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Pokémon GO players look out: Robbers used the game to find 9 victims

by Eric Frederiksen | July 11, 2016July 11, 2016 6:00 am PDT

The world of social media has been allowing criminals to get creative for some time. If you’ve posted to social media from home with your GPS enabled, you might be unknowingly informing would-be robbers of your address and when you are and aren’t home. Now, Pokémon GO is giving them another way.

Police in O’Fallon, Missouri arrested four men, aged 16 to 18, who had used the game to rob eight or nine victims. Using the game, the group would find hotspots where players were likely to go and catch them off-guard.

The last robbery, according to Gizmodo, happened around 2 a.m. on Sunday, before the men were arrested.

The same way that thieves have been using social media to find their victims, they’ve also been using the distracting nature of them to choose ripe targets. I wrote about this back in 2012, and it’s still relevant.

If you’re going out to play Pokémon GO, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Keep your head up. It can be tempting to keep your eye on your phone, but if you look like you’re aware of your surroundings, you’ll be much less appealing.
  2. Hunt in groups. It’s good to hang out with your friends and family anyway – they miss you. Why can’t you at least call? If you’re in a group, that’ll help cut down as well. Lone targets are much easier to go after.
  3. Pay attention to where you are. Stay in public, visible areas.
  4. If your kids are the ones hunting down Zubat (seriously, why Zubat) and Pikachu, maybe go with them. You could use the exercise.
  5. Enable Find my iPhone or something similar, just in case.
  6. And put your phone away when you’re not using it.

Get out there, still, though. If you don’t, how can you be the best – the very best – the best that ever was? If the lyrics to the Pokémon TV show are to believed, it’s your destiny.

Gizmodo

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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