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April 8, 2021

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HS Brands names Sheila Rivera Global Financial Controller
Sheila Rivera brings over twenty-three years of financial management and accounting experience to HS Brands. With a diverse industry background in senior executive positions, Sheila has a proven track-record of optimizing financial controls, building streamlined accounting systems, driving strategic revenue growth, scaling businesses, and integrations. Sheila has worked on mergers and acquisitions, managing investor relations, strategic business planning, internal auditing, and building standard operating procedures.

Her experience and expertise will drive improvements to HS Brands global financial operations and assist us in better serving our clients, partners and our international brand.

HS Brands Global is the Leading Brand Certainty, Mystery Shopping, Loss Prevention & Compliance Measurement Solution provider operating worldwide. prunderground.com

Mike Andreotti promoted to Sr. Director Assets Protection
for Target

Mike has been with Target since 2000. Before his promotion to Sr. Director Assets Protection, he spent three and a half years as Sr. Assets Protection Director R200 and five years as Sr. Director Assets Protection R100. Earlier in his career with Target, he served as Director, Assets Protection Field Operations, Sr. Group Manager, AP Field Operations - Investigation Centers and other AP roles. Congratulations, Mike!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position






Women in Leadership
An Hour of Virtual Learning with the Loss Prevention Foundation

February 24, 2021 - 1:00pm EST

Join the LPF and some amazing women leaders from the LP industry for an hour of virtual learning. Hear from Cita Doyle, LPQ - Instakey Security Systems, Lisa LaBruno - RILA, Meredith Plaxco, LPC - PetSmart, Sue Read, LPC - FleetPride, Kris Vece, LPQ - Protos Security, and Denise Wynn, LPC - The TJX Companies, as they share their perspective on being a woman in a leadership position in the LP industry. Gain insight into their leadership perspectives and take the opportunity to interact with these great women!

At the end of the session, the Loss Prevention Foundation will also give away 5 free LPC Course Scholarship courtesy of Sensormatic Solutions by Johnson Controls to random Learning Day attendees.

Register Here

Protests & Violence

Some D.C. Retailers Still Boarded Up
D.C. Businesses Remain Boarded One Month After Capitol Insurrection

Several downtown Washington, D.C. storefronts remain boarded with plywood as businesses struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic and continued political unrest. Businesses began putting up boards prior to the Nov. 7 election in anticipation of possible protests and disruption, the majority of which were removed after minimal demonstration activity. Businesses replaced boards in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol.

As businesses struggle to keep their doors open, many have covered their windows with plywood boards. While business owners and landlords originally boarded up their stores to protect their storefronts from potential threats of violence during the election and inauguration, the cost to take the boards down quickly became another burden, especially for stores that permanently shut down.

"Most of the stores I see with boards are temporarily or permanently closed," said Elliot Spaisman, DC restaurant owner. "And that logic, I get it, because they don't know what's coming next month or next week. Why keep taking them up and down if they're not even open?"

After the insurrection at the Capitol, Mayor Muriel Bowser urged the city to reopen. Stores that are keeping their boards up may be damaging the city's economy more, Spaisman says. thehoya.com

Gun sales in January set a new record after Capitol Hill insurrection
Gun merchants sold more than 2 million firearms in January, a 75% increase over the estimated 1.2 million guns sold in January 2020, according to the National Shooting Sports Federation, a firearms industry trade group.

The FBI said it conducted a record 4.3 million background checks in January. If that pace continues, the bureau will complete more than 50 million gun-related background checks by the end of the year, shattering the current record set in 2020, according to a new report from Bespoke Investment Group. cnn.com

Riots - Defunding Calls - PTSD Saw Officers Leaving in Unprecedented Numbers
Minneapolis has about 200 fewer police officers available to work
To build up the ranks in the long term, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo is asking the City Council to release $6.4 million to hire additional officers. The city lost a large number of officers after George Floyd's death and the related riots, leaving units in the department well below 2019 average staffing levels.

The city said 24 officers left in January, many taking advantage of an early-retirement incentive offered as the city tries to trim costs amid the corona­virus pandemic. Another 155 were listed on some form of extended leave, including many for PTSD claims.

The Police Department will soon face another challenge. The trial of Chauvin is expected to draw large protests, and many in the city are hoping to avoid another round of rioting.

