NewsDenver7 | Investigates


Instagram ignores court order, won't remove Colorado tattoo business's hacked account

Scammer continues to steal deposits from Denver tattoo shop's clients
The Wolf Den
Ryane Rose Tattoing Overhead.png
Wolf Den DMs
Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-14 17:21:06-04

UPDATE | 2:15 p.m. Friday — Following this story, Jess and Ryane Rose said they have regained full access to their hacked Instagram account, and thanked the Denver7 Investigates team for their help. They said the old account will be shut down because the hacker did so much damage and they will continue rebuilding using their new account. Denver7 will have a full update next week.


This story contains uses of hate speech that may be disturbing to some readers.

Partners in life and business, Jess and Ryane Rose have owned the Wolf Den Tattoo studio and gallery in Denver for five years. Earlier this year, the business they worked so hard to build was hacked on Instagram.

The couple filed a report with Denver Police in February, but Jess and Ryane told Denver7 Investigates their clients are still being taken advantage of daily after Instagram failed to shut down the overseas hacker who took over their business account.

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Denver7 | Investigates

Scammer hijacks Denver tattoo shop's social media, steals deposits from clients

Tony Kovaleski
9:45 PM, Feb 17, 2023

The owners now say Instagram’s lack of action has given the hacker more of a license to steal from their customers and escalate his attack on their clientele using hate speech.

The hacker operates by direct messaging their clients for a deposit up to $499 for a tattoo they’ll never get.

“I would say the hacker has definitely stolen well over $50,000,” Jess said.

Scammer hijacks Denver tattoo shop's social media, steals deposits from clients

Ryane estimated at least 500 clients have been affected.

Denver7 Investigates first brought this story into the spotlight when the Wolf Den account was initially taken over. Denver police have since opened an investigation, getting a court order that required Instagram to remove the hijacked account within a two-week window. Instagram never complied.

As the Wolf Den imposter continues to pad his pockets, a new kind of attack threatens not only Jess and Ryane’s business, but their lifestyle.

“It's absolutely shifted to a hate crime. He specifically used the words ‘targeted’ and ‘queer shop’ and that he's doing the world a favor,” Ryane said.

Jess and Ryane shared screenshots of direct messages, written by the hacker. The exchange lays out multiple examples of hate speech and anti-LGBTQIA threats.

“I guess it makes you weirdos feel good about yourselves. It's a sin to be what you are,” the hacker wrote in a direct message. “Furthermore, if anything I'm doing the right thing!! 'Queer people' is not ok.”

Jess and Ryane say the "bad guy" in this case has now shifted to Instagram, spotlighting the corporation’s failure to act.

“They've had every opportunity, all the information at hand, and they've neglected it. So I almost feel victimized twice — through the hacker and Instagram,” Ryane said.

The business owners share in the frustration that Instagram has had ample time to prevent more people from being scammed. Instead, they feel the social media giant has allowed the hacker to take advantage of a small business.

“I would say shame on you,” Jess said, when asked what she would say to Instagram. “You've had plenty of time to initiate a plan to shut hackers down like this. And you are not. It's time to shut this down.”

Despite multiple reports by clients and supporters of the Wolf Den flagging the hacked account, Instagram has responded with a generic automated message, stating the hacker “does not violate community guidelines.”

Jess said Instagram's lack of response has shown her that their reporting system is inadequate.

“This person is creating a hate crime. Your technology sucks. Fix it,” she said.

Like the court order, Denver7 investigators have received no response from Instagram, despite multiple attempts for comment.

Jess and Ryane have now elevated this case with Denver police as a hate crime. The two have also filed an official complaint with the FBI.

The Wolf Den is not alone in this attack. Denver7 Investigates has confirmed at least one other Colorado tattoo shop has been targeted on Instagram.

The Wolf Den has created a new Instagram account and is working to grow back its digital audience.

"It fuels me to continue to stand up for our community. We have a lot of kind people and generous people in Denver and beyond. Our community is beyond Denver," Jess said. "It fuels me to continue to never give up and provide a very safe space for any person. And however we can do that, we absolutely will."