Bank accounts of New York ‘roofie murder’ victims drained via facial recognition technology

Bank accounts of New York ‘roofie murder’ victims drained via facial recognition technology

Facial recognition technology makes unlocking your smartphone a breeze.

But with the convenience, comes a disturbing new crime trend for bandits.  It involves “drug-facilitated robbery” schemers who knock their victims out with date rape drugs, unlock the victims’ phones with their unconscious faces and drain their bank accounts of tens of thousands of dollars.

While robberies involving incapacitated victims are nothing new, the technology offers thieves quick and easy access to incapacitated victims.

Investigators in New York City have linked at least 43 incidents to two separate groups of suspects, according to a law enforcement source. Several of the druggings resulted in fatal overdoses, and victims have included a business traveler, a local social worker and a fashion designer.

NEW YORK CITY ‘ROOFIE’ SUSPECT INDICTED ON CHARGES OF GRAND LARCENY AND IDENTITY THEFT

Fashion designer Katie Gallagher stands in front of two of her models

Fashion designer Katie Gallagher, shown in 2011, was found dead in New York City on July 24, 2022, and police now say her death was a homicide, part of the rash of a “drug-facilitated robberies.” (Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

While some of the crimes involved gay male victims, a law enforcement source tells Fox News Digital that the motive is believed to be financial gain and not a hate crime.

The two groups of suspects have slightly different patterns, both involve offering drugs to the victim, swiping their phones – and then wiping out cash from their accounts after unlocking them with facial recognition and accessing their mobile banking apps. The thieves are also accused of stealing credit cards and other valuables from some of the victims.

John Kelly, a criminal profiler and psychotherapist, told Fox News Digital that the robbery rings could be considered serial killers.

“In serial killing, there is a subtype called the comfort serial killer,” he said.

It’s all about them seeking creature comforts. They don’t kill for sex. They don’t kill for power. It’s all about money.

— John Kelly / Criminal profiler

The subset includes people like hit men and people who kill repeatedly in the course of robberies, he said.

“These guys are really sophisticated and pretty ruthless,” he added. “They don’t push it on you, they’ll seduce you.”

Victim John Umberger, a 33-year-old political consultant based in Washington, D.C., was found dead in an Upper East Side townhouse after leaving a Hell’s Kitchen bar with two men in May 2022. Pathologists found fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, cocaine, lidocaine, and ethanol in his system, the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said.

NEW YORKERS ENDURE RANDOM ATTACKS AS TOP COP FOCUSES ON TRUMP INDICTMENT

John Umberger poses on a city balcony

John Umberger, of Washington, D.C., was robbed and left for dead in May 2022 after a night out in Manhattan. (Linda Clary/Fox 5)

His phone and credit cards were stolen and $25,000 vanished from his bank account.

In April 2022, another man named Julio Ramirez, 25, died under similar circumstances. Police found him in the back of a taxi after he’d left a bar with a group of men just blocks away from where Umberger had

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Amazon sued for not telling New York shop prospects about tracking biometrics

Amazon sued for not telling New York shop prospects about tracking biometrics

Amazon did not alert its New York Town consumers that they ended up being monitored by engineering that tracks their bodies’ shapes and sizes as well as their palm prints, a lawsuit submitted Thursday alleges.

In a class-motion go well with, legal professionals for Alfredo Perez claimed that the organization failed to notify readers to Amazon Go ease outlets that the engineering was in use. Many thanks to a 2021 law, New York is the only key American metropolis to call for companies to publish signs if they’re tracking customers’ biometric details, this kind of as facial scans or fingerprints.

Amazon introduced its Go suppliers in 2018, promising that customers could stroll in, acquire whichever products they needed off the cabinets and leave without examining out. The business displays visitors’ steps and fees their accounts when they leave the keep. It opened its first New York place the pursuing calendar year, and has 10 retailers, all in Manhattan, in accordance to its site.

The lawsuit says that Amazon only not long ago set up indicators informing New York shoppers of its use of biometric recognition engineering, additional than a yr soon after the disclosure regulation went into impact.

A man uses his smartphone to enter an Amazon Go convenience store in New York
A man makes use of his smartphone to enter an Amazon Go comfort retail outlet in New York, on Jan. 28, 2022.Ted Shaffrey / AP file

For Amazon Go to correctly keep track of its consumers and the products they take, it has to constantly watch their bodies, the lawsuit states. 

“To make this ‘Just Walk Out’ technological innovation achievable, the Amazon Go suppliers continuously gather and use customers’ biometric identifier facts, which includes by scanning the palms of some customers to detect them and by implementing laptop or computer eyesight, deep mastering algorithms, and sensor fusion that evaluate the shape and dimension of every single customer’s entire body to determine customers, observe exactly where they shift in the merchants, and establish what they have acquired,” it claims.

An Amazon spokesperson said that its retailers did not use facial recognition know-how, and claimed that the technologies utilized to distinguish shoppers did not represent biometric technological innovation. They declined to remark on the symptoms.

“We do not use facial recognition technologies in any of our shops, and claims produced usually are false,” the spokesperson stated more than emai. “Amazon A single, our contactless, palm-based identity and payment support, is a person of the entry possibilities presented at select Amazon Go suppliers alongside with credit card and the Amazon app. Only shoppers who pick out to enroll in Amazon One and pick to be recognized by hovering their palm in excess of the Amazon Just one product have their palm-biometric details securely gathered, and these people are supplied the ideal privateness disclosures for the duration of the enrollment approach. The purchaser is normally in regulate of when they pick out to be identified using their palm.” 

Perez is represented by the Surveillance Technology Oversight Job, a legal advocacy team devoted to

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