"This presents operational challenges for me as chief," Arradondo said of the shortage, details of which were released Thursday, as he made his funding pitch. "We need the stability in the sworn workforce." startribune.com

Portland PD has 'lowest number of sworn employees' in 25-plus years, asks for reduced budget cuts to fill jobs
The Portland Police Bureau now has the "lowest number of sworn employees" in more than 25 years, prompting the department to reassign certain personnel as a way to decrease overtime costs, officials announced. On Thursday, Portland police reassigned sergeants and officers from three precincts "in an effort to reduce overtime costs" - just one day after an Oregonian/Oregon Live report detailing how Police Chief Chuck Lovell has asked city commissioners to decrease department budget cuts to just 1%, or by $3.4 million, so they can hire more personnel. Mayor Ted Wheeler previously proposed a 5% cut to the PPB budget. foxnews.com

LAPD's handling of summer protests criticized
as independent review nears completion
Independent law enforcement analysts wrapping up a review of the Los Angeles Police Department's handling of last summer's mass protests got an earful during two public "listening sessions" Thursday, as activists and protesters blasted the LAPD as abusive and residents questioned how the unrest was allowed to spiral into chaos. Echoing critiques that have been made across the city and in federal court for months, many who called into the National Police Foundation's hourlong Zoom sessions described LAPD officers in riot gear surrounding and antagonizing crowds of protesters, lashing out violently with their batons and shooting people with hard-foam projectiles at close range, at times causing serious injuries. latimes.com

Seattle: Federal judge chides the Seattle City Council for its calls to defund police


COVID Update

US: Over 27.2M Cases - 467K Dead - 17M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 105M Cases - 2.3M Dead - 77M Recovered

Former Senior Loss Prevention Executive
Know of any fallen LP exec? Let's remember & recognize.

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 273   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 233
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Coronavirus cases are falling all across the country

The big picture: The U.S. still has a ton of coronavirus, and there's still the potential for dark days ahead. But this is progress, and the improvement is significant. If this trend keeps going, the country will be in a far better and safer position as vaccines continue to roll out.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is averaging about 139,000 new cases per day - a 16% improvement over last week, which was a 16% improvement over the week before. The number of new hospitalizations was also down last week, by just over 26%. And deaths fell by about 6%, to an average of 3,097 deaths per day.

Between the lines: 139,000 cases and 3,000 deaths per day is still a very bad pandemic, but at least the numbers are headed in the right direction. The U.S. is back at about the same caseload we were experiencing shortly before Thanksgiving. The number of new daily cases fell over the past week in 42 states, and held steady in the remaining eight states. No state got worse - another sign that this improvement could be sustainable.

Yes, but: Experts warn that a more contagious variant of the virus is quickly becoming the dominant strain within the U.S. As it gains more ground, each infected person is more likely to infect others. And because the U.S. still has so many infected people, that could cause cases to spike again. axios.com

Pro-Union - Pro-OSHA - More Inspectors Coming
New Labor Secretary Backs President Joe Biden's workplace priorities, including safety and equity
Walsh spoke on topics including emergency workplace standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was asked early in the confirmation hearing for Labor Secretary by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., to discuss the regulatory oversight of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which recently issued guidance for employers. "OSHA should not be an us versus them," he said. "OSHA is part of an agency that should be there to protect workers on the job site."

Biden previously stated an intention to be the "strongest labor president you ever had" and, if confirmed, Walsh is likely to play an important role in the administration's workforce agenda.

Some Republican senators questioned Walsh, a former union president, on his support of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act. Walsh said, "I think the worker has every right to choose what they believe." But he also called the PRO Act "one step closer to helping people organize freely."

Walsh said OSHA is "one of the first and top priorities for me," and he agreed with Biden's plan to increase the number of inspectors at the agency. hrdive.com

Antiquated Labor Policy Fails Modern Workforce
RILA Statement on the PRO Act
Evan Armstrong, Vice President, Workforce at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement on the introduction of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act):

"Retailers are focused on building a 21st Century Retail Workforce that is diverse, innovative, and skilled. To realize this goal, we need modern thinking that reimagines outdated labor laws which impede innovation, disrupt communication between employers and employees, and stifle employee rights.

"The Protecting the Right to Organize Act introduced today is a return to antiquated thinking about work. This legislation seeks to bring back detrimental employment policies to prop up unions at the expense of employee rights, worker protections, innovation, and growth.

"The COVID pandemic wreaked havoc on our economy and put millions of hardworking Americans out of work. Proposals like the PRO Act, if passed, will prolong economic disruption for millions of workers. Leading retailers urge members of Congress to reject the PRO Act and instead work on forward-thinking proposals that empower workers, promote innovation, and enable retailers to invest in their people and their communities."

   Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act

Retailers call pro-union PRO Act 'unworkable'
The National Retail Federation today called on Congress to reject a new effort to pass legislation that combines a wide range of long-debated proposals into a single bill intended to dramatically expand the power of labor unions. "NRF has significant concerns with this sweeping legislation and its infringement on both employee and employer rights," NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. nrf.com

Workers Cite COVID-19 Safety Concerns in Overwhelming Strike Vote
Food Supply Chain Teamsters Vote To Strike Third Largest Grocery Chain
In The Southwest
Teamster drivers and warehouse workers at a critical Albertsons grocery distribution center have overwhelmingly voted by 98 percent to authorize a strike to protest the company's failure to address workers' COVID-19 safety concerns and to demand that the company stop violating federal labor laws.

The roughly 900,000 square foot distribution center, just outside of Phoenix, services approximately 175 Albertsons, Safeway and Vons grocery stores throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Utah, Las Vegas, Nevada, and El Paso, Texas.

Teamsters Local 104 represents over 700 drivers and warehouse workers at the Phoenix facility. They report that Albertsons is not complying with important COVID-19 safety guidelines, including failing to provide drivers with personal protective equipment, including face masks and hand sanitizer, and refusing to address warehouse workers' concerns regarding social distancing in the distribution center.

"Albertsons is raking in record profits during the pandemic, while its front-line workers are putting themselves and their families at risk," said Russell Medigovich, a business agent at Teamsters Local 104. "It's outrageous that these workers are being forced to supply their own personal protective equipment and being crowded in on top of each other in Albertsons' warehouse."

Albertsons' distribution workers' collective bargaining agreement with the company is set to expire at midnight on February 27, 2021, releasing drivers and warehouse workers to engage in concerted protected activity including strikes and work stoppages. prnewswire.com

Coronavirus pandemic renews debate for hacker-proof IDs
Coronavirus has brought more scams than any event in the last decade. Lawmakers and advocates are proposing a way for the government to protect Americans: Giving everyone a digital ID that could prove they're really who they say they are.

"The covid crisis just laid bare many of the inadequacies in the identity system in the United States, particularly as our economy becomes more reliant on the digital space in our efforts to combat the epidemic and in our ordinary lives," said Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) yesterday at a policy forum on identity and authentication hosted by the Better Identity Coalition, Fido Alliance and Identity Theft Resource Center.

Foster introduced legislation that would create a framework for tools that allow Americas to verify their identities online in the fall.

Foster seeks to give states funding to use the same systems they use to issue driver's licenses to support digital identities. The idea is that everyone would have a unique digital identifier that could be scanned online and verified by the government - not unlike two-factor authentication. washingtonpost.com

13M Counterfeit Masks, 177K Test Kits, 38K Drugs Seized
Millions of Counterfeit Masks Flooded U.S. Customs Facilities Last Year

U.S. Customs agents seized nearly
13 million counterfeit face masks in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, according to a report set for release Thursday, as the Covid-19 pandemic spurred demand for protective equipment.

Agents also confiscated
177,000 test kits prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration and 38,000 chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine tablets that were barred by the FDA, the report said.

Other items intercepted included nearly
37,000 so-called antivirus lanyards touted to prevent Covid-19 infection and which contain substances prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in an annual report on trade and travel set for release Thursday.

"What we are seeing is, no big surprise, a lot of counterfeits rolling through those supply chains," Brenda Smith, who heads CBP's Office of Trade, said in an interview.

China was the origin of 51% of the seizures, according to the report. The agency's 10,000 officers carried them out at more than 300 points of entry. wsj.com

"Rent-A-Cops" Become "Mask Police"
"Mask Police" Hired By Health Department in Shelby County, IND.
The official title is compliance officer. That's what it says across the back of the polo shirts of the employees who work for Bloomington-based Security Pro 24/7.

The "mask police" as they are known around Shelby County were hired to help the nine-person health department with the mask mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those complaints focused on people not wearing masks and not social distancing at businesses. So "rent-a-cops" became the "mask police" canvasing restaurants, bars, box stores and other businesses in Shelby County.

The compliance officers have no enforcement authority. "These guys go out and they are there for education only," Lewis said. "That's all they're doing is helping us on compliance on educating people."

Security Pro 24/7 started working in Shelby County in mid-December and is under contract through the second week of February. The company has been working even longer in Monroe County with similar compliance education. wthr.com

Vaccine 'Hunger Games'
Seeking shots, 'vaccine hunters' cross state lines

They are called "vaccine hunters," and they are creating an ethical dilemma for health officials across the country. With overwhelming demand in the early months of the vaccine rollout and a patchwork of rules devised by local officials, thousands of Americans are crossing state lines in quest of a shot.

