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Shocking Pokemon Go App Launch: Live Streamed Murder, Fake Upgrade, And Armed Robbery

How the scam works:

(with video below) The launch of Pokemon Go, an app that uses "real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokemon", came with a plethora of controversial details, scams, and news. The latest? You may be receiving an email supposedly from Pokemon Go app maker Niantic Labs announcing it will begin to charge $12.99 a month to use the full version. This comes right after a user named Alex Ramirez claimed he witnessed a murder while live streaming the game.

Watch the video below to see Ramirez's shocking clip:

Alex Ramirez Witnesses Murder Interview Video

While Ramirez's claim was considered by many as being hoax, let's go back to the scam email. The content reads: "We regret to inform you that 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”.

The scam email comes from a domain not associated with Niantic Labs. Links in the email don’t point to Google’s or Apple’s app stores, but third-party servers. And users who do click through aren’t offered any paid software, but instead asked to authenticate in an attempt to steal credentials from major email providers.

The game is currently the most-downloaded free app at Apple’s iTunes. The email also informs you that Nintendo would “freeze accounts in 24 hours if users do not upgrade through the app store.". Rest assured, this is a scam and you do not have to do it.

The app has been downloaded 7.5M times in the U.S. alone in under a week, prompting someone to try and cash in at least. Nintendo shares, which trade in Tokyo, appreciated 12.8%. They’re up nearly 59%.

Controversial Permissions

On the other hand, Senator Al Franken raised concerns about user information the game collects. Pokemon Go’s privacy policy “suggests that Niantic can collect a broad swath of personal information from its players,” he says in a letter to John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic — a company that Google spun off last year that developed the game. That data “can then be shared with [the app provider] and ‘third party service providers’… for a non-exhaustive list of purposes.”

According to USA Today, "concerns over the data accessed by Pokémon Go surfaced when players noticed the permissions granted to the game when connected to Google accounts. According to a Google support page, granting full access allows an app to "see and modify nearly all information in your Google Account." The exceptions are changing your password, deleting your account or making purchases through Google Pay."

However, the developers say the game was requesting full access to Google accounts in error when users sign up to play on Apple's iPhone. In a statement sent to USA Today, Niantic Inc. specifies the app "erroneously requests" full access to the player's Google account when logging in with their Google credentials through iOS, Apple's mobile operating system. Niantic says they are working on a fix, and Google will reduce permissions required by the app.

 

Armed Robberies Confirmed By Police

Since its launch on July 6, Pokemon Go has been making a lot of waves, another one being a string of armed robberies that took place in Missouri which were perpetrated by suspects who targeted their victims using Pokémon Go, according to a Facebook post by the O'Fallon Missouri Police Department:

"This morning at approximately 2 AM we responded to the report of an Armed Robbery near the intersection of Highway K and Feise Road. We were able to locate four suspects occupying a black BMW a short time later and recover a handgun. These suspects are suspected of multiple Armed Robberies both in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. It is believed these suspects targeted their victims through the Pokemon Go smartphone application. Many of you have heard of Pokemon Go, but for those that have not, it is a type of Geo Caching game where you find and capture Pokemon characters at various locations. If you use this app (or other similar type apps) or have children that do we ask you to please use caution when alerting strangers of your future location."

Pokemon Go has been arguably named "the most addictive game ever", by several bloggers.

 

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