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NRF 2020 Organized Retail Crime Report
A benchmarking study on how ORC impacts the retail industry.

Retailers Report Rising Cases & Increased Losses From Organized Thefts

Retailers cited relaxed law enforcement guidelines, changes in shoplifting laws and decreased penalties for shoplifting among the causes for increased ORC.

WASHINGTON - Organized retail crime is continuing to grow, with the number of dollars lost topping a key threshold for the fifth year in a row and three-quarters of retail companies that have been victims saying activity is up, according to the 16th annual ORC study released today by the National Retail Federation.

"Retailers are seeing more cases and higher losses as organized crime continues to target stores, warehouses and cargo," NRF VP for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. "Retailers are investing millions to fight these crimes, but they need more help from law enforcement and, most of all, they need tougher laws that recognize the difference between petty shoplifting and professional crime for profit."

survey found 75 percent of loss prevention executives at a cross-section of large and mid-sized retail companies said ORC activity had increased in the past year, up from 68 percent last year. Losses averaged $719,548 per $1 billion in sales, a 2 percent increase from last year and the fifth year in a row that the figure topped the $700,000 mark.

Current losses compare with only $453,940 in 2015, and the increase of nearly 60 percent comes as many states have raised the threshold of what constitutes a felony, allowing criminals to steal more before being subject to stronger penalties than a misdemeanor. Among retailers surveyed, 64 percent have seen an increase in average ORC case values in states where that has happened, up sharply from 51 percent who said the same each of the past two years.

Close to two-thirds (61 percent) of retailers said their companies are
prioritizing ORC more than they were five years ago, with 52 percent allocating more technology to reducing risks such as ORC-related thefts and 36 percent increasing loss prevention budgets.

Retailers are looking for
more support from law enforcement, with only 64 percent saying they were satisfied with help received from local police (down from 84 percent last year), 55 percent with state authorities (down from 75 percent) and 50 percent with federal agents (down from 69 percent). ORC often crosses state lines, and around 70 percent of those surveyed each of the previous three years had said a federal ORC law is needed. But with no action on ORC in Congress in a decade, the number fell to 62 percent this year. Read More Here

Note: The survey was conducted before the full economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic was seen, and may not reflect the impact, if any, that the pandemic has had on ORC.

Protests & Violence

2020's murder increase is 'unprecedented.' But is it a blip?

The spike in murder across the board in the United States defies easy explanation.
But getting control of the pandemic looms large on lists of proposed solutions.

Overall crime has dropped dramatically in the U.S. since the late 1990s, but the 2020 homicide rate "now exceeds the rates of the late '80s and '90s, before the big drop," says Richard Rosenfeld, lead author of "Pandemic, Social Unrest and Crime in US Cities," a new report. "This round of crime increase is unprecedented."

This year, 51 cities of various sizes across the U.S. saw an average 35% jump in murder from 2019 to 2020 - a "historically awful" development, says New Orleans-based crime analyst Jeff Asher, who crunched those numbers. A different study looking at 21 U.S. cities found 610 more murders in those jurisdictions this year over last year. In those cities, gun assaults increased by 10% over 2019.

One nonviolent crime that's rising is shoplifting. An estimated 54 million Americans are struggling with hunger this year, a nearly 50% rise since 2019. High joblessness, the end of federal pandemic aid, and a relative lack of a safety net in the U.S. are leading to high rates of despair, experts say. csmonitor.com

NYC Shootings Have Doubled From Last Year
New York City Police to Target Gang Leaders in Campaign Against Gun Violence

New York Police Department detectives will target gang leaders in a fresh campaign against gun violence as New York City grapples with a rise in shootings that is more intense than any seen in the previous 20 years, police officials said.

Gun violence in New York has surged in 2020 to heights unseen in a decade, according to NYPD data. The city has recorded 1,412 shooting incidents in the first 11 months of 2020, a nearly 96% rise from 721 in the same period last year. The number of shooting victims in the city was 1,730 in the first 11 months of this year, more than double the same year-ago period.

Police officials believe that roughly half of this year's shootings were linked to gang activity. Many of the conflicts that led to those shootings were fueled by personal disputes or clashes over the illegal drug trade or control of gang turf, the officials said.

