The consumer protection agency looks to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and has noticed an increase in advertising for Nintendo Switch emulators, which have come in response to the repeated stock shortages in the United States.
“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,” warns attorney Lisa Weintraub Schifferle.
“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.
If you think that you have been the victim of a scam, make sure that you report it as a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.