Nintendo Switch Scams Abound

Posted: Mar 31 2017, 10:39am CDT | by , in News | Gaming

 
Nintendo Switch Scams Abound
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Scammers have targeted Nintendo Switch fans, convincing them to download malicious software that falsely promises access to emulators for the console, early releases of games, and new capabilities. Researchers from Norton found that these criminals have been using social media, a variety of gaming websites, and YouTube.

If you search "Nintendo Switch Emulator" on YouTube, you get a wide selection of videos, the most popular of which has about 80,000 views. Many of these clips are just fans reviewing games and using hashtags, but some of them have malicious intent.

If you see someone say "You can play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on your PC if you just visit this website and download the file linked below," you should mark the video as unsafe and do not, under no circumstances, download it.

Others are more generic and you have to use your best judgment to see if it will hurt you. They use trending search terms, offer you "free tools," and mention trials.

On other websites, you will click on a link and get directed to malicious sites that promise the Switch and other popular gaming consoles. You will be prompted to answer a survey or compete in challenges to unlock a code for a Switch emulator.

According to The Independent, "Another YouTube video, meanwhile, brings up software downloads for ‘Switch_Emulator_0.6.1.dmg’ on Mac computers and ‘Switch_Emulator_061.iso’ on Windows, which lead to an unwanted application called ‘PUA.OneSystemCare’."

“Whether it’s survey scams or potentially unwanted applications, the YouTube videos and websites are likely driven by affiliate programs,” said Norton by Symantec. “The affiliate would be responsible for delivering a user to the website to fill out a survey, complete an offer, or download a file. For each successful conversion (a completed survey, offer, or download) the affiliate would collect a commission from the advertising network. In this case, it is unclear how much each affiliate is making for each conversion.”

Always be wary of systems that require you to answer questions or give away personal information to websites just to unlock content.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.

 

 

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