Fake versions of Pokemon Go have found their way into the Google Play Store and been downloaded tens of thousands of times.
The fake Pokemon Go apps were found to be available to download under the names “Pokemon Go Ultimate”, “Go Catch ‘Em All” and “Pokémon Go: New Version for Free App Game!”.
The “Go Catch ‘Em All” app even made its way onto Apple’s list of top apps in available in the iOS store.
While not all of these fake apps are necessarily malicious, cyber security firm ESET, found that Pokemon Go Ultimate operates in the background to secretly visit porn sites without the user’s knowledge.
Found available to download from Android’s app store, Pokemon Go Ultimate locks users out of the their forcing them to restart. When the phone is restarted the app works in the background clicking on ads and visiting adult sites in order to generate fraudulent ad revenue for its cyber criminal creators.
Users who have already installed Pokemon Go Ultimate can remove it from by going to Settings > Applications Manager > PI Network and tapping on uninstall.
Another unofficial Pokemon Go Android app called “Guide & Cheats for Pokémon Go” attempts to make users pay for fake add ons such as Pokeballs, Pokecoins and Lucky Eggs.
The malicious apps have now been removed from the App Store and Google Play Store but they have already been downloaded more than 50,000 times.
Pokemon Go creators Niantic recommends that players only download the game from official app stores and always read the reviews for positive or negative comments from other users before installing.
The increase in fake Pokemon Go apps comes just a week after cyber criminals tried taking advantage of the popularity of the game by creating fake APK files that contained a piece of malware which was subsequently installed by users trying to download the game before the official release in their respective country.
By downloading any app or game outside of an authorised app store, users are increasing the chances of their phone becoming infected with malware or other viruses.