Cybercriminals are everywhere these days, trying their best to find new victims to rip off. Whether it's malware, ransomware or phishing attacks, we need to stay vigilant to keep our personal data secure.
Many times, these scammers piggyback on the latest trends or popular items to carry out their devious ploys. That is what's happening now with this latest "bait and switch" scam.
The Switch Scam
According to Motherboard, fake Nintendo Switch emulators are being advertised on popular sites like YouTube and GitHub. These fake emulators promise to let people play games like the popular "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" natively on their PCs without the need for the Nintendo Switch console itself.
Well, you guessed it, these ads are all lies. If you attempt to download the "Switch emulator," you're taken to pages upon pages of ads instead, offering enticing but fake rewards like Netflix cards or the upcoming Xbox Project Scorpio console.
The end game for the scammers, of course, is to at least get your email address and at the very worst, scam you into giving away your personal information and credit card details. They can also generate revenue for themselves by forcing people to view the ad-infested webpages.
Additionally, cybercriminals can bait and "switch" the links to trick unsuspecting victims into installing malware. If you fall for this trick, it's game over.
At any rate, there are still no known Nintendo Switch emulators that exist so don't fall for the trap. It's just another fresh way for the scammers to latch on to current popular trends in hopes of making a bit of money.
"It's not uncommon for cybercriminals to use the allure of the latest game or app as a trap to take advantage of everyday consumers," Gary Davis of Intel Security told Motherboard. "It's important to do your homework by checking out app reviews and researching the legitimacy of websites before downloading anything to your devices."
If you can't wait to play Nintendo's latest gaming opus, you will either play it on the Wii U, wait for stores to restock the Nintendo Switch or pay a pretty penny to get the console from resellers. Unfortunately, in this case, there are no cheat codes to help you out.