Our Pokemon Go blogpost becomes scammer bait

Our Pokemon Go blogpost becomes scammer bait

You know when you write about a Pokemon GO scam and casually mention how criminals use Lure Modules as bait for mugging victims? Of course you do (well, maybe not).

As it turns out, the blogpost itself became a Pokemon-style lure – for comment section drive-by scammers. Behold the following ill-advised missive (thanks, Luca!):

Pokemon GO Pokecoins online hack for both Android and iOS devices and your device doesn't need to be rooted or jailbroken. Our easy and safe to use Pokemon GO Pokecoins hack tool is the only cheat that will actually generate you free Pokecoins for your Pokemon GO account! [URL]

I mean, whoops? Here was me thinking I’m supposed to go out and catch them all or whatever. I can’t get fit and healthy waving my phone at trees and the occasional power plant if they turn up on the doorstep. Did I say power plant? Yep:

Games are weird, aren’t they?

Let’s see what our mystery spam site – located at pokecoins(dot)mobicheats(dot)org – is all about:

pokespam site

As with most of these scams, the answer is “getting your hands on free Pokecoins” (as opposed the actual route of buying them). You enter your username, device, and flip an entirely useless “Toggle encryption” switch – should you want to – giving the illusion that they’re actually going to do something at their end. After selecting the desired amount of Pokecoins and Pokeballs, the would-be Pokemon collector is sent to another webpage offering up apps:

pokespam app downloads

In testing, our researchers found that the links took them to additional survey offers rather than downloads but given the dubious nature of the “Free coins” offer in the first place, that’s likely a blessing in disguise.

That’s one Poke-scam in the bag. Do we have another? We sure do.

On Twitter, we observed the following account promoting a scam site. The twist?

They pretend to link to OUR article about Pokemon Go scams (while in reality linking to their fakeout), as well as using our screenshots – with the icing on the cake being that we’re DEFINITELY going to see it given they mention us in their Tweets.

twitter pokemon spam

Pokemon GO: survey scams choose you | Malwarebytes Labs [bit.ly URL]

In terms of OPSEC, setting off a huge “We’re here, everybody, and most especially Malwarebytes, that’s Malwarebytes, thanks for coming” firework isn’t great for the scammers, but it’s certainly a good way to end up in one of our blogs.

With that in mind, step right up, pokemongoapp(dot)top:

another scam site

This Pokecoins Generator asks you to “choose” a Pokecoin pack, and then it fires up Ye Olde Survey Scams to verify that you’re a human:

choose your pack
verify your coins

Thanks, but no thanks.

We’re bound to see a lot more Pokecoin-centric scams over the coming weeks, and any players of Pokemon GO should give these claims of free coins a very wide berth.

Christopher Boyd


Christopher Boyd

Former Director of Research at FaceTime Security Labs. He has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for threats like you.