On March 3, 2017, Nintendo launched its Nintendo Switch console, ushering in a new era in mobile/home gaming. However, it appears that criminals or those with questionable methods have decided to cash in on the device’s early success. As such security firm Symantec published a warning about the proliferation of Free Switch emulators, console competitions, and Malware.

Nintendo Switch Emulators and Prize draws spread malware according to security firm Symantec
Screenshot:YouTube/FloKO

Beware Nintendo Switch Emulators

If you haven’t managed to get your hands on a Switch yet, it’s possible that you’ve considered using an emulator. Before you do, it’s worth noting, those that you’ve seen have been developed for a very different purpose.

Security experts are warning people that these software’s are the route cause of the spread of, particularly ruthless Malware. Designed specifically to steal your personal information and then pass it on to criminals for fraudulent use.

Symantec, the creator of the world-renowned Norton Antivirus published its findings on fake Nintendo Switch emulators on March 30, 2017. Revealing that it had discovered videos promoting emulators on video-sharing sites such as YouTube. Where the most viewed video offered free Nintendo Switch gaming, it had received over 76,000 views. With many others also numbering in the thousands of views too.

Bogus Websites Spreading Malware

As far as the videos are concerned, their main priority is, to direct viewers to bogus websites via external links. One featured Nintendo branding and offered a way to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild on PC. This would be made possible via one of the emulators mentioned earlier; however, it is also how Malware is spread. In addition to the offer of playing free games, sites are offering the chance to win one of the consoles. However, to either enter a competition or to download the emulator often a survey must be completed. And it’s at this point that criminals could be cashing in.

Security expert Satnam Narang said:

“If a user tries to download one of these fake Nintendo Switch emulators, they will be directed to a website that claims they need to fill out a survey.This is required to receive an unlock code or to unlock the download itself.”

Don’t Be A Victim

If you have an interest in playing emulated games on your PC, be careful not to be scammed by the aforementioned websites. If you’re required to take part in a survey to unlock an emulator or to get an access code Malware could be involved. It’s simply not worth taking the risk, do some extra research before downloading and installing anything. Or, be patient and wait until your local store has the Nintendo Switch back in Stock.

The reason you probably can’t get one right now is due to its recent release and a relatively low price tag of $299.99. And it’s this fact that makes its availability as an emulator so soon after its release so unbelievable. As is the promise of being able to play games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – and the party game 1-2-Switch, so beware!

However, if patience for your own Nintendo Switch is a luxury you just don’t have. Here is how you can buy one today and have it delivered by Thursday, April 6, 2017.