"The federal government has created this 'Hunger Games' scenario where people are out there doing everything they can to get to the front of as many lines as they possibly can," said Dr. Francisco García, director of the Pima County Health Department in Tucson, Ariz.

So-called vaccine hunter groups scour the country for places where people can qualify for the vaccine, and then spread the word via social media. Many then show up far from home, with sleeves rolled up. Some vaccine hunters say the flaws in the vaccine distribution process left them little choice but to take to the road. nytimes.com

Dems push $1.9T COVID relief resolution through Senate with no GOP support as Harris casts first tie-breaking vote

'The mutants are here,' Fauci says: US vaccines in a race to box out virus

Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine could arrive in the U.S. soon

Rite Aid Opens More Than 300 New No-Charge COVID-19 Testing Sites

Publix distributes next batch of COVID-19 vaccines to 325 Florida pharmacies

Look inside Yankee Stadium, New York's newest COVID vaccine mega-site

Super Bowl Covid Safety Plan
NFL says it has a plan for Super Bowl safety, but experts still warn of Covid risks

The National Football League is bracing for the final contest of the season with Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, and the league is promising that the event won't turn into a Covid-19 superspreader.

The NFL said it will
distribute kits including hand sanitizers and KN95 masks to fans at Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers to help limit any spread.

NFL executive Jeff Miller said mask-wearing will be mandatory for fans, players and team staff, and the league will enforce social-distancing measures.
The NFL said attendance in 65,000-seat Raymond James Stadium will be limited to 25,000, including 7,500 vaccinated health workers.

Read more about the NFL's plan: cnbc.com

Superspreader Sunday? Experts worry Super Bowl could trigger
coronavirus explosion

A weekend defined by indoor parties comes as new coronavirus variants are spreading

Skip the parties that could turn Super Bowl Sunday into Super Spreader Sunday, experts and government officials are pleading ahead of America's biggest sports day.

On a weekend usually defined by packed gatherings in bars and living rooms, with fans screaming at televisions and sharing spreads of finger foods, authorities are urging smaller, quieter celebrations.

"I can't say it seriously enough: I want everyone who is celebrating this Sunday's game to be back next year, and that means not allowing 2,000 more Kansas Citians to die," Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in an interview. "I'm a lifelong fan of the Chiefs, but I am more of a fan of peoples' families sticking around and staying alive."

In addition to a traditional wager of local items, Lucas and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor this year joined forces for a public service announcement, donning face masks and pleading with residents to celebrate safely. washingtonpost.com

A Super Bowl for the pandemic era: more testing and fewer fans

The NFL Had Over 700 Coronavirus Positives This Season. The Seahawks Had None.

2021 Super Bowl Ads Are Funny, Festive & Full of Celebs.
But Where Are the Face Masks?

Behind the Scenes with NFL's Chief Security Officer
'NFL 360': Cathy Lanier shares how she handles security for the NFL

Veteran law enforcement official Cathy Lanier was hired by the NFL in 2016 as Senior Vice President of Security. She previously served as Washington D.C. Chief of Police.

As the league's chief security officer, Lanier supervises all operations and activities of the NFL security department. She oversees coordination with the league office and the 32 clubs and also works with federal, state, and local law entities to ensure the security of the NFL's venues, fans, players, staff and infrastructure. She is also the primary supervisor of investigative programs, event security including the Super Bowl and international games, game integrity programs, and department administration.

In this 8-minute video, learn more about Lanier's background and how she handles security for the NFL. nfl.com

Officials: No threat to Super Bowl 55 amid rise of white supremacy
There is no specific threat of an attack connected to the Super Bowl and related events despite concerns about the rise of white supremacist extremism, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

The FBI has made several arrests in the Tampa area of people who allegedly took part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. But Michael McPherson, chief of the Tampa FBI office, said no links have been found indicating something similar might occur surrounding Sunday's game. usatoday.com

Internet Scraping Photos Illegal in Canada
Clearview's facial recognition tech is illegal mass surveillance,
Canada privacy commissioners say

One commissioner said the software puts people 'continually in a police lineup'

Clearview AI's facial recognition amounts to mass surveillance and the company should delete the faces of Canadians from its database, Canada's privacy commissioners said Wednesday.

Commissioner Daniel Therrien said what Clearview does - scraping photos from social media and other public sites for use by law enforcement - is "illegal" and creates a system that "inflicts broad-based harm on all members of society, who find themselves continually in a police lineup."

The commissioners released a report that follows a yearlong investigation by several Canadian privacy agencies into Clearview's practices, which found the company had collected highly sensitive biometric information without consent and that it "used and disclosed Canadians' personal information for inappropriate purposes."

