Bandai Namco has taken a rather unfortunate stance on banning folks over in theDark Souls III PC realm.
The publisher has warned prospective players that any interaction that alters your game data, including accepting a gift from a hacker (even if it’s innocent and unwittingly accepted), could result in a ban. This includes any save data modification or use of any exploits. Bandai Namco will then investigate your account, and likely ban it, which will show the “You have been Penalized” or “Invalid Game Data” message on your title screen.
So rather than go after the problems at the root and protect the integrity of the game, they’re going after people who may have been a victim of hackers. It’s the ultimate Red Phantom invasion troll — tricking someone into accepting an item that will get them banned. MCV, who has been following the story, states that you should back up your save data (C:\Users\Your-username\AppData\Roaming\DarkSoulsIII\) just in case.
If you get flagged, your backed up data “should clear your account of any flags,” according to the publisher. Or, you can just play on consoles and suffer through the reduced framerate.