Pokemon Go is taking the country by storm, but the Better Business Bureau is warning users that some nuances in the game could spell trouble, if they're not careful.

I admit, I'm one of the few people who hasn't downloaded the game to my phone. But I have seen it on coworkers' phones, and have listened to my son and his wife tell me all about the game, including a location in Orrington that has at least one character. Their enthusiasm was infectious and made me realize just how much fun folks are having with the new app that uses mapping software to create a virtual reality game.

But, like with all things we enjoy, there are drawbacks. And the Better Business Bureau of Boston has offered some tips on things to keep in mind when you start to play.

  • 1

    It Can Get Expensive

    While it is possible to play the game totally cost-free, by earning PokeCoins in the course of the game, folks can also buy the coins through an in-app purchase. And the longer you play, the more you need to progress in the game, and that costs more money. Plus, the app requires constant GPS access, which uses a lot of data. That could result in a big bill at the end of the month from your service provider!

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  • 2

    Security Issues

    There have been some issues with the privacy settings associated with this app. The BBB says the Android version of the game is only allowed limited access, like your gmail account address. But the iOS version for the iPhone can access all your Google data. The game's maker, Niantic, says no personal info has been accessed and it's issuing a bug fix to deal with the problem. Plus, you're allowing others to access your phone and camera.

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  • 3


    Be careful where you get your Pokemon app. So far, the game's only available in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. And that's given cybercriminals an opportunity to capitalize on the craze. Make sure, when you go looking for the app to download, that you get it from official app stores, and not third-party sites. There are no reports of malware infections, but there's always a first time!

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  • 4

    Personal Safety

    Unlike games where you sit on your couch and play, with Pokemon Go you're out in the real world, so keep your personal safety in mind. Some of these are obvious, like don't play while driving, look before crossing streets, and keep an eye on your batteries and where you are, so you don't get stranded far from home without a way to call for a ride. In addition, police say some crooks are targeting PokeStops as a place to rob players. Stay alert!

    Jean Chung
  • 5

    Respect Property Owners

    While PokeStops are supposed to be on public property or cooperative private sites, at least one owner of a historic home has reported that his place is on the game. Be respectful of people's property. Don't hang around outside someone's house or walk into cemetaries where funeral services are being held. I know one former coworker who's had issues with people constantly stopping in her driveway, because there's a PokeStop nearby.

    The game is fun and gets you out in the community! Just make sure you're being safe, and not intruding on others when you play. Pokemon Go!

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