An Auckland man was allegedly robbed and battered after an internet date turned into a vicious attack.
The gay man, believed to be in his mid to early thirties, had arranged to meet a date through the social media App, Grindr, at his home.
But Community Advocate, Karen Ritchie, said two carloads turned up at his home instead.
“They rolled his house, they had a shot gun, they took his car,” she said.
Ritchie posted warnings to the gay community online.
“I have been made aware of a gang of thieves posing as a guy on Grindr who have used a gun and various other weapons to rob and humiliate one of our community members and possibly others and will be targeting gay men as you read this. This isn't fake this is real please be aware, don't meet up unless you're in a busy public place these scum are very serious and I don't want anyone hurt or killed by these animals. Feel free to share this,” she wrote.
Ritchie told Maori Television’s Te Kaea news that the victim was distraught and in shock.
Further alerts were issued by police and New Zealand entertainer, Mika.
“You would hope in the world today that we've moved on, I mean sadly we haven't,” said Mika.
“There's rules to live by, when you're cyber dating. One - no face, no phone number, no meet. If you're gonna turn up and see someone, you do it in a public place in the day. Write the phone number of a registration plate, their phone number, take pictures of their face, put it on your phone and send it to a mate before you go out. So if you get in trouble, you can say, just so you know before you even touch me, I've sent this to a mate,” he said.
Police are investigating the attack as an aggravated robbery.