Clearview's database of some 3 billion images was revealed in a New York Times investigation in January 2020. In addition to raising serious concerns about privacy, the company's practice of taking images from social media violated the platforms' rules, and tech platforms sent cease-and-desist orders to Clearview in the wake of the report.

Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That told the Times that the company had ceased operations in Canada last July due to the investigation, and he added that Clearview was not planning to delete Canadians' images from its database, but that people could request their data be removed by using an opt-out form.

The commissioners don't have the authority to fine companies or order them to leave Canada, but they sent a letter of intention to Clearview telling the company to stop scraping images of Canadians' faces, stop offering its facial recognition product in Canada, and to delete previously collected images of Canadians. theverge.com

Be On the Lookout Next Week:
Facial Recognition Special Report Coming Next Week - For a Global & U.S. Perspective - Internet Scraping's Running Into Issues Globally

TMA's ASAP-to-PSAP Program Marks its 79th and 80th
Emergency Communications Centers (ECC)

The Monitoring Association (TMA) is pleased to announce the addition its 79th and 80th municipalities to go live with its expanding ASAP-to-PSAP program. Launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, TMA's ASAP-to-PSAP service is designed to increase the accuracy and efficiency of calls for service from alarm companies to PSAPs.

TMA welcomed its 79th Emergency Communications Center (ECC), the Cayuga County NY 9-1-1 Center and the 6th ECC in the state of New York to implement ASAP. The Paradise Valley AZ Police Communications Center is the 80th ECC in the United States and 4th ECC in the state of Arizona to implement ASAP. tma.us

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Coresight Research
Weekly Store Tracker, Week 5
2,147 2021 YTD Closures
2,039 2021 YTD Openings

Ocean container losses topple annual average in 2 months
More than 2,675 containers lost in 5 accidents since end of Nov due to heavy weather in N. Pacific

Nordstrom reducing 33% corporate office space in Seattle

Best Buy is quietly closing US stores across 4 states

Family Dollar taps Instacart to make same-day deliveries chain-wide

2020 Holiday Season: One for the Record Books

Quarterly Results
COVID-19 Big Impact

The Buckle January comp net sales up 35.3%, net sales up 33.6%
The Buckle Q4 comp net sales up 18%, net sales up 17.7%
The Buckle FY 2020 comp net sales up 0.4%, net sales up 0.1%

Costco January - U.S. comp's Up 16.4%, e-commerce up 106.7%, net sales up 17.9%
Costco for 22 wks. comp's up 14.7%, e-commerce up 79.5%, net sales up 15.4%

Ingles Markets Q1 no comp store data provided, net sales up 10.4%

Canada Goose Q3 no comp store data, DTC down 0.8%, wholesale up 10.6%, total revenue up 4.8%

Yum Brands Q4 comp's down 1%: global sales down 2%, KFC down 1%, Taco Bell down 3%, Pizza Hut down 6%
Yum Brands FY 2020 comp's down 6%: global sales down 4%, KFC down 5%, Taco Bell flat, Pizza Hut down 7%

Sally Beauty Q1 comp's down 3.7%, e-comm sales up 48%, consolidated net sales down 4.5%

Tapestry Q2 Coach net sales down 4%

Columbia Sportswear Q4 DTC net sales down 4%, Wholesale net sales down 5%, net sales down 4%
Columbia Sportswear FY DTC net sales down 13%, Wholesale net sales down 21%, net sales down 18%

Kohl's Q4 update - comp's down 11%, digital up 20%, total revenue down 10%

Sketchers Q4 DTC down comp's down 13.4%, DTC sales down 6.4%, Domestic wholesale up 1.2%, Inter. wholesale up 2.5%, consolidated sales down 0.5%
Sketchers FY 2020, DTC sales down 19.7%, Domestic wholesale down 9.7%, Inter. wholesale down 8.3%, consolidated sales down 11.9%

Ralph Lauren Q3 North America revenue down 21%, Europe Revenue down 28%, Asia Revenue up 14%
   NA retail revenue down 21%, comps stores down 21%: b&m down 30%, digital up 9% wholesale down 22%
   EU retail revenue down 28%, comps stores down 38%: b&m down 51%, digital up 68% wholesale down 17%
   Asia revenue down 14%, comps stores down 3%: b&m up 1%, digital up 54%


Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Loss Prevention Program Director - Food Retail Channel job posted for IntelliShop in Arlington, VA
As a program director, you will work together with our loss prevention consultants and audit teams to oversee: investigative, operational audit, and training operations to reduce the inventory shortage; increase the overall profitability of your assigned food retail channel clients and minimize possible business risks You will also assist in reducing and control all losses related to the inventory shortage, risk management & security. IntelliShop is an independent customer experience research and improvement firm. indeed.com

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Don't Miss Tuesday's Webinar:

Combating Instacart Fraud, Theft and More


E-commerce platforms like Instacart have seen their overall footprint within the grocery and retail industries skyrocket during the pandemic. While more consumers move to buying products this way, brands are being left to decipher how to best optimize this new relationship with Instacart.