To stem the rise in shootings, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said in an interview that police would focus their efforts for the coming year on leadership of local crews, with a law-enforcement strategy known as precision policing. Chief Harrison also said officers would redouble their efforts to strengthen relationships in communities with high numbers of shootings. He said some residents have been less likely to participate in police investigations amid a rise in antipolice sentiment following the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody. wsj.com

Rising Gun Violence Across America:

Chicagoans reflect on devastating year of gun violence, and what can be done to stop it

Los Angeles Police Dept. reports more homicides than they've seen in over a decade

Philadelphia: Gun violence frustration leads to possible solutions, city leaders say

Miami-Dade top cops discuss growing rate of gun violence in area

Atlanta: Lenox Square Mall to add metal detectors, gun-sniffing K-9s
to security plans after shootings

One of Atlanta's busiest malls will be adding metal detectors to a growing list of safety precautions in the face of multiple shootings, or reports of shots fired inside or nearby, in the last year.

"Lenox Square is one of the most surveilled environments in Atlanta and has 18 times more security personnel by square acre than the city of Atlanta," the mall said in a statement.

Officials with Lenox Square are adding new methods to their security protocol. In addition to linking their more than 200 security cameras and adding license plate readers at vehicle entrance points, the mall said it has recently added K-9 patrols trained to detect firearms. Perhaps the most talked-about additions, however, are metal detectors designed to check for firearms.

And, finally, the mall pointed to an "Operations Intelligence Center" staffed with 120 trained specialists who are tasked with monitoring closed-circuit surveillance video in real-time. 11alive.com

Minneapolis Riots - Target HQ Arson Update
Three More Charged

Three Men Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Arson Of Target Corporation HQ
A federal indictment charging SHADOR TOMMIE CORTEZ JACKSON, 24, VICTOR DEVON EDWARDS, 31, and LEROY LEMONTE PERRY WILLIAMS, 34, each with one count of conspiracy to commit arson of the Target Corporation's corporate headquarters building announced on Dec. 10th. JACKSON, EDWARDS, AND WILLIAMS were previously charged via federal complaint with arson. Formal detention and arraignment hearings will be scheduled at a later date.

According to allegations in the federal indictment and documents filed with the court, on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, Minneapolis experienced arson, rioting, and looting following the suicide of a suspect in a homicide, and in response to false rumors surrounding the man's death. JACKSON, EDWARDS, and WILLIAMS, along with unidentified others, breached the doors and entered the Target Corporation building. Once inside, JACKSON intentionally set a fire on a counter inside the mailroom while EDWARDS stood nearby. EDWARDS later added a liquid accelerant to the fire located on the mailroom counter with the intent to fuel the existing fire. justice.gov

No Video - No Witnesses - No Case
Prosecutors: No charges in pawnshop killing during George Floyd unrest
County Attorney says state can't refute owner's claim of self-defense.
Hennepin County prosecutors said Monday that they would not bring criminal charges against a south Minneapolis pawnshop owner who fatally shot a man during the unrest that followed George Floyd's death earlier this year, saying they lacked the evidence to rebut the owner's self-defense claim.

County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement that the destruction of potential video evidence by looters and the refusal of key witnesses to testify precluded prosecutors from charging the owner, John Rieple, in the death of 43-year-old Calvin Horton. startribune.com

COVID Update

US: Over 16.9M Cases - 308K Dead - 9.8M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 73.4M Cases - 1.6M Dead - 51.5M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 225   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 163
*Red indicates change in total deaths

2nd U.S. Vaccine Could Be Authorized This Week
Moderna Vaccine Is Highly Protective and Prevents Severe Covid-19, Data Show

Newly released data confirmed on Tuesday that Moderna's coronavirus vaccine is highly protective, setting the stage for its emergency authorization this week by federal regulators and the start of its distribution across the country.

Food and Drug Administration intends to authorize use of the vaccine on Friday, people familiar with the agency's plans said. The decision would give millions of Americans access to a second coronavirus vaccine beginning as early as Monday.

The review by the F.D.A. confirms Moderna's earlier assessment that its vaccine had an efficacy rate of 94.1 percent in a trial of 30,000 people. Side effects, including fever, headache and fatigue, were unpleasant but not dangerous, the agency found. nytimes.com

As vaccines trickle across the US, more Americans are now hospitalized
with Covid-19 than ever before

After a day of celebration and heartache, Americans face a harsh reality with the Covid-19 crisis.
A record 110,549 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized Monday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. That will inevitably lead to more deaths as Christmas and New Year's Day get closer. And while more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine get sent across the country this week, there won't be enough for everyone for months. 

