Yes, it’s a bad idea to hire a hacker to fix your bad credit

Inside Subprime: May 18, 2018

By Caroline Thompson

If you have bad credit, you’ve probably spent some time obsessively scrolling personal finance forums for advice on how to up your score. But in between posts about debt relief plans, 401k contributions and credit card comparisons, you’ll find people claiming they’ve hacked their way to credit gold. “I had bad credit, so I hired a guy to hack into the credit bureau mainframe and increase my score by 100 points,” they’ll exclaim. “Email him and he’ll do the same for you!”

This is a tempting offer when you’re sitting in subprime territory. After all, having poor credit can mean being denied for credit cards, apartments, mortgage loans and even job offers. Bad credit can feel like a financial death sentence, or an impassable roadblock. Unfortunately, hacking your way to the top of the credit crowd is probably not going to work out very well for you.

Remember the age-old adage: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before you send an email and half your savings account to a hacker you found on a message board, remember the source of this information. Just because someone claims to be a happy customer doesn’t mean they actually are. In fact, they’re more than likely the “hacker” themselves, and any information you send them about yourself will likely be used to hack YOU, not the credit bureaus.

In all likelihood, the person you email to help you hack you credit score is going to ask you for some pretty sensitive information: your Social Security number, your address, birthdate and even bank account and credit card numbers. Think of what they could do with that information even if they were able to hack into Experian and bump up your score. They could turn around and sell it on the dark web or apply for a credit card in your name.

As The Huffington Post eloquently states: “You’re hiring a hacker because you don’t want to play by the rules — don’t be surprised if a hacker doesn’t want to play by the rules, either.”

As we’ve mentioned before, one of the ways to spot a scam is to look for misspelling and grammatical errors in the text. Scammers actually include mistakes like this on purpose, because the kind of person who would look past linguistic inaccuracies is more likely to fall for their schemes in the end. Take a second look at that message board post. There’s a reason it’s riddled with errors!

While we learned this summer that it’s certainly POSSIBLE to hack a credit bureau, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can do it. Instead of sending money to a stranger in the hopes they’ll magically improve your credit, there are many actionable, effective steps you can take right now to improve your credit without breaking the law and exposing yourself to the very real threat of identity theft.