The Nintendo Switch Emulator That’s Going Around is a Scam, Says the FTC


If you’ve seen an ad or heard someone talk about a Nintendo Switch emulator, beware – the Federal Trade Commission says that it’s a scam.

With the scarcity of the Nintendo Switch, the idea of getting hold of an emulator can be awfully attractive. Scammers know that, and that has led to a rash of ads that claim to give you access to just such an emulator. But don’t be fooled – the Federal Trade Commission is warning that these ads are just a scam.

There’s an advisory posted on the FTC’s consumer blog written by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, an attorney for the FTC’s Division of Consumer & Business Education. It reads, “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.”

So no matter how much you want to play a Switch game, don’t give in to the temptation. Here are the tips that the FTC offers up to help avoids scams like these:

  • 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 see any of these scams, the FTC is asking that you report them right here.

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