What's next with vaccine distribution | Overcoming vaccine hesitancy | States and cities crack down | cnn.com

Supermarket pharmacies set for delivery of COVID-19 vaccine

CDC prioritizing essential retail workers for vaccination among other at-risk groups

Pharmacies at supermarkets and other grocery retailers nationwide stand ready to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines once they're received, according to FMI (The Food Industry Association), whose members operate approximately 12,000 supermarket pharmacies across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prioritized initial distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to health care professionals - including in hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, long-term care facilities and other sites - and to residents of nursing and assisted living centers. They will be followed by
essential workers, including grocery and food industry employees, and then seniors and adults with chronic health conditions. Mass distribution of the vaccine to Americans is expected in the second quarter of this year.

"Pharmacists have played an integral role in increasing vaccination rates across the country," FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said in a statement, "with more than 25% of annual influenza vaccinations administered within pharmacies and more than 50% of shingles vaccines administered by pharmacists. And now, these health care professionals stand ready to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination effort."

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination program will provide
COVID-19 vaccine coverage to about 60% of pharmacies in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Grocery retailers participating in the program include Ahold Delhaize USA, Albertsons Cos., Costco Wholesale, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, The Kroger Co., Meijer, Publix Super Markets, Southeastern Grocers and Walmart, among others. supermarketnews.com

Walgreens to hire 25,000 & CVS 10,000 for COVID-19 vaccinations
Walgreens expects to receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 21 and plans to inoculate nursing home residents and workers at more than 30,000 long term care facilities nationwide.

CVS Health and Walmart are also gearing up to administer doses in nursing homes and assisted living centers. Walmart is preparing more than 5,000 in-store pharmacies to receive the vaccine. chicagotribune.com

"To-hell-with-it attitude - I'll roll the dice"
'I can't handle it anymore': COVID fatigue is winning at the worst possible moment
An exclusive new Harris Poll conducted for Fast Company shows fatigue around COVID-19 is leading to less news consumption-and more risky behaviors.

What's been dubbed COVID fatigue is manifesting itself in an alarming number of people shrugging off safety measures and consuming less news about the pandemic, according to a new Harris Poll conducted exclusively for Fast Company.

Twenty-seven percent of Americans say they're less likely to engage in certain safety precautions than they were six months ago, curtailing things like frequent handwashing, wearing masks in public, and social distancing. The reasons why run the gamut, with some survey respondents (43%) saying they've come to terms with the fact that the pandemic isn't ending soon. Another 27% cited the imminent availability of a vaccine as their reason for being more lax, while 23% said they'd rather just live their life and take their chances.

News overload

Americans are also showing a
decreased appetite for news coverage about the pandemic. Close to one-fifth of Americans are consuming less COVID-related news than they were six months ago. (The Harris Poll finds that 89% of Americans are keeping up with pandemic news at least once a week and 63% report media check-in at least once daily.)

Rebel without a mask

Ditching safety measures comes from either a sense of rebellion or a false sense of security, which often stems from someone testing the limits-say, by not wearing a mask or by attending a large party-and then not getting COVID. When individuals break rules a bit and get away with it, they're more likely to adopt new behaviors.

We're switching from fear of COVID to acceptance of COVID. When you make the shift from fear to acceptance, it makes us more comfortable with the choices we make, hence, being more lenient about what we're doing." fastcompany.com

Re-Open Minnesota Coalition To Open Early
160 Minnesota businesses plan to defy Walz shutdown order

Loose-knit group of about 160 businesses committed to reopening early.

An executive order issued last month by Gov. Tim Walz closing bars and restaurants and other businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19 is set to expire Friday.

But a loose-knit group of businesses
doesn't plan to wait to reopen their doors.

ReOpen Minnesota Coalition, which claims support from roughly 160 statewide businesses ranging from bars to fitness studios, plans to defy the governor by encouraging members to reopen Wednesday, the same day Walz is expected to extend or modify his executive order or let it expire. Their livelihoods - and their constitutional rights - are at stake, said Lisa Monet Zarza, a coalition member who owns Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

State Attorney General Keith Ellison wouldn't say Monday whether he plans to take action against businesses that reopen early. But he hinted at such in a written statement, saying: "I get no happiness out of enforcing the order, but my duty to protect Minnesotans from the deadliest global pandemic in a century demands it. startribune.com

UK: Asda ramps up store Covid security ahead of Christmas peak
Asda has announced it is ramping up its Covid security measures for the run-up to Christmas. The supermarket said it would be deploying extra security on the doors of all its 421 large superstores between 19-24 December.

