The irony of breaking rules in a lawless world was apparently lost

Gamers who have accidentally come into counterfeit GTA$ will not be punished

Rockstar has announced a fresh wave of sanctions against GTA 5 Online cheaters, promising to levy in-game penalties, confiscate ill-gotten items and in some cases ban players.

The game's online element was taken down for maintenance for 24 hours this week, largely so all of the counterfeit GTA$ dollars circulating could be removed from the game's economy.

The manipulation of the in-game currency has been causing problems in recent months, with players stealing money worth millions in the real world to soup up their vehicles and weapons.

In its most stern  warning to cheaters yet, Rockstar said it would not only be ensuring there is less foul play in GTA Online in future but punishing those who have cheated in the past.

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"Those who actively engaged in cheating and exploiting the game in this manner will be subject to in-game penalties at our discretion,"  Rockstar said. "This may include being placed in isolated cheater pools or banned from GTA Online altogether."

The developer added that those who have accidentally come into counterfeit GTA$ are in the clear however, explaining: "Anyone that innocently received GTA$ as a result of these exploits but did not engage in cheating to acquire it will not face any further action - the funds will just be removed , and you'll be able to keep any items you currently own."

Players are encouraged to report gamers they believe to be cheating through the Pause menu, where they can choose from a list of violations.