Imagine going though your daily routine and all the sudden you receive this email:
A very scary email to get, especially when you were NOT the one that asked Niantic for this request. Well this happened to me! Someone submitted a request to try and get my account deleted. So how did this happen? Let’s discuss how I got into this predicament and how you can safely protect yourself from any kind of fraud associated with Pokemon GO.
How Exactly Did This Happen?
Trust me I wondered the same thing. But as I thought about it more, it dawned on me. All Niantic needs when you submit a request or complaint of any kind is your primary email and your in game trainer name. THAT’S IT! These two things are relatively easy for anyone to get their hands on. Also, if you’ve allowed anyone to sign into your account on their phone to do an EX raid for example (which is against the ToS by the way), then they have what they need to send any request to Niantic. Same thing applies if you simply give your phone to someone in order to play for you while you’re busy with work, school or family gatherings just to name a few.
How to Protect Yourself
Thankfully, as you can see from the email, Niantic is aware things like this can happen beyond your control. Which is why they ask you to verify the request. Regardless, how can you protect your account? There are a couple things you can do.
1.Never give out your Pokemon GO info or share your device
Now this can be obvious of course, but there are some exceptions. The GO Hub does not endorse breaking the ToS, yet if you do plan to share your information, make sure it is someone you ABSOLUTELY trust! Basically a significant other or family member is the best option. A fellow community member may not be a good idea because what if there are disagreements/fights between you and that person in the future? In an attempt for revenge, they could try to get your account permanently deleted. I’ve given out both my info to one person and shared my device twice with someone I’ve had disagreements with in the past. Safe to say I’ve learned my lesson. I do believe neither of them did it though. From now on, it is ALWAYS better to be safe then sorry!
2. Have two step verification of your email account
This prevents a full on breach of your email account. If the person who tried to get my account deleted, also successfully guessed my password, I would of been screwed if I didn’t have two step verification. They indeed failed guessing my password. I have the two step verification setup anyways. This is a must in general for any attempts of fraud, not only for Pokemon GO.
It is NOT okay to do this to anyone if you have the ability to for ANY reason. It is not a joke, it is not funny. People have spent thousands of hours and dropped a lot of money into this game. Same applies for trying to get someone banned due to an out of game reason instead of a ToS problem. Regardless, keeping our account safe should be a top priority. I’d love to hear some scary stories in the comments below and what steps you take towards account safety!