‘Pokemon GO’ Bans Legit Player After Spoofers Report False TOS And Trainer Guideline Violations To Niantic

Recently, one Pokémon trainer stepped forward and shared a personal story on Reddit about how spoofers got him/her banned from Pokémon GO.

On the subreddit for Pokémon GO players, ValValor shared his/her horrible experience with spoofers in Niantic’s AR game. According to the post, the gamer had been playing the mobile game since its launch and reached level 39.

The gamer’s post states that spoofers from Team Instinct dominated gyms in the surrounding areas. The Redditor indicates in the post that Team Valor gyms were very hard to maintain due to these Team Instinct spoofers. To fight the Pokémon trainers not playing by the rules, ValValor would drop high Blisseys and give them gold berries when the spoofers came, presumably to the Team Valor gym.

Instead of leaving the area, however, the spoofers retaliated by contacting Niantic. They sent false reports to the software company stating that ValValor was exhibiting offensive behavior and used vulgar language while playing the game. Based on the Reddit post, Niantic followed up on the reports and sent the Redditor emails about the violations. Eventually, ValValor’s account was suspended for violating the Terms of Service (TOS) and Trainer Guidelines of Pokémon GO.

The legitimate Pokémon player had to confirm to Niantic that he/she understood the TOS and Trainer Guidelines of the game to reinstate the account. After the account was restored, ValValor avoided gyms for a while.

Unfortunately, the spoofers did not stop there. When ValValor finally returned to the team gym, Niantic put a hold on his/her account once again for reports of real harassment, presumably from the spoofers. The player was able to reactivate the account once again.

Sadly, the spoofers would not stop their assault and eventually sent enough reports to get the Redditor’s account deleted permanently. The former Pokémon trainer tried to get the account reactivated but was abruptly struck down by Niantic. According to the American software company, the player had violated the game’s TOS and could not revive the account.

ValValor’s Reddit post was met with frustration by other legitimate Pokémon GO players. According to some comments, ValValor’s experience was not an isolated one. Many players have been in similar situations with spoofers.

“I won’t lie. I believe you. I have seen a plethora of similar stories in Ingress. Niantic needs to do something about it,” commented slothguard on the Reddit post.

Many of the Pokémon players who commented on the post believe that Niantic does not show the same iron fist when it comes to spoofers.

“How ironic that after all the reporting from legit people, spoofers are the ones that get trainers banned,” said hooohoono.

“Fun fact: There’s a guy in my area with 16 accounts, and he’s been reported multiple times. In recent times he’s become very aggressive, and I [reported] six of this guy’s accounts and screenshot proof of him threatening to bring a gun to a raid to get a certain person. I never heard back, and the guy still plays, and other players keep quitting because of him,” reported FrozenPineappleJuice.

There is some evidence to support the idea that Niantic hasn’t quite done enough to discourage spoofing. In fact, there is a subreddit dedicated to Pokémon GO spoofing. It has over 7,000 subscribers.

The developer of the AR game tried to implement a new privacy policy in early November that would help weed out spoofers in Pokémon GO, reported Game Rant. An addendum to the game’s privacy policy revealed that Niantic could view the settings, general information, and activity of other apps on users’ phones. The move could allegedly put a stop to GPS spoofing apps.

However, ValValor’s post and the reactions to it, prove that Niantic hasn’t eradicated spoofing in the game entirely. On the contrary, based on the Pokémon GO spoofing subreddit, spoofers are getting more creative and are finding news way to trick the game.

[Featured Image by Koji Sasahara/AP Images]