Concerns re: Spoofing [A Dedicated Thread]



  • this falls in line with everything else about ingress. We've had 4 updates since january, and the amount of features in that time that improves the game for players are very tiny.

  • Giving a false sense of order and that they have everything under control? What a joke.

  • DSktrDSktr ✭✭✭✭

    Two iterations of bad actor,right now i see it's third account levelling up,the same place,the same action patterns.

  • We have one here, got 4 accounts banned, their 5th has also been suspended, but only for 30 days, what a great invention is that three-strike policy… Nothing to do against cheating, multiaccounting is impossible to prove and spoofing is simply tolerated.

  • reinstated spoof accounts? lol, it ain't getting better than this. atm the spoofer from my area seems to be busy with minding his own business, but time will telll.. as long as those people with their issues are holding back..

    Niantic, introducing stuff you don't need or want sinds 2012.

  • MirthmakerMirthmaker ✭✭✭✭

    Given the nature of the problem, time for Team Niantic to pay up and hire someone whose sole job is "firing" bot and multi agents at the IP level. I know there are agents that would want to be paid SF money to work from home to clean up Ingress.

  • TheKingEngineTheKingEngine ✭✭✭✭✭

    and this is, unfortunately, a common phenomenon worldwide

  • We have a huge problem in my area with spoofing, on both sides. I'm the only Enl that still plays in the area and because of that the Res has decided that I must be behind the account on the ENL side. This is not the case, no amount of reasoning will convince him otherwise. Now the Res get the ENL spoofers deleted in hours, I mean fast, which is great. Nothing happens to the RES spoofers but then there is no one left to report them. I don't think they will be happy until my account is banned. One agent has made it his mission to get me banned. Without proof, because like I said I don't spoof, will his insistent screaming to anyone who listens get me banned? I seriously think he reports me on the daily. He has resorted to threatening me outside the game, says he has an insider in Niantic that's working with him. Advice? Other agents near the area are not willing to get involved, don't want to become a target.

  • How sad or miserable someone's life has to be for them be this way? Do they even have a life if they are THIS involved in a silly mobile game?

  • This is under threat personality, you should report it directly to ingress support. If you don't violate Niantic ToS, you don't need to be afraid. Even you be reported a thousand timestimes, you will be safe.

  • Welcome to the real world :)

    This game makes you know the real life :)

  • We're dealing with a spoofer on their third account. The first one took two weeks for Niantic to do anything, the second was banned fairly shortly after being created, but the third one is running wild today. Here are our ticket numbers that were ignored by useless bot support.








  • The most egregious spoof from this third iteration was them "driving" from one portal in the woods to an private island in the middle of a lake in a subdivision that doesn't have a boat launch in 20 minutes, despite it taking 21 minutes just to drive from the parking lot, to the road at the side of the lake. Nothing said about the walk back, or the time it takes to launch your boat from someone's yard.

    But Niantic says "looks good to me! I know it's their third account in two days, but it's fine!"

  • Is there any progress? 🤣

    Where did the person who created this thread go?

  • Otrera35Otrera35 ✭✭✭✭

    Haven't heard anything from the person who started this thread. #MIA?

  • “I will post more questions later, I have them.”

    I can’t wait to hear them! You’re waking some of us up & making us think for ourselves. Keep pushing the envelope, your tenacity is inspiring. 💯💚

  • First a bit about where I come from, and then a couple of thoughts on how to reduce spoofing and bots.

    When I started playing this game back in 2013, I got a lot of walking in and met other players in the streets. I didn't plan it as such but it turned out to be the perfect training for through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

    Since I picked up the game again recently, I've met ONE opposing player. The rest of the "agents" breezing through my neighborhood are ghosts. Sometimes, I stand alone by a portal, recharging away as it slowly gets blown up by someone far away at a desk, who then sends their "agent" on an automated recharge & restock mission down miles and miles of streets densely packed with high level portals. Other times, the ghosts simply roll through at set intervals, following exactly the same path, to slowly wear down portals with multiple drive-by bombings while claiming the new neutrals on the each pass.

    After a couple of months it seems clear to me who ghosts are and what accounts they are supporting. The tell-tale signs are multitude:

    • - Highly active accounts that surprisingly never overlap in activity, except for periods of simple repeating patterns.
    • - Highly active accounts that don't seem to have a "home" neighborhood but mostly support another account.
    • - Fast and accurate game action sustained over long periods in downtown areas while "driving" the speed limit regardless of traffic.
    • - Moving from portal to portal in the time Google Maps estimates.

    None of this is proof though. I've been following the local bots for a while now, and while I can think of statistical approaches to flag accounts from inside the system, we users don't have the data resolution to do the work - unless a a spoofing account REALLY screws up and jumps to an impossible location. And regardless, it's an impossible battle when it's so easy to create and level a new ghost agent.

    Ingress is a great game, for so many reasons, and with AR/VR slowly maturing it could really evolve as well. But this level of bots and spoofing is just ridiculous - I wouldn't be surprised if there is more activity by bots and desk players than by humans at this point.

    A few thoughts on how to address spoofing and bots:

    1) Very few single actions can give away spoofing or a bot, but maybe the ones that do should result in a ban?

