Getting your hands on a Nintendo Switch isn't particularly easy right now, and some have taken to looking for emulators to play the latest games illegally (or, at least, questionably). But if you a Nintendo Switch emulator available for download, avoid it like the plague (and not just for legal reasons); there are no working emulators out there right now, and the ones that are out there are scams.

Photo: Shaun Lucas / Tom's Guide
Photo: Shaun Lucas / Tom's Guide

Motherboard reports that the scammy software, called "Switch Emulator," has been spreading on sites like YouTube and GitHub. They promise to play Switch games, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, on your PC, but instead lead you to ad-filled webpages to make shady cash for the scammers. The ads may promise Netflix gift cards and surveys to get an upcoming Xbox Project Scorpio.

While there are existing emulators for Nintendo's Gamecube (Dolphin) and Wii U (Cemu, Decaf), there is nothing yet that works with the Switch. If you want to play Switch games, the best and only way to do it is to find a retailer that has the console in stock. It's more expensive and requires a little leg work, but its better than being swindled and is perfectly legal.

MORE: Why Game Makers Think You'll Love Nintendo Switch

"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, chief consumer security evangelist at Intel Security told Motherboard.

Image: Nicholas Deleon / Motherboard
Image: Nicholas Deleon / Motherboard

See the full report at Motherboard for more details, including photos of the scam.

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