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Warning: Don’t fall for Nintendo Switch emulator scams because they might be malware

Published Apr 21st, 2017 9:18AM EDT
Nintendo Switch Emulators Malware Warning
Image: Serpell-Rand/REX/Shutterstock

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Nintendo’s Switch console is insanely popular right now. In fact, the only way to buy one is still to pay a premium on Amazon. Since it’s mostly out of stock, it’s also a golden opportunity for hackers looking to take advantage of buyers who haven’t been able to get their hands on the device. In fact, these early Nintendo Switch scams have already caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which issued an official warning on the matter.

The FTC says that there’s no Switch emulator that would let you play Zelda or other games on a computer while you wait for the console to arrive. Instead, hackers might be targeting unsuspecting users with malicious software meant to take advantage of their desire to get on the Switch bandwagon.

“Even worse, when you try to download a Nintendo Switch emulator, you can install unwanted applications on your computer,” the FTC says. “These apps give you misleading information about computer problems that aren’t really there, then ask you to pay to fix them.”

The FTC also says that some versions of the scam will instruct you to complete a survey before getting the supposed emulator. The surveys may ask you personal information, and you definitely shouldn’t fill them out. There’s no emulator for the Switch.

It’s possible that there might be a Switch emulator at some point in the future. But until that actually happens, you should stay away from anything advertising such software. In conclusion, avoid downloading any “Nintendo Switch emulator” apps for the time being, and don’t complete any surveys. Furthermore, the FTC hilariously says you could always “play Nintendo Switch at your friend’s house until you’re able to buy the real one yourself.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.