Join us for a new webinar that covers the latest trends, tips and tricks on how to best leverage your Instacart data.

This webinar will cover:

  • Analyzing the impact of Instacart on the retail and grocery industries

  • Tracking the specific fraud and theft cases rising across the Instacart Shopper landscape

  • Digging into the correlation between your In-Store vs. Instacart sales

  • Leveraging your Instacart data for Category and Pricing Analysis

  • And more...






National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force
Releases Ransomware Factsheet

The National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) has released a joint-sealed ransomware factsheet to address current ransomware threats and provide information on prevention and mitigation techniques. The Ransomware Factsheet was developed by an interagency group of subject matter experts from more than 15 government agencies to increase awareness of the ransomware threats to police and fire departments; state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; and critical infrastructure entities.

To reduce the risk of public and private sector organizations falling victim to common infection vectors like those outlined in the NCIJTF factsheet, CISA launched the Reduce the Risk of Ransomware Campaign in January to provide informational resources to support organizations' cybersecurity and data protection posture against ransomware.

CISA encourages users and administrators to review the NCIJTF Ransomware Factsheet and CISA's Ransomware webpage for additional resources to combat ransomware attacks.

Ransomware: Average Ransom Payment Declines to $154,108

As Gangs Fail to Honor Data Deletion Promises, Fewer Victims Paying

Good news: While ransomware attacks continue to pummel organizations, fewer victims have been paying a ransom, and when they do, on average they're paying less than before. That's the assessment from ransomware incident response firm Coveware, based on thousands of ransomware cases that it helped investigate from October to December of last year.

"The uptick in haphazard data destruction has led some victims to suffer significant data loss."

From Q3 to Q4 last year, the average ransom payment declined by 34%, reaching $154,108, while the median ransom payment dropped by 55% to $49,450.

That's a big change from what had been a monthslong increase in the number of ransoms and the amount being paid, driven by attackers increasingly stealing data and threatening to leak it online to better pressure victims into paying. databreachtoday.com

U.K. Arrest in 'SMS Bandits' Phishing Service
AdvertisementAuthorities in the United Kingdom have arrested a 20-year-old man for allegedly operating an online service for sending high-volume phishing campaigns via mobile text messages. The service, marketed in the underground under the name "SMS Bandits," has been responsible for blasting out huge volumes of phishing lures spoofing everything from COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts to PayPal, telecommunications providers and tax revenue agencies.

SMS Bandits offered an SMS phishing (a.k.a. "smishing") service for the mass sending of text messages designed to phish account credentials for different popular websites and steal personal and financial data for resale. krebsonsecurity.com

China has stolen the personal data of 80% of American adults
Bill Evanina, former Director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center, recently appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes where he warned that Beijing is attempting to collect and exploit Americans' health care information, including their DNA. He also claimed that China has stolen the personally identifiable information of 80% of Americans, using
"less-than-honorable" methods to steal data, including hacking healthcare companies and technology, such as smart homes, sensors and 5G networks. securitymagazine.com

The CISO role has greatly expanded across the enterprise according to new global study

Gartner predicts 40% of boards will have security committees by 2025




Week Left!
The 2021 CNP Awards Program is Accepting Merchant 'Team of the Year' Award Nominations Now Through Feb 12
In case you missed it, the Card Not Present team would like to remind you that now is the time to recognize your team's accomplishments! The 2021 CNP Awards Program is still accepting nominations for our Merchant "Team of the Year" Award category, which honors and recognizes merchants like you who have used innovative techniques to overcome payment, fraud and risk management challenges for their organizations.

For those of you who may not know, the CNP Awards are the only awards honoring the companies, programs and solutions that have distinguished themselves in the card not present space throughout the year. Taking place virtually again this year on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, don't miss the opportunity to be recognized in front of your peers for your accomplishments and innovative solutions at the annual CNP Awards. Start your nomination here

'Tsunami of Online Returns'

Here's what really happens to the items you return online
Despite conventional thinking, returns often don't end up back on the shelf, according to Palacci, CEO of 888 Lots, a liquidation company based in New Jersey. "Customers really believe that the product just goes into the black hole or ends up being resold to another customer as brand new. And in many instances, that's not the case." As it turns out, returned products -- even in brand new condition -- can end up in liquidation warehouses, like Palacci's.

