Patrons of NYC Gay Bar Robbed Using Facial Recognition on Their Phones

Patrons of NYC Gay Bar Robbed Using Facial Recognition on Their Phones

New York City officials are encouraging patrons of gay bars to switch off the Face ID software on their phones before enjoying a night out.

After the death of two gay men, Julio Ramirez and John Umberger, in Manhattan, city officials are encouraging other patrons to be mindful and disable their Face ID software to prevent robberies. Both Ramirez and Umberger were found dead after being robbed electronically of thousands of dollars.

In a seminar hosted by the NYC Office of Nightlife Director, Ariel Palitz, and New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher, they outlined basic safety procedures for patrons of bars all over the city, but particularly for people going to gay venues.

Police confirm that three men between the ages of 30 and 40 were robbed at The Eagle, within the past three months. The unsuspecting patrons were lured out of the bar then drugged, with thousands of dollars stolen from them electronically. The stolen amounts vary between $1,000 and $5,000.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal commented on the recent string of attacks, fearing that there is a sinister pattern emerging with the perpetrators targeting gay bars. “I hope that the highest level of NYPD has engaged in this investigation.” Hoylman-Sigal warns that these incidents are not being treated as robberies by banking corporations and that clubgoers should be vigilant in implementing 2-factor authentication on their banking apps, as well as switching off Face ID.

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