NewsContact Denver7

Actions

Castle Rock woman locked out of Facebook account after hackers posted child sexual material

Laurel Redd
Posted at 10:34 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 00:45:34-04

CASTLE ROCK, Colo — A woman in Castle Rock says her small business has ground to a halt after she was locked out of her Facebook account. The ban is a result of hackers sharing child sexual abuse material to her profile, Laurel Redd said, and it constitutes a great threat to her handmade soaps and lotion business, Opinicus Soaps.

“Facebook is how I communicate with a lot of my customers,” she said. “We have our Facebook page on the back of our business cards. We really have pushed using Facebook.”

Redd was first alerted to the problem Saturday afternoon when she received a notice from Facebook’s parent company, Meta, saying that her personal account had been suspended for violating community standards and she had 30 days to appeal the decisions. Redd said she immediately began the appeal process, wanting to get to the bottom of what the hackers had done and to regain access to her account and business page.

“But there was nothing where I could actually give my side of the story,” Redd said. “All I could do was submit an ID card. That was it. So I started doing things like calling the police, because child sexual exploitation — that’s not something I need on my record.

“I don’t have a problem with Facebook dealing with real threats. But not being able to weed out what’s reality — and you would think with all of this stuff that’s going on, they understand there are hackers and a clean account shouldn’t be banned. You should be given recourse.”

Redd said her background in tech has her well primed to know and address such threats. She’s always very careful online, using strong passwords, anti-virus protection, and two-factor authentication, so she as no idea how hackers were able to get in.

In addition to being locked out of her account, she also had a fraudulent charge on her PayPal account for Facebook ads she didn’t order. PayPal was quick to get in touch with her and work to fix the issue — something she can’t say for Facebook.

“Two days, three days, four days, five days pulling my hair out trying to get somebody’s attention,” Redd said. “I would like my account back. Personally, that’s my goal. But I also want them to start taking other people seriously. Open a line with us. Help the people that are being affected. This is affecting businesses, and in the long run, will affect revenue.”

Contact Denver7 reached out to Meta for comment Wednesday, but did not receive a response.

Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here.