Tripp Halstead’s Facebook update page hacked

The hacker is said to have posted links to monetize clicks and is demanding money from the family.

ATLANTA – A Facebook page created many years ago to provide updates on a 2-year-old struggling to recover from a traumatic brain injury. Tripp Halstead passed away in 2018 but four years later, and someone is updating the Facebook page – and it’s not family.

Just scroll through the Tripp Halstead Updates Facebook page. Recent posts include images with today’s captions.

“Here are some random images from the weekend,” one person read.

Another post shows a wife and husband using a funny filter with the caption, “This is what Bill and I do for fun now. LAUGH.”

And a little further, a sweet photo of Tripp, with the caption, “I miss this face.”

It looks like normal social media updates, but the site’s admins Stacy and Bill Halstead said they don’t post those.

“Not since August 30. None of that is mine,” Stacy said.

For two weeks, someone else took control of the page, meant to be a keepsake for Tripp. At 2 years old, Tripp was hit in the head with a tree branch at his daycare, causing traumatic brain injury. The boy died in 2018, and Stacy kept the page goingto record the memories of him and her.

“For 10 years, we made that claim the day after Tripp was injured,” Stacy said. “I’ve been posting almost every day for 10 years. So that’s all our memories, all our pictures, my diary that other people have control over. “

Stacy explains that whoever has control will take old photos and videos and repost them on the page, along with links to things she would never have on her site.

“He would throw in a link to say, ‘Jennifer Lawrence’s new baby,'” she said.

The posts raise the question: Why would anyone want to take control of someone’s page, post old photos as if it were real life, and have links attached to some posts?

“He (the hacker) admitted he bought it (the page) to get traffic because we have over a million followers. And so the more links he puts out, the more people click on it, the more money he makes,” Stacy said.

The hacker said he bought the site for $5,000, according to Stacy. Now he is profiting from it.

“It is unacceptable for him to use our story to reach my followers, love my family and Tripp to raise money for a cell,” she said.

Stealing another human’s pain, pain, and memory is bad enough. But the additional push for the Halstead family is what the hacker seems to want in return.

“He was trying to get $5,000 from us to give it back,” she said.

Stacy said she sent numerous emails to Meta and Facebook asking for help but didn’t receive any reply other than “it’s under review”.

On Wednesday afternoon, Stacy said the Georgia Attorney General’s Office had contacted her for advice on what steps to take now, including filing a police report of identity theft and blackmail.

Not only did the hacker(s) take control of the public page, but Stacy said they took control of her personal and private page; Posting sexually explicit content caused her profile to be shut down.

“I talked to and they were like, ‘you’ll never get that page back. When something serious was posted. It will tell you (you) have 30 days to review, but that’s gone. ‘ So it’s very unlikely that I’ll get my profile back,” she said.

Stacy just wanted control of her pages, which she also uses for her businesses, where she works minus commissions. She wants to share the story to make sure it doesn’t happen to others, and admits that she’s comfortable with the security and passwords on her site.

“You know, we’ll take better steps to protect it when we get it back,” she said.

Stacy wants her 1.2 million followers to stop interacting with the page, put it on snooze for 30 days, and not comment or click on anything.

Meta has not yet responded to 11Alive’s request for comment. However, part of their recommended security check includes enabling two-factor authorization.

To learn how to do this for your site, just follow the instructions posted here.

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