Pet fish commits credit card fraud on owner using a Nintendo Switch

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Too funny: In a freak series of seemingly random events, a Switch owner’s pet fish accessed his eShop account and added funds to it using his credit card. The crime was caught on video during an unsupervised live stream. Hundreds of viewers watched as the little fish stole their owner’s identity while he was gone.

The entire heist started as an experiment to see if fish could complete Pokémon Scarlet and Violet unassisted. To do it, Japanese YouTuber “Mutekimaru Channel” set up a webcam focused on his fish bowl. Motion-tracking software monitored the fish as they swam across an overlaid grid populated with controller inputs. If a fish paused or changed direction, the correlating controller input registered in the game.

Mutekimaru had done this experiment before. In 2020, his fish successfully completed the test, finishing Pokémon Sapphire in about 3,195 hours — something an actively playing human could do in around 30. However, this time around, things did not go as quite as planned.

The identity theft occurred while Mutekimaru was away from the YouTube live stream (highlights below). The game went swimmingly, with the fish winning several battles. At the 1,144-hour mark, the game crashed, as games sometimes do, but without Mutekimaru present to fix the situation, the system continued registering inputs from the fish.

Eventually, the pesky little critters got the Nintendo eShop to come up (twice) and, entirely by chance, registered the correct sequence of inputs to add 500 yen (only about $4 US) to Mutekimaru’s account from his credit card that was saved on the Switch. They also exposed his credit card information to everyone watching.

Then the scoundrels managed to use some of Mutekimaru’s accumulated reward points to purchase a new avatar, download the N64 emulator, get PayPal to send him a setup confirmation email, and change his Nintendo account name from “Mutekimaru” to “ROWAWAWAWA¥.” The fish free-for-all went on for seven hours in total before the future bait finally managed to power down the Switch.

Mutekimaru contacted Nintendo, explaining what happened, and asked for a refund of his 500 yen. Hilariously enough, Nintendo granted the request. So all said and done, nothing was truly lost except 10 points for an avatar. No harm, no foul. Hopefully, Mutekimaru sees it that way, too, and doesn’t flush the little thieves down the toilet.

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