July 26 2016

Police Warn of Scam Targeting Pokémon GO Players


Pokémon GO has become a very successful app in a short period of time. 


What’s not to love about it? It promotes exercise, opens up the opportunity to meet new people and, for people of a certain age, lets them live in real life what they loved doing on game consoles. 


However, as with anything that is popular, there are people out there trying to take advantage of it. 


The Burlington Police Department alerted people on social media to a new scam targeting users of the game and linked to a warning from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 


In the warning the BBB says players have reported receiving an email addressed to Pokémon GO players. The message reads: "due to the overwhelming response to our new Pokémon GO app and the need for more powerful servers we can no longer afford to keep your account as free." It goes on to say the developers are now charging $12.99 a month, and your account will be frozen if you don't upgrade.


The email urges you to click a link, log in to the app store and purchase the "full version,” the BBB states. Don't do it! The log-in form isn't run by an official app store or Ninatic Labs, the game's developers. It's on a third party site, and it is a way to steal users' passwords. 


Unfortunately,  the BBB continues, this is not the only Pokémon GO scam out there. Before the app launched, scammers lured victims with the promise of getting early beta test access to the game. Then, a fake version of the game appeared in some app stores. As long as the app stays popular, scammers will devise new ways to fool players. 


How to Spot a Phishing Scam :


  • - Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. Do not click on links or open files in unfamiliar emails.

  • - Check the reply email address. One easy way to spot an email scam is to look at the reply email. The address should be on a company domain, such asjsmith@company.com.

  • - Don't believe what you see. Just because an email looks real, doesn't mean it is. Scammers can fake anything from a company logo to the "Sent" email address. 

  • - Consider how the organization normally contacts you. If an organization normally reaches you by mail, be suspicious if you suddenly start receiving emails or text messages without ever opting in to the new communications.  

  • - Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Be especially wary of messages you have not subscribed to or companies you have never done business with in the past. 
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