Tech

Don't Fall For These Latest Nintendo Switch Scams, FTC Warns

By Donna Bellevue , Apr 20, 2017 05:59 AM EDT
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The FTC has issued a public warning about Nintendo Switch emulator scams. It also outlines what you have to do to protect yourself from this kind of deception. (Photo : PlayerEssence/YouTube)

Nintendo Switch's enormous popularity with its new game console and its short supply is making some scammers hatch schemes that are designed to bait vulnerable buyers. Examples are emulators that allegedly let you run Switch games on your desktop computer and online surveys that will unlock emulators. Once and for all, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning that Nintendo does not offer a Switch emulator, and people who do actually have bad intentions.

Partly because it's in such short supply, a lot of consumers would do anything to get their hands on one. Since its debut, it has been a difficult console to get a hold of since it has basically been out of stock at all major retailers. Due to this reason, some people are open to exploring shady alternative ways to play some of its proprietary games, one of which is an emulator.

According to The Motley Fool, there have been a number of Nintendo Switch emulators available on the internet. An emulator is a program that allows you to play a console title on your computer. It's not particularly illegal, in fact, a number of authorized ones exist for older classic titles. However, in Nintendo's case, the company has explicitly announced that they do not have a legal emulator, and due to the recent scams, has taken a very strong stand about them according to their website.

According to Time, it's important for consumers to understand that while downloading an emulator seems like a harmless way to get access to games, the end result would probably be different. The FTC cautions that trying to download a Switch emulator can install unwanted applications on your computer. The scamming apps often give misleading information about computer problems that are not currently present, then ask for your bank account number if you want them fixed.

In addition, the FTC also provided ways for Nintendo Switch users to avoid being scammed. The first tip is not to download anything that says it’s a Switch emulator; second, avoid surveys to get an “unlock code” since these are a red flag for a scam. Thirdly, keep your security software updated to avoid malware from emulators, and finally, just play Switch at your friend’s house until you’re able to afford one for yourself.

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