Pokémon GO has quickly become one of the most viral mobile applications of all time – topping Twitter’s active daily users and sees players spending more time in its app than in Facebook, according to reports from various tracking firms. ¹
The popularity of Pokémon GO has turned the heads of fraudsters as well. It wasn’t long after the app launch that malware and phishing schemes targeted enthusiastic and unaware Pokémon players.
Yes, malicious Pokémon GO apps have made their way into the official Google Play Store. At least three fake Pokémon GO apps have been found and removed from the Google Play Store. While they were only available for a short period of time, they still pose a threat—the biggest being one titled “Pokémon GO Ultimate” which attracted 10,000 – 50,000 victims,¹ leaving their cell phone and its contents vulnerable.
On July 29, the Better Business Bureau blogged about a phishing scheme where players received an email stating they needed to upgrade their free version to a paid app costing $12.99/month.²
Not so fast! While in-app purchases are available, there are no current plans to offer a paid version of Pokémon GO. As long as vulnerabilities exist, fraudsters will continue to look for weak links in your personal security practices. And why protecting yourself is so very important.
• Do not open or click on links in unexpected or unfamiliar emails
• Pay attention to the email address and website url
• Don’t believe what you see – scammers are good at replicating websites and email
Having a keen focus on what is real and what may actually be a fraudulent attempt to gain access to your personally identifiable information is critical. Supplementing your efforts with comprehensive identity protection service will further combat the fraudsters lurking behind an email or text message.
SHERPA® Identity Protection provides an all-encompassing identity protection service with 24/7 dark web monitoring of your personal information, including your email addresses.
1. TechCrunch.com, “Pokémon Go Players Tops Twitter Daily Users.” July, 13, 2016.
2. Better Business Bureau Blog, “Pokémon Go Players Fall for Phising Con,” July 28, 2016.