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Hackers advertise 'free hookers' on highway sign

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Officials say this digital vandalism isn't a harmless prank. (KTRK)

You usually won't see such blatantly visible advertising for prostitution, unless you're on a major highway in California.

A digital road sign in California appeared to not only advertise sexual services, but offer them for free.

"Free Hookers Ahead," the sign declared.

Shelby Crabtree says she thought it was hilarious, and wouldn't have believed it had she not seen it for herself.

It was all the work of hackers, officials say, and a growing trend of digital vandalism that has traffic safety workers keeping a watchful eye on their signs.

Deanna Shoopman with Caltrans says the vandalism costs taxpayers. The state hires independent contractors to change the signs. When they're hacked, they have to shell out even more money to have the signs changed again.

"If you see them doing it, call 911 and report them," Shoopman says.

Crabtree says even though she laughed, it's certainly inappropriate and wouldn't want her children to see it.

The sign has since been changed.

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