RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you have problems, and you're looking to the internet for answers, be careful. We had a professional reach out to us after he spotted a hacking ad on Craigslist that could be enticing.
It's an apparent professional hacker promising to fix bad school grades, improve your credit, clear your mortgage - even spy on your spouse, among other things.
We hope your moral meter is telling you to stay clear.
"That's like somebody going out and wanting to hire somebody to kill their wife," said Lawrence Small, owner of LS Computer Systems. "It's a crime."
Here's another reason to avoid it: there's a good chance this isn't what it looks like.
Small owns a computer fix-it shop, and he spotted the ad on Craigslist. He thinks this could be a way for the bad guys to get your information.
"'I can do this…give me your phone number' and everything like that. It could be all kinds of things," said Small. "It could be one of 100 things. It could be a phishing scam."
The ad was posted on Richmond's Craigslist.
"They're just doing what they can to make a buck, I guess?" said Small. "And that's pretty scary."
Or it could be a way to hit you with "ransomware" - taking over your computer and forcing you to pay to get it back.
"They'll say it's going to cost $300, and they can help you out," said Small. "If you refuse, they'll hit-and-run….they'll put a code in, and it will lock you out of your computer."
Unfortunately, people do pay to save precious baby pictures, pictures of a loved one who has died or to get to important documents. Small says that perpetuates the problem.
"It's going to get worse," said Small. "It's not going to get better, because as long as people are paying that ransom, they're getting moolah."
So do not fall for one of these ads. Not only are they unethical, they could really put you in a bind.
If you do get hacked - from one of these ads or otherwise - see a professional.
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