“I just wanted nicer pictures:” Ads promising editing software for fraction of the cost can be a rip off!

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MILWAUKEE -- When you're browsing the internet, you've probably noticed those online ads on the side. They promise great deals, but watch out! Those ads can not only rip you off, but destroy your computer.

Lyndsey Griffin

Lyndsey Griffin

"I just, you know, I wanted to erase the peanut butter from their face. I just wanted nicer-looking pictures," Lyndsey Griffin said.

Griffin, a mother of two who loves to take pictures, decided to look online for the software program Photoshop. She found an ad on Craigslist, offering the photo-enhancing software for 50% less than the retail price.

"He had purchased the business pack and he had an extra license," Griffin said.

Lyndsey Griffin

Lyndsey Griffin disks

Griffin received six disks in the mail, and quickly installed them on her computer.

"The end result was that I could edit pictures, but it took a very long time and it slowed my computer down," Griffin said.

Eventually, the computer became so slow, she had to buy a new one.

"In this case, what he was doing is he was just copying software, which is illegal to do. He did not have the licenses he told the consumers that he had," Amanda McMurrey, U.S. postal inspector said.

Alan Recinos

Alan Recinos

"He" is Alan Recinos, and postal inspectors say he's well known by authorities.

"Mr. Recinos had a pretty lengthy criminal history, which included charges for software piracy in the past, so he was pretty familiar with the fraud and he found he could make a lot of quick money," McMurrey said.

Evidence photos were taken after an undercover investigator set up a purchase with Recinos and received pirated software.

"I think I probably had like a little nagging feeling in my stomach, but I didn`t listen to it," Griffin said.

If you're looking to buy computer software online, make sure you go through a licensed dealer. That way, you protect both your computer and your wallet.

Lyndsey Griffin

Lyndsey Griffin


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