And this year, he just might get a record number. As the pandemic shuttered doors and shoppers increasingly turned to online retailers, the promise of free returns has now led to what experts predict will be a "tsunami" of returned items for retailers to deal with.

Following 2020's holiday shopping season, real estate firm CBRE estimates that more than $70 billion worth of online purchases will be returned -- a 73% increase from the previous five-year average.

To be sure, Amazon, Target, and Walmart resell a portion of returned products themselves. Amazon, for instance, operates Amazon Warehouse -- a marketplace for used and refurbished products. Similarly, Walmart lists refurbished electronics on its website and resells returned products in its stores' clearance section.

But sometimes the math just doesn't add up for that to make sense. That's good for Palacci's business. cnn.com

First Type of Coordinated Investigative Takedown
Social media companies take action against account thieves
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter disabled accounts stolen by hackers tied to an online forum where criminals trade stolen accounts, Krebs on Security's Brian Krebs writes. The companies also sent the hackers cease-and-desist letters demanding they immediately stop all action violating the platforms' terms of service.

The users say they've facilitated tens of thousands of trades of the stolen accounts.

A Facebook representative said that this is the first public enforcement takedown it has taken against the community. Twitter said its investigation was done "in tandem with Facebook," and TikTok said it "will continue to focus on staying ahead of the ever-evolving tactics of bad actors, including cooperating with third parties and others in the industry." washingtonpost.com

Jeff Bezos' $500M real estate portfolio: See all his luxury houses
Starting out in 1994 as an online bookstore, Amazon morphed into a multitrillion-dollar company with Bezos, 57, as the ringleader of it all. Since then, he has amassed a gigantic real estate portfolio worth upward of $500 million, accounting for inflation. Ranging from properties in Beverly Hills to Seattle to good ol' West Texas, and even cities like Washington, DC, and New York City, Bezos has a home for each climate. nypost.com

Amazon begins testing customer deliveries using Rivian electric vans




Update: New York, NY: Group wanted in nearly two dozen robberies at high-end stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn
Police are searching for a group of people wanted in 23 robberies at high-end stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn since last September. The NYPD released surveillance video and images of the suspects Friday. The video shows a group of people leaving a Moncler store with bundles of clothing in their arms. Police said the most recent robbery was on Tuesday. The first robbery was on Sept. 9, according to police. The robberies were reported in the 1st, 19th and 78th precincts, which cover parts of lower Manhattan and the Upper East Side, as well as the area in and around Prospect Heights in Brooklyn. Police said the group removed large quantities of merchandise from the racks of stores and fled without paying, sometimes using force when confronted by security personnel. No injuries were reported in the robberies, police said. pix11.com

Bluffton, SC: Traffic stop in Bluffton leads to recovery of stolen property from stores
A traffic stop Wednesday on U.S. 278 in Bluffton led to the recovery of stolen property from several retail stores, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. At around noon Wednesday, the BCSO said it received a call about a shoplifting incident at a retail store in Tanger Outlet 1 in Bluffton. According to the BCSO, deputies and the Bluffton Police Department received a description of the vehicle the suspects were driving. A short time later, deputies said they found and stopped the vehicle in the median U.S. 278. Deputies and Bluffton police officers said they approached the vehicle and found three adults and one juvenile. Deputies said they found and seized more than 100 pieces of merchandise believed to have been stolen from several retail stores in the area, including the store where the shoplifting had just been reported. fox28media.com

Fort Myers, FL: Thieves steal five Ring Doorbells from Fort Myers Best Buy
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is searching for two women that stole five Ring Doorbells from a Fort Myers Best Buy. The theft happened around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday when the two women went into the Best Buy, according to SWFL Crime Stoppers. The suspects stole five Ring Video Doorbells valued at $229.99 each and left in a silver or gray Hyundai Sonata with tinted windows, investigators said. abc-7.com

Gloucester, Township, NJ: Pair suspected of shoplifting electric scooters, hoverboards from South Jersey Targets
Authorities in southern New Jersey are on the lookout for a pair suspected of shoplifting several electric scooters and hoverboards from Target stores in recent days. The Gloucester Township Police Department on Thursday released several images showing a man with cartfuls of Bird Air and Razor electric scooters and hoverboards at the Target on Cross Keys Road. Police say the suspect quickly leaves the store and loads the stolen items into a red SUV driven by a white woman. Investigators suspect the pair pulled the same scheme at other Target locations. fox29.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Appleton, WI: Charges filed in fatal Fox River Mall shooting in Wisconsin
Prosecutors have charged a teenager who is still on the run in a fatal shooting at a mall in eastern Wisconsin. According to a criminal complaint filed in Outagamie County Circuit Court, 17-year-old Dezman Ellis and 19-year-old Jovanni Frausto were at the Fox River Mall in suburban Appleton with friends Sunday afternoon and had a chance encounter. The complaint says Ellis was with his girlfriend who used to date Frausto. According to prosecutors, witnesses told police that an argument began between Ellis and Frausto and that Ellis pulled out a gun and shot Frausto. wiproud.com

