FTC Issues Warning Against Nintendo Switch Emulators

By Michael Augustin , Updated Apr 21, 2017 12:14 AM EDT

Ever since the Nintendo Switch was launched retailers have struggled to maintain stocks on their shelves. This has apparently led to several websites offering Switch emulators or special offers. It obviously has become so rampant that the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an official warning to consumers about these scams. Gamers are advised to always make sure not to believe some of the online offers about the new game system and its emulators.

According to reports, the FTC published a statement on their official website that advises Nintendo Switch consumers to "think again" when considering the use of emulators. Game Rant reports that the trade body has already recognized that staggering sales numbers of the Nintendo console and its tendency to sell out immediately. They inform consumers that "there is no legit Nintendo Switch emulator" and if there are any websites offering the software or the product for a discounted price, these are most likely a "scam."

Sources have confirmed that some of these Nintendo Switch emulator ads and websites expose consumers to "install unwanted applications" on their computers. The FTC notes that these malware, once installed, generates "misleading information about computer problems that aren't really there," then tells the user to pay to have it fixed. Some of the links also direct players to fill out an online survey that says "you must complete to get a code to unlock the emulator." These scams usually bait users for their personal information and details of their credit cards.

Some of the suggestions offered by the FTC ask users to always update their system's security software. They also encourage players to report any of these scams or links that offer a Nintendo Switch emulator. The trade body even suggested that gamers play the console at a friend's house for the meantime until they can get one of their won, reports Time. It seems that most victims of the emulator scam are those gamers who are eager enough to risk it all. After all, retailers are expecting stock shortages of the system throughout the year.

The FTC is most likely aware that the news of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" running on a PC. It is probably one of the reasons why some gamers believe the Nintendo Switch emulator ads they see online. However, they should be aware that the game was running on a Nintendo Wii U emulator, which has been available for a while now.

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