Abuse: Melton West, VIC, Australia
I cam across a fake nomination in Melton West, Victoria. Through some investigation of nearby Wayspots I uncovered a number of fakes. I am not sure how deep this rabbit hole goes, but here is what I have found so far.
Tagging @Unicornsrule107-PGO because they already started uncovering this abuse months ago in this thread: https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/discussion/22560/fake-wayspot-locations-in-point-cook-victoria/p1
Green Dragonflies Mural
Nominated location: -37.6658479,144.5577647
Actual location: Stolen from existing portal @ https://intel.ingress.com/?pll=-27.457889,153.181415
This park was located right below the faked Wayspot. The s2 grid overlay shows that it has been 100% optimised for Pokemon Go POIs. A number of these Wayspots are confirmed as stolen from existing portals in other locations.
Birds Main Lake #1
- Fake location: -37.666563,144.55753
- Real location: Stolen from https://intel.ingress.com/?pll=-37.69235,144.589043
Birds Main Lake #2
- Fake location: -37.667397,144.557343
- Real location: Stolen from https://intel.ingress.com/?pll=-37.692531,144.58747
Birds Main Lake #3
- Fake location: -37.667071,144.55767
- Real location: Stolen from https://intel.ingress.com/?pll=-37.693981,144.587341
Birds Small Lake
- Fake location: -37.666496,144.558133
- Real location: Stolen from https://intel.ingress.com/?pll=-37.692061,144.590508
Frog Dreaming - Art Installation
- Fake location: -37.666136,144.557174
- Real location: Actual sculpture is at -37.881645,144.735737. https://www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/venues/frog-dreaming-2011-maree-clarke-vicki-couzens-jeph-neale.
Comparing the POI photo to the photo from the website, you can see a common gazebo shape on the left, and a car park in the background of the Wayspot photo which doesn't match the surrounding area.
Other Questionable Wayspots:
These are ones which I suspect are also stolen from other locations but I haven't found the original source.
The Wheely Awesome Bench
- Background does not match Streetview, which is only six months old. Differences include the fence design, plus there is no tree at this location large enough to cast a shadow as seen in the Wayspot photo.
Red & White Dogs Utility Box - Borrowdale Rd
- Wayspot photo shows two utility boxes close together, whereas the recent Street View and satellite only show one. The utility box with the mural cannot be the one shown on Street View due to different proximity to the footpath, but the utility box appears old and worn in parts so it is unlikely to have been built in the last six months. Additionally, there is a very unique lamp post structure which I could not find anywhere on the surrounding Street View.
Coloured Rectangles Utility Box - Mint Blvd
- This is one which @Unicornsrule107-PGO flagged as a likely fake in their thread in September 2021. In addition to the background fencing not matching, and it not appearing on the nearby Street View from Jan 2021, if you go to the street view from the opposite side of the park then you can see that it was not painted as of July 2021, only a month before Unicornsrule107 posted the image of it. If you check your approval logs and it turns out that this was submitted before July 2021 then that would be proof that it is faked.
Harkness to Melton Trail Map
- Okay so this is a really weird one. The background imagery 100% matches the stated location: it is the same house, give way sign and road, for sure. But look at the "YOU ARE HERE" marker in the map. This sign is supposed to be located 8 kilometres away. There is a portal at the actual location: https://intel.ingress.com/?pll=-37.733297,144.577816, which shows the same map. Has the sign been physically moved from its real location to 8 kilometres away so someone can get another Pokestop?
I have suspicions that the series of memorial plaques located near -37.664708,144.54985 are all actually located at Federation Drive (near -37.677108,144.598556). This include one which says "Federation Thanks" -- indicating it is part of the Federation Drive series (there is nothing near this road called "Federation").
None of these Wayspots match live Ingress ones at Federation Drive, but this article (https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north-west/memorial-plaques-stolen-from-meltons-avenue-of-honour/news-story/e3384fdaac8654c11e1d895158449dbd) indicates that there are "100 plaques, set in concrete underneath trees along Federation Drive", as of 2016. Only 11 of these plaques are Wayspots in Ingress, so I suspect that the submitter has photographed other plaques from there and has submitted them remotely / from the gallery. Note that once again, the part on the right has been optimised for level 17 s2 cells to maximise Pokestop/Gym output.
There are also at least 18 small trail markers that I am extremely suspicious about. Could they have been printed and then attached to random poles/trees/fence posts? In the case of at least one, the shadow gives away that the screws are not actually screwed in for real.
There is no reference online to the "Melton Trail Network" anywhere. All are conveniently placed to make additional Pokestops/Gyms, and they only seem to appear in the corner of the suburb where the other fraudulent/fake nominations are.
This is not what standard trail markers look like, either. These are the actual trail markers all throughout the suburb.
I could be wrong about these. If any players from the local area read this, I would be very curious to see if any of those circular trail markers can be found in real life.
But anyway, I think given the high level of abuse already proven through stolen Wayspots that there should be a heightened level of scrutiny should be applied to the area and to all submissions from those player(s).