Health campaigner Vicky Phelan has been forced to set up a new Instragram page after she was targeted by a hacker.
The mother-of-two took to Twitter to voice her anger after receiving a message claiming to be from the person who hacked her Instagram account, asking her to pay $3,500 (€4,000) to have the account returned to her.
Ms Phelan is currently in the US undergoing cancer treatment and shared a screenshot on Twitter of a Whatsapp message she received from the alleged hacker.
The message said: "First of all, I can say that it is not possible to restore the account, I have been doing this for 4 yeas and I have many references.
See below msg I just received from the person who hacked my Instagram account
Now I am angry 🤬🤬🤬 pic.twitter.com/8u4LsxFJ5yAdvertisement
— Vicky Phelan (@PhelanVicky) February 10, 2021
"I am expert [sic] in this field, I can use your account maliciously if I want, or I can take you away from your friends, but my goal is not to harm you."
After requesting the sum of money, the message warns: "Any action you take to get the account back will have no effect and your account will belong to me forever.
"Therefore, stay away from unnecessary methods and don't waste time."
Ms Phelan's original Instagram account was deleted by the hacker, and she confirmed on Twitter that she contacted Instagram to inform them of the issue and has since set up a new account: @vickykellyphelan.
Since arriving in the US, Ms Phelan had been using her social media accounts to document her progress in the drug trial and to let people in Ireland know how she was finding the new course of treatment.