Gaming

Don't get conned: That free Nintendo Switch emulator is a scam

Websites and videos promise a free beta version of the new game system, but what you actually get is a survey scam -- or worse.

fakenintendoswitch.jpg

Too good to be true.

Symantec

Thinking about downloading one of those free Nintendo Switch emulators you have seen pop up on the internet? Think again.

Despite promises of a free beta version of an emulator for Nintendo's new game system, links on websites and YouTube videos that have cropped up in recent days contain little more than survey scams and malware, Symantec warned Thursday. At least one YouTube video had more than 76,000 views.

The scammers use official-looking Nintendo branding, describe step by step how to download a file and show parts of Switch launch title Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. After downloading one of these fake emulators, users will be directed to a website that promises an unlock code in exchange for filling out a survey. Some sites even offer the chance to get a free Switch.

Annoying surveys and undelivered promises aside, these scams also present a security risk. One YouTube video was found to lead not to a survey but to a download of potentially unwanted applications on both the Mac and Windows platforms.

Symantec reminds you to do your research before downloading and installing any software on your computer. The requirement to fill out a survey for an unlock code is "a big red flag that you're being scammed," Symantec said.

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