The hacker is supposedly posting hyperlinks to earn money off of clicks and is demanding cash from the household.
ATLANTA — A Facebook web page created years in the past was meant to supply updates on a 2-year-old struggling to get better from a mind damage. Tripp Halstead died in 2018 however 4 years later, and somebody is updating the Facebook web page – and it isn’t the household.
Just scroll by means of the Tripp Halstead Updates Facebook web page. Recent posts embrace footage with present-day captions.
“Here’s some random footage from the weekend,” one reads.
Another publish, an image of a spouse and husband utilizing a humorous filter captioned with, “This is what Bill and I do for enjoyable now. LOL.”
And just a little additional down, a candy image of Tripp, captioned, “I miss this face.”
Seemingly regular social media updates however the directors of the web page, Stacy and Bill Halstead mentioned they aren’t making these posts.
“Not since Aug. 30. None of these are mine,” mentioned Stacy.
For two weeks, another person has had management of the web page, meant to function a reminiscence to Tripp. At 2 years previous, Tripp was hit within the head with a tree limb at his daycare, inflicting traumatic injuries to his brain. The younger boy died in 2018, and Stacy’s kept the page going, to doc his recollections and her grief.
“For 10 years, we acknowledged it the day after Tripp acquired damage,” mentioned Stacy. “I’ve posted virtually each single day for 10 years. So, it’s all our memories, all our footage, my journal that another person has management of.”
Stacy defined whoever has management is taking previous photographs and movies and reposting them on the web page, together with hyperlinks to issues she would by no means have up on her web page.
“He’ll throw in a hyperlink to say, ‘Jennifer Lawrence’s new child,'” she mentioned.
The posts prompted the query: Why would anybody wish to take management of somebody’s web page, publish previous photographs as if it’s actual life, and have hyperlinks hooked up to a number of the posts?
“He (the hacker) admitted he purchased it (the web page) for the site visitors as a result of we had over 1,000,000 followers. And so, the extra hyperlinks that he places out, folks click on on it, the extra money he makes,” mentioned Stacy.
The hacker mentioned he purchased the web page for $5,000, in line with Stacy. Now he is profiting off it.
“The undeniable fact that he is utilizing our story to succeed in my followers that comply with, fell in love with my household and Tripp to earn money for a cell is simply unacceptable,” she mentioned.
Stealing the grief, ache, and recollections of another person’s youngster is dangerous sufficient. But the additional kick to the Halstead household is what the hacker apparently needs in return.
“He’s making an attempt to get $5,000 from us to offer it again,” she mentioned.
Stacy mentioned she’s despatched quite a few emails to Meta and Facebook for assist however hasn’t acquired any solutions outdoors of “it’s beneath assessment.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Stacy mentioned the Georgia Attorney General’s Office reached out to her with recommendation on what steps to take now, which incorporates submitting a police report for id theft and extortion.
Not solely did the hacker(s) take management of the general public web page, however Stacy mentioned they took management of her private and personal web page; posting one thing seemingly pornographic, which resulted in her private web page being shut down.
“I talked to Hacked.com and they’re like, ‘you are by no means getting that web page again. When it is one thing that is critical that was posted. It’ll let you know (you) have 30 days to assessment, however that is gone.’ So, it is impossible I’ll get my private web page again,” she mentioned.
Stacy simply needs management of her pages, which she additionally used for her companies the place she works off fee. She needed to share the story to verify it doesn’t occur to different folks and admits she acquired comfy with the safety and password on her web page.
“We’re, you understand, we’ll take higher steps to guard it as soon as we get it again,” she mentioned.
Stacy needs her 1.2 million followers to cease interacting with the web page, put it on snooze for 30 days, and don’t remark or click on on something.
Meta has not responded to 11Alive’s request for remark. However, a part of their advisable safety checks consists of turning on the two-factor authorization.
To learn the way to do that to your web page, simply follow the instructions posted here.