The LPRC Wants Your Feedback!
In the weeks following the annual IMPACT conference, the Loss Prevention
Research Council collects feedback from its members and plans a roadmap for the
coming year's research. Now is an excellent time to get involved! Check out
www.lpresearch.org and reach out now to participate in deciding this year's
research topics. Contact Mike Giblin from the LPRC at
LPRC to investigate SNAP food stamp fraud
- Will present findings to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
The University of Florida (UF) won a competitive grant from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture this month. The UF research team will be assisted by the industry
group Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) in designing and executing the
The purpose of this critical research is to provide the Food and Nutrition
Service (FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, with information regarding the
practices of large national and regional food retailers to prevent and reduce
SNAP (food stamp) fraud. Large food retailers have lower levels of SNAP fraud than smaller retailers that
sell SNAP-approved food products. The goal of the research is to use the
information obtained from the large retailers to identify the most promising
practices to reduce SNAP fraud that could be successfully implemented by smaller
UF's Dr. Mike Scicchitano will be the project's Principle Investigator, while UF
Research Scientist and LPRC director Dr. Read Hayes will serve as Co-Principle
Investigator. The team will travel and meet with US retail loss prevention
executives identifying anti-fraud techniques and results as part of the project.
Convenience, drug, supermarket, dollar and other retailers will be included in
the study's sample.
Criminals seek out softer targets for fraud
Online fraud in the U.S. is expected to nearly double to $19 billion by 2018
from $10 billion in 2014, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, a
consulting company based in Pleasanton, Calif. In Britain, which began shifting
to chip cards in 2001, online fraud rose 55 percent from 2005 to 2008, according
to the UK Cards Association, an industry group.
People attempting to commit fraud online buy card numbers and other information
from hackers who invaded computers systems at companies such as Target Corp. and
Home Depot Corp. Then they use the stolen card numbers to make online purchases.
To stop the criminals, Allen Walton examines orders at his surveillance
equipment company, SpyGuy Security, one by one. "We manually scan all orders for
anything suspicious, like fake names, requests for overnight delivery and
high-ticket orders," says Walton, whose company is based in Dallas. He finds
fraudulent orders several times a month. The increase in online fraud is
likely to happen over time, partly because the switch to chip cards is ongoing
and expected to continue into 2016.
Technology can help companies root out fraud with software that analyzes a
number of factors in a transaction: whether shipping and billing addresses
match, whether the order is placed from an unfamiliar computer or device and
whether the email address associated with the order is unfamiliar. A high number
of transactions in a short time is another red flag, says Tom Donlea, director
of e-commerce at Whitepages, a Seattle-based company whose services include
address verification for online businesses. When several suspicious factors are
present, the software flags a transaction so a retailer can investigate.
EliteFixtures.com, a retailer of lighting fixtures and other products in
Hillsborough, N.J., has built a fraud detection system that it says has almost
completely eliminated fraudulent transactions. "If someone is ordering a
$10,000 chandelier and it's going to a ZIP code where the median home price is
$130,000," says owner Steven Annese, "that doesn't make sense."
Many U.S. consumers still in the dark about EMV
Earlier this month, the long-awaited EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa)
liability shift, which requires merchants to implement EMV-compliant
point-of-sale terminals in their stores, officially took effect. Retailers that
fail to provide support for chip-enabled credit cards will now assume
responsibility for fraudulent transactions. However, if preliminary news reports
are any indication, there seems to be confusion among consumers about when,
where and how to use chip-enabled credit cards. In fact, according to a recent
survey from ACI Worldwide, a provider of electronic payment and banking
solutions, 59 percent of consumers surveyed reported that they have yet to
receive a new chip-enabled card, while 67 percent said that they have not
received information from their credit card issuer or bank explaining what EMV
means and how it will impact them. Of those who have received chip-enabled
cards, only 32 percent are aware that the U.S. is moving to EMV, and the
majority did not know the real reason that they received a new card.
Strange drone thefts baffle tech biz
Burglars have stolen more than $100,000 in merchandise from North America's
largest drone retailer. Given the spike in demand for consumer drones, the
recent spate of drone-related burglaries may not be so outrageous. The FAA
predicts a million drones could be sold during the upcoming holiday season, and
products like DJI's Phantom 3 have become in-demand consumer electronics. The
fact that consumer drones have only recently come into their own means they are
also typically sold alongside other valuable consumer electronics, like HD video
cameras and tablets. "They're hot and they have low depreciation," Thorpe says.