Meanwhile its virtual queueing app Qudini has been rolled out to all of those stores, following an initial trial at its branch in Middleton, Leeds. The virtual system allows users to book a place and log into a virtual queue with their phones, and wait in their cars to avoid extended queues.

Asda said automatic counting technology had been installed in its 100 busiest stores to control access and help customers to socially distance.

The supermarket also said a protective antimicrobial coating was being added to customer "touch points" such as fridge and freezer handles and checkout areas. The coating, said to provide a protective film that helps to kill bacteria and viruses, is also being applied to all basket and trolley handles. thegrocer.co.uk

UK: Relaxing Christmas rules a 'major blunder that will cost many lives', medical journals warn in rare joint statement
The relaxing of coronavirus restrictions across the UK at Christmas is a "blunder" that "will cost many lives", doctors have warned. In a rare and extremely damning joint editorial on Tuesday, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Health Service Journal (HSJ) warned that the government's Christmas bubble plan is "rash". Up to three families can form a Christmas bubble to meet in a private home between 23 and 27 December (22 and 28 December in Northern Ireland) despite escalating COVID-19 cases and the emergence of a new strain linked to faster spread of the disease. yahoo.com

Updated 12-14-20 CDC: How CDC Is Making COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations

What You Need to Know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Los Angeles: Ambulances Waiting 4 Hours To Offload Patients As L.A. Has Just 56 Adult ICU Beds Left, Orange County Has None

US nursing homes, confused by initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout, will begin immunizations next week, CDC says

Survey: 2 in 5 U.S. households say income hasn't recovered from initial coronavirus hit

Nygard Update
Canada's Retail Version of Epstein Arrested

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard arrested in Canada amid sexual assault allegations
Manhattan fashion designer Peter Nygard has been arrested in his native Canada amid allegations that he sexually assaulted dozens of teenage girls and women, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The 79-year-old disgraced mogul was picked up in Winnipeg under the Extradition Act and is set to appear in a courtroom Tuesday afternoon, according to court records.

Federal authorities raided Nygard's Manhattan headquarters earlier this year - less than two weeks after a lawsuit accused him of luring young women to his Bahamas estate with cash and modeling opportunities.

Several of them claimed they were 14 or 15 years old when the mogul plied them with booze or drugs and then raped them. nypost.com

Canadian Fashion Executive Peter J. Nygard Charged With Sex Trafficking And Racketeering Offenses
A nine-count indictment charging Canadian fashion executive PETER J. NYGARD, 79, with racketeering, sex trafficking, and related crimes arising out of a decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas, and Canada, among other locations.

NYGARD was taken into custody on December 14, 2020, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by Canadian authorities after the United States requested Canada issue a Provisional Arrest Warrant pursuant to the extradition treaty between the two countries.

From at least in or about 1995, up to and including in or about 2020, PETER J. NYGARD was the leader and founder of an international clothing design, manufacturing, and supply business headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada, with major offices and warehouses in the United States, including New York City and California. Over this 25-year period, NYGARD used the Nygard Group's influence, as well as its employees, funds, and other resources, to recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims for NYGARD's sexual gratification and the sexual gratification of his friends and business associates. NYGARD and his co-conspirators, including Nygard Group employees, used force, fraud, and coercion to cause women and minors to have sex with NYGARD and others. justice.gov

What the CFO's are reading:
'How to Prioritize Employee Health and Wellness'
CFOs have an opportunity to support employees' mental, emotional, and physical health during a stressful time.

This certainly applies as well to the LP, AP, and Cyber Security leaders, all within the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) group. By simply replacing the title phrase CFO with ERM or your specific group, one can see the role all leaders need to play during this highly emotional and sensitive time.

The CEO and head of HR aren't the only people who should be taking care of your employees' health and well-being. As the leader an ERM group, it's your job to keep your employees healthy and safe as well - to take the lead as COVID-19 continues to make headlines around the world.

As McKinsey authors explain, "Amid all this uncertainty, the CFO can play a strong, central role, alongside executive peers, in stabilizing the business and positioning it to thrive when conditions improve. The CFO is the leader, after all, who most directly contributes to a company's financial health and organizational resilience day-to-day."

