Online ads for emulators, sometimes with Nintendo branding, say they can run Switch’s games on your desktop. But there is no legitimate Nintendo Switch emulator, said Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, attorney for the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer and Business Education
Even worse, when you try to download a Nintendo Switch emulator, you can install unwanted applications on your computer. These apps give you misleading information about computer problems that aren’t really there, then ask you to pay to fix them.
Other times, when you go to an emulator site, you get a link to a survey that you must complete to get a code to unlock the emulator. Again, the emulator doesn’t really exist. Don’t give personal information, and don’t sign up for anything requiring your credit card information. You’re still not getting an emulator.
What can you do to avoid this scam? Weintraub Schifferle offers this advice:
- Don’t download anything that says it’s a Nintendo Switch emulator.
- Don’t complete a survey to get an “unlock code.” That’s a red flag for a scam.
- Keep your security software current. Set it to update automatically. Installing unknown programs can lead to malware.
- Play Nintendo Switch at your friend’s house until you’re able to buy the real one yourself.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to the FTC.