Shoreline, WA: Safeway workers help man shot multiple times in store parking lot
A man who was shot multiple times during an altercation in a Safeway parking lot has store workers to thank for bringing him to safety. According to the King County Sheriff's Office, the disturbance started about 1:30 a.m. outside the Safeway in Shoreline. A worker said he heard what sounded like a dog fight, followed by gunshots. He said he saw the victim running toward the door, so he ran out, pulled him in and closed the door. It happened after the store had closed. Safeway workers told Q13 News they believe they helped save the shooting victim's life by pulling him into the store and locking the door as he was being chased by a man who was still firing shots. q13fox.com

Denver, CO: Federal Arrest Announced As Part of Dollar General Shooting Investigation
United States Attorney Jason Dunn announced that Johnny Ray McCaslin, age 49, of Arvada has been charged with being a felon in possession of firearm and ammunition. Mr. McCaslin is scheduled to have his initial appearance in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado on Monday afternoon. According to facts contained in the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, evidence supporting the firearm charge was obtained as part of an investigation into a shooting at a Dollar General store in Arvada on January 26, 2021. Mr. McCaslin was identified as a suspect in that shooting, which led to a search warrant for his residence. During that search, investigators located two firearms and ammunition. Mr. McCaslin has previously been convicted of felonies in the State of Colorado and is therefore prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. justice.gov

Auburn, AL: Two arrested, after man and his dog shot at Auburn gas station
The shooting happened just after 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening at the Murphy USA. Police say the victim, identified as a 24-year-old man from Opelika, was sitting in his car at the gas station when he was shot multiple times. The shots were fired from a nearby car. Investigators say a dog that was in the victim's vehicle was severely injured. wrbl.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

San Jose, CA: Responsive Authorities, Alert Public Credited for Preventing Possible Tragedy at Valley Fair Mall
A shooting threat at a San Jose mall Wednesday afternoon could have ended in tragedy if not for the quick thinking of authorities and the public, according to police. Police said 21-year-old Hunter Tital of Seaside had a loaded gun on him when they arrested him inside Westfield Valley Fair mall. In his car, authorities found a loaded assault rifle. "There is no doubt this guy was ready to inflict some harm on people at that mall," San Jose police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. Police said Tital said so himself. The incident was a classic case of "if you see something, say something." Someone in Santa Cruz County called 911 after apparently watching Tital on Snapchat making threats to shoot up a mall. "Our detectives and deputies recognized the severity of that threat and immediately began investigating," Santa Cruz County Sheriff's spokeswoman Ashley Keehn said. They alerted San Jose police, who quickly strategized on how to move in. nbcbayarea.com

Las Vegas, NV: Grand jury indicts former 311 Boyz member for theft, forgery, coercion

Little River, SC: North Myrtle Beach Flea Market destroyed by fire, ruled accidental

Yolo County, CA: Massive Bail - Half Million for a Pair - Set for Catalytic Converter Theft Defendants who stole over 60+

Akron, OH: Car dealer owner attacked during test-drive after driver picks up teens




Auto - Akron, OH - Robbery
C-Store - Las Vegas, NV - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Madison, WI - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Florence, SC - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Fort Worth, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - New Orleans, LA - Burglary
C-Store - Santa Rosa, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Santa Rosa, CA - Armed Robbery
Electronics - Ardmore, OK - Burglary
Gaming - Louisville, KY - Burglary
Gas Station - Allentown, PA - Burglary
Gas Station - Hampton, NH - Robbery
Grocery - Allentown, PA - Burglary
Hotel - Columbus, GA - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Honolulu, NI - Robbery
Jewelry - Gastonia, NC - Robbery
Jewelry - Orlando, FL - Robbery
Restaurant - Federal Way, WA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant- Nashville, TN - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery
Verizon - Philadelphia, PA - Robbery
7-Eleven - Linden, NJ - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 17 robberies
• 5 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 96 robberies
• 31 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



Jeffrey Heyl named Regional Asset Protection Manager
for Sherwin-Williams

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