Whenever a new product comes out some look for a cheaper or even free way to enjoy it without spending out on the real thing. Scammers often tap into those desires, and have naturally done so with the Nintendo Switch.
We suspect most reading these pages know better than to click on links promising 'emulators' and whatnot for the system, but enough have been caught out by scams for the Federal Trade Commission in the US to post an official consumer warning.
Details are below.
If you can't get your hands on a Nintendo Switch gaming system, you may think an emulator is the next best thing. Think again. Online ads for emulators, sometimes with Nintendo branding, say they can run Switch's games on your desktop. But there is no legit Nintendo Switch emulator. It's a scam.
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?
- 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.
It's good that the FTC is stepping in, as it's easy for people to be drawn in by apps making impossible promises. As is made clear, the only way to enjoy the Switch is to save up the pennies and cents to get one.