Pokemon Go Fears with Attacks on the Rise

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Police in England and Wales have been inundated over the summer with incidents involving cult mobile AR game Pokemon Go, with 290 reported in July alone, a new Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.

The BBC claimed officers have been forced to deal with everything from antisocial behavior to violent crimes since the game took hold after it was launched in the first half of July.

Among the most serious of these were incidents in which criminals appear to have tricked players into travelling to certain locations with Pokemon ‘lures,’ before robbing them.

Surrey police were forced to break up a fight that broke out between 30 Pokemon fans out on a hunt, while officers in north Wales were made aware of a man who tried to lure children to his home with the promise of finding Pokemon characters there, the report continued.

In fact, the NSPCC is so concerned about the risks to children playing the game that it has released its own parents’ guide on how to keep kids safe.

Road traffic incidents also featured heavily, with Surrey police discovering nine cars parked across a junction while their owners apparently looked for Pokemon.

According to the report, Lancashire Constabulary recorded the highest number of incidents (39) in the period, followed by West Mercia Police (32). Thames Valley and North Yorkshire police had the lowest number – two each.

So far there don’t appear to have been any fatalities in the UK, although that’s not the case elsewhere in the world.

In Japan, two women have been killed within a week after being hit by motorists playing the game whilst driving.

Paul Farrington, EMEA solution architects manager at Veracode, warned that thieves on the prowl for Pokemon Go players could represent an enterprise security risk.

“Whether it’s identity theft, leaks of personal data or even hacking companies through application vulnerabilities, users must completely secure their devices to keep criminals at bay,” he added.

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