"The drones that they steal range between $1,000 and $3,000, and if you just
grab a bunch of them that's like $20,000 or $30,000 worth of drones."
Wawa Worker Told To 'Speak English' Says Firing Was Biased
- Fired for alleged theft after complaining to manager
An immigrant from Kosovo hit Wawa Inc. with a suit in New Jersey federal court
Wednesday, alleging he was fired from his gas-station attendant job after
complaining that a new manager told him to speak English because no one could
understand him. Safet Hajra says he was accused of stealing money from
registers and then fired without proof after informing the general manager that
a new supervisor had told him multiple times in front of coworkers and customers
to speak English.
On April 29, 2012, a new manager commented on Hajra's English, which he says
came as a surprise because he only spoke English at work and had never received
complaints. After the third instance, Hajra told the general manager that the
remarks created a hostile work environment, and the new supervisor said she
regretted the remarks, according to the complaint. A few days later, an
investigator started questioning Hajra about money missing from the register.
She allegedly called him a criminal and threatened to have him deported.
He offered to pay back any discrepancies that occurred during his shift as long
as the investigator could provide proof, but his request was ignored, and he was
fired after the hour-long interview.
Forever 21 Latest Hit With Suit Over On-Call Scheduling
Forever 21 Retail Inc. on Wednesday became the latest target over the practice
of using on-call shifts after a former sales clerk hit the retailer with a
proposed class action in California state court for allegedly failing to
compensate employees who report but ultimately aren't put to work. Raalon
Kennedy alleged that Forever 21 doesn't pay its employees reporting time pay,
which they are entitled to if they report to work but aren't put to work or work
less than half a scheduled day's work, calling this practice the latest form of
Retailers Are Planning to Open 80,000 New Stores Over Next 48 Months
- Dollar stores and discount stores to expand the most
Retailers are feeling pretty good about their business with net absorption of
88M SF and occupancy projected to increase another 1% next year; new development
can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future, says Alan Shor,
president of Dallas-based The Retail Connection. There's almost 80,000 new
stores on the planning board for the next two years; that's a 4.2% increase over
the last two years. Another boon for retailers: holiday sales for this Christmas
period are projected to increase by 4%, reflecting nice, solid growth, he says.
Alan tells us the retailers with the greatest amount of expansion planned
include the dollar stores like Family Dollar, Dollar General and Dollar Tree, as
well as other discount stores like Aldi, Forever 21, Sprint and Aaron's. The QSR
category, including Subway, Pizza Hut and Dunkin Donuts, continues to have
explosive growth, as well. There are also certain parts of the country outpacing
the norm, he says. California is having a development boom with San Francisco,
San Jose, San Diego and Orange County leading the way. Denver, Seattle and
Boston are also seeing a strong rebound in new retail projects. But, Alan
believes there is no better place to be than Texas; Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin
and Houston are three of the top five markets for retail real estate investment
and development, according to PwC.
RetailNext Forecasts Modest 2.8% Holiday Lift for Retailers
RetailNext Inc., the worldwide expert and leader in retail analytics for
brick-and-mortar stores, today announced a positive forecast for U.S. retail
performance over the November through December Holiday period, predicting a 2.8
percent year-over-year (YoY) lift in sales, driven in large part by a 16.2
percent increase in YoY sales through digital channels.
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RLPSA CONNECT Event in New Orleans Features Mayor, Chief of Police
and District Attorney
RLPSA follows success
of Houston crime workshop by connecting restaurant loss prevention
and security professionals with valuable law enforcement
Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association (RLPSA) will hold
a one-day security workshop at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel
in New Orleans Tuesday, November 17, featuring New Orleans Mayor
Mitchell J. Landrieu, Superintendent of Police Michael S. Harrison,
and District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
Other workshop events include a session
conducted by CAP Index on restaurant crime statistics in the greater
New Orleans area, a discussion of how to use technology to defend
against theft and robbery, an open forum on restaurant security
practices, and a panel on law enforcement and government issues.
The first "crime workshop" was held in Houston
and its success led to a new strategy for a series of workshops now
known as RLPSA CONNECT. "Our crime workshop series, RLPSA CONNECT,
will help connect attendees with their peers within the restaurant
LP communities, and establish networking opportunities for
connecting with local law enforcement, and government and food
service practitioners," said RLPSA Executive Director Jim Forlenza,
"Our Houston program sold out, which is an indication of how
important this topic is to restaurant security at all levels."
Click here to see the full event agenda.
for the workshop is required using the
attached reservation form. Seating is limited to the first 90 registrants.
Hotel reservations can be made at the special RLPSA rate of $149,