$341 Million Pokémon Go Scam Hits the United States

Fraudsters employing an increasingly complex scheme have victimized innocent people in the United States for over $341 million, according to a suit filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The civil forfeiture lawsuit is an attempt to recover part of the $341 million in funds held in an overseas account in the Cayman Islands, money that the federal government says was stolen from several unsuspecting individuals. The scam which has run barely over one month now followed a very sophisticated pattern that investigators are still trying to uncover.

The scam which has been going on the blind side of the app developer, an app which have received a tremendous boost since an update was released. The scammers were able to clone the app which has pop-ups that encourages users to use their credit and debit cards to buy PokéCoins that are used to purchase Pokéballs. The user after the purchase will never receive the PokéCoins purchased.

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play mobile app that you can download for iOS or Android. It’s free to download and start playing, but you have the option to use real money to buy in-game currency called PokéCoins (Between $0.99 for 100 PokéCoins and up to $99.99 for 14,500). Those PokéCoins are used to purchase Pokéballs, the in-game item you need to be able to catch Pokémon. Now you don’t have to spend real money, but that simply means you need to pay with your time and energy (which is the fun of it, anyway!).

The game works by using your phone’s GPS for your real-world location and augmented reality to bring up those cool-looking Pokémon on your screen, overlaid on top of what you see in front of you. And you—the digital you—can be customized with clothing, a faction (or “team” of players you can join) and other options, and you level up as you play.


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