so that's good.

A vortex is not reportable via SN.

poss tornado
Never report a possible tornado. Simply report what you see. But as noted above, if you can't report in realtime or damage within a few hours, then SN isn't the place to do it.

If there is no way to report when on the road
There is - as most SN users report when on the road - but if you have no cell signal then that's a different issue. SN can't help you there.
 

Stephane Laroche

Enthusiast
Jul 18, 2021
9
2
1
Blainville, Qc, Can
Thanks for helping here... yes 2 days old would not be reported... I was just not able to report live from my laptop and the motorhome what happened and damages from the high speed wind, I say possible tornado but according to what is reported in the media, it's investigated for a tornado... If nothing can't be done in the future, I will only report when I,m home. Have a nive week.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,439
1,001
21
52
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
You can report from your laptop and motor home, but it has to be live or damage within a few hours. There should be no need to move your location when in your motorhome, just use the GPS output on your laptop or better yet - RadarScope on your phone.
 

Stephane Laroche

Enthusiast
Jul 18, 2021
9
2
1
Blainville, Qc, Can
It was not getting my GPS location on my toughbook cf20... no idea why. Thans why I tried to move to proper location with my latlong... Anyway, since it's not available anymore I will stop reporting. I only have the free RS and can't see to be able to report without paying fee.
Cheers
 
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Randy Jennings

Supporter
May 18, 2013
641
684
11
All versions of RadarScope can make mPing and SpotterNetwork reports (for SN thar assumes you have a SN account and setup RadarScope correctly). You do not have to be a Pro subscriber in RadarScope to make reports. Note mPing reports are delayed, so mPing is not a good way to report major events.