    2) Use the existing bot and spoofing tools along with best-practices of cheating to create fake players and build statistical models for their typical behaviors.

    3) Combine the highest percentile from above models with telemetry and device data, and challenge flagged accounts with in-play captcha when they seem to be doing automated behavior. Temporarily disable accounts that fail multiple captcha.

    4) Offer a spoofing & automation service for the game that is cheap and effectively deals with above changes and challenges to automation, then shut it down and ban involved accounts. Repeat.

    Good luck with whatever solutions you pursue - I'll really miss this game if it dies.

  • MadBeyondMaxMadBeyondMax ✭✭
    edited April 2023

    We have had a repeat spoofer problem in my area for several months. Having a Vanguard escalate our tickets has gotten some banned, but the latest spoofer has gone unbanned for weeks despite our repeated reports based on strong evidence. Can somebody beyond tier 1 helpdesk please look at the following tickets? These are the tickets that have our strongest evidence:

    23143719 and 23154917: Video evidence (day 1) showing nobody is at the portal

    23167380 and 23157419: Video evidence (day 2) showing nobody is at the portal

    23191312 and 23191436: Impossible travel times

    23179134 and 23180698: Spoofer admits in COMMs that he's spoofing

    Finally, we have a very good idea who is behind all of these spoofers. We think the spoofing accounts will not stop until this person's real account is banned. We offer some novel ways of connecting this person to the now-banned spoofers in the following tickets: 22652873, 23128255, and especially 23209475. Can you please investigate this deeper? Thank you!

    Tagging @NianticThia @NianticVK @NianticBlue @NianticBrian because this thread is over a year old and I don't know if it's actively monitored now.

    Post edited by MadBeyondMax on
  • Sounds familiar, also have a pretty good idea about who's running the spoofing accounts, but can't prove it beyond the accounts never being active at the same time.

    Can I ask how you link spoofing activity to the real account running the ghosts, beyond a time line?

    Good luck, I hope you get that main account banned or at least made aware that it has to stop.

  • More spoofing accounts have started, and more reports are simply ignored. I am astonished how support does not see these are using the same tools and techniques of previously-banned spoofers.

    Can somebody beyond tier 1 helpdesk please look at the following tickets?

    23267215, 23267251, 23267316, 23267364, 23267260

    Tagging @NianticThia @NianticVK @NianticBlue @NianticBrian because this thread is over a year old and I don't know if it's actively monitored.

  • PkmXPkmX ✭✭

    You can already give up trying since they barely look at the forums or even care about this game anymore. The amount of spoofing has been out of hand in my area since 2 or 3 years ago, and we are also pretty sure who is controlling those accounts (just hit his home portal and you will have 5+ spoofer army on your **** within an hour). I've complained to their Asia Pacific community manager personally for years and she basically told me they aren't going to take actions even if I keep reporting those cheaters. Their support team also doesn't seem to have enough brain cells to understand that those alt L8 accounts with platinum/onyx glyphing badges or bots who fire XMP non-stop for 6+ hours in the same place at midnight is not normal gameplay behavior.

  • I'm not sure if they have enough logic to understand the explanation when doing the report, even I'm not sure if they are really human for now

  • BlasseBlasse ✭✭✭

    Yep, it seems spoofing is now legitimate way to play. We have a guy, who is not only taking down fields spoofing, but he is also proud of it. He records his screen while doing this and send us the recordings.

    We reported it countless time. Guess what? Yes - account is still active, guy is still doing the same. @NianticThia

  • WooormsWooorms ✭✭✭


    Thank you for reporting this issue.

    We’re writing to confirm that we have carefully reviewed your report and have taken action where appropriate. Note that not all outcomes may result in a ban.

  • that's ***** ! the evidence is clear! but nothing happens after reporting

  • Dear Niantic,

    Like I've said before, the cheating in my area of play remains out of control. Spoofing, multi-accounting, automatic farming, automatic recharging. It seems there is more cheating than real play going on. Players talk openly about it, sometimes just forgetting who they are supposed to be or who did what, getting the wrong phone out of their pocket. Cheating, or being "clever" and "winning" seems deeply rooted in the culture here.

    And the Niantic reporting system is as ridiculous as the SEC: Players are simply asked to drop evidence of cheating in a black box with a wooden **** gently nodding its head in response? And the next day we can go back out and see the same player cheating in exactly the same way? That's plain abusive. Like this here "suggestion box" to relieve the stress of playing with unbridled cheating or the "three strikes policy"? Cheating is not a mistake. You don't install multiple layers of software and create multiple accounts by mistake.

    But then there are the rainbow fields for Pride Month, and that's a bloody good idea.... I wish some of that creativity could be aimed at dealing with the cheating. Maybe just the most obvious spoofing where players zip around the city as-the-crow-flies? Or the most obvious multi-accounting? Or the players maintaining 500-1000 high-level portals at full charge while on another continent?

    Niantic obviously has the data needed to automatically shut down the most obvious cheating, but I also imagine a skeleton crew focused on keeping things afloat with a smile while we all wait for a miracle. Someone preciously suggested charging a fee to have a human investigating a report on cheating - I could get behind that.

    Actually, this is ALL very American, come to think of it! :P

    I really hope I can walk away this time. It would be the healthiest thing to do.

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