Physical Safety - Mental Health - Emotional Wellness

As a CFO, it's critical that you consider your employees' emotional wellness in addition to mental health. One way to do that is to make time for connecting 1-on-1 with your employees. This scheduled time with your employees is an opportunity to communicate clearly, show empathy, and offer counseling, coaching, and support. cfo.com

Editor's Note: Understanding this is a subject that every trade organization, industry group, and professional affiliations are all publishing and discussing, we still wanted to publish this one from CFO.com. It's the same message everyone should be focused on, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic. Taking care of your people, your team, and your organization beyond just the numbers is critical now more than ever. Just my thoughts. - Gus Downing

TMA Weekly Virtual Townhall - Dec. 17 @ 1 p.m. ET
Mark your calendar for a TMA Virtual Townhall focused on AT&T's 3G Sunset. If you are concerned about the 3G Sunset, join us for a special Town Hall to discuss the 3G Sunset and ways we can work together to request a 3G Sunset delay from AT&T. Integrator and monitoring center owners and executives, as well as security manufacturers and service providers are strongly encouraged to attend the event. The media is also welcome. Register here

Starbucks plans to open about 22,000 stores in the next ten years

Christopher & Banks weighs strategic options, including bankruptcy

Quarterly Results
Lululemon Athletica Q3 comp's 19%, DTC net revenue up 94%, net revenue up 19% in North America & 45% internationally, total net revenue up 22%

EZ Corp. Q4 total sales down 22%, pawn service charges (PSC) down 34%, Merchandise sales down 2%, Scrap sales down 72%, net sales down 26%

Christopher & Banks Q3 sales down 22.6%

J. Jill Q3 total net sales down 29%

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The New Rules of Consumer Privacy
by FaceFirst CEO Peter Trepp

What does it take for companies to survive in today's fast-changing landscape? The secret: balancing consumers' often competing desire for privacy, security and convenience.

That's no easy task. Technological innovations have now made it possible to keep consumers safer than ever before, while offering brands never-imagined insight into consumer behavior. And yet, data breaches and privacy scandals undermine consumer confidence on a daily basis.

It's time for a new model. In The New Rules of Consumer Privacy: Building Loyalty with Connected Consumers in the Age of Face Recognition and AI, FaceFirst CEO and author Peter Trepp has devised a set of rules that will help companies uphold consumers' privacy without sacrificing their security and convenience. By following these rules, brands can create a win-win scenario that will maximize revenue, reduce crime, provide consumers with the best experience possible and ensure that consumers' privacy is reasonably protected.

Included in The New Rules of Consumer Privacy:

● The Five Privacy Principles every company must follow
● The new rules of responsible data handling, according to leading academics and visionaries
● How technology adoption has forever changed our expectations of privacy
● How to deliver security, privacy and convenience at the same time
● Why transparency matters to brand loyalty
● The global legislative landscape
● The future of Artificial Intelligence

This book is a must-read for entrepreneurs, business leaders and anyone curious about face recognition, artificial intelligence or the future of privacy. Here's how to order your copy.

About Peter Trepp
Peter Trepp is CEO of FaceFirst, a global patented enterprise-grade facial recognition software platform designed to be scalable, fast and accurate while maintaining the highest levels of security and privacy. As an executive leader, investor and entrepreneur, Peter has helped numerous technology companies achieve successful exits, including CSC's purchase of ServiceMesh, BlackLine's sale to Silver Lake Sumeru, and RedHat's acquisition of Inktank. He earned his MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and BS degree in Economics from UC Irvine. Peter is a widely quoted industry expert whose thought leadership has appeared in the Wall Street Journey, New York Times, Bloomberg, Digital Journal, Education Week, Business Insider and elsewhere






From Russia with Love?
18,000 Organizations Possibly Compromised in Massive Supply-Chain Cyberattack
In what may well turn out to be one of the most significant supply-chain attacks in recent years, a likely nation-state backed group compromised systems at SolarWinds and inserted malware into updates of the company's widely used Orion network management products that were released between March and June 2020.

In total, about 33,000 of SolarWinds' 300,000 customers - which include numerous government agencies, 499 of the Fortune 500 companies, and over 22,000 managed service providers - could have potentially received the compromised software updates. Some 18,000 organizations worldwide may have actually installed the poisoned software on their systems, SolarWinds said in a SEC filing Monday.

The filing suggested that attackers might have initially broken into SolarWinds' systems by compromising the company's emails and using that to access other data in its Microsoft Office 365 environment.

In a measure of the widespread concern the breach has stoked, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an emergency directive Sunday urging all federal civilian agencies using SolarWinds' Orion products to immediately power down or disconnect the technology. The Emergency Directive, only the fifth since 2015.

FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia described the campaign as likely the work of a sophisticated state-sponsored threat actor with top-tier resourcing and operational skills. Some within the industry have pointed to Russian intelligence agencies as being behind the attacks. darkreading.com

The EU & UK Are Getting Serious About Internet Abuses & 'Online Harms'
Beginning months if not years of debating & haggling

Tech Giants Face New Rules in Europe, Backed by Huge Fines
Proposed bills would be the bloc's most ambitious internet laws since GDPR

European officials want new powers to oversee internal workings at large tech companies such as Facebook backed by threats of multibillion-dollar fines, in a bid to expand their role as global tech enforcers.

The European Union's executive arm Tuesday proposed two bills-one focused on illegal content, the other on anticompetitive behavior-that would empower regulators in some cases to levy fines of up to 6% or 10% of annual world-wide revenue, or break up big tech companies to stop certain competition abuses.
At the same time, the U.K., which has exited the bloc, said Tuesday that it is advancing similar legislation covering what it calls Online Harms. It would create a duty of care requiring social-media companies and search engines to take measures to prevent a range of illegal or potentially harmful material from being distributed on their platforms, or face fines of up to 10% of annual global revenue.

Together, the two strands of legislation amount to the biggest potential expansion of global tech regulation in years. They aim to update decades-old laws that have largely shielded tech companies from liability for what their users do online. They would also create a new set of competition rules for a cadre of digital giants who have been accused of wielding their control of digital marketplaces to entrench their own positions and snuff out competitors. wsj.com

Editor's Note: This may be what finally motivates Congress to do something in the US. Let's hope so.

FTC orders Amazon, Facebook and others to explain how they collect and use personal data
The Federal Trade Commission is requiring nine tech companies to share information about how they collect and use data from their users, the agency announced Monday.

Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance, Discord, Facebook and its subsidiary WhatsApp, Reddit, Snap, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube were each sent orders to hand over information about their data practices. The companies have 45 days to respond from the date they received the orders.

The FTC is using its authority under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which allows it to pursue broad studies separate from law enforcement.

The agency is also seeking information about how how they determine which ads to show their users, whether algorithms or data analytics are used on personal information, how they "measure promote, and research" engagement from users and how their data practices impact children and teens.

The FTC filed charges last week against Facebook alleging the company has unlawfully maintained a monopoly in personal social networking services. cnbc.com

Tripwire's Retail Security 2020 Survey
203 Retail Security Professionals Surveyed

Survey: 78% of Retailers Took Additional Security Precautions Ahead
of the 2020 Holidays
Tripwire commissioned Dimensional Research to survey 203 security professionals working in the retail industry. The study specifically asked respondents about the state of their employers' digital security programs and how they have adapted to this year's particular challenges.

Their answers help to illuminate how COVID-19 has shaped the retail industry's IT security precautions for the holidays.

COVID-19 Spurs Greater Security Investments

A majority (78%) of security professionals working in the retail industry told Tripwire that their organization's IT security team had taken additional precautions for the 2020 holiday season. This rate was evenly split at 39% between those who had implemented slightly more controls and those who had enacted significantly more measures ahead of the holidays.

Three quarters of respondents said that their employers had invested in additional tools or technology. Slightly fewer than that (69%) revealed that their employers had updated processes, followed by the implementation of additional training at 65% of surveyed organizations.

About half (51%) of respondents said that their retailer organizations had increased their use of managed services, while 39% noted that their employers had hired additional employees or contractors.

Heightened Security Challenges Meet with Fatter Security Budgets

In fact, 82% of respondents said that their employers' overall security budget increased at least slightly over the course of 2020. These investments enabled organizations to cultivate best practices and security controls mandated by industry frameworks and regulations:

Looking Ahead to the Future

Get your copy, here: https://www.tripwire.com/solutions/solutions-by-industry/retail-and-hospitality/Retail-Holiday-Cybersecurity-Survey-Report

Safer networks at home: Working remotely in 2021




Retailers Aren't Rushing to Buy Amazon's Just Walk Out
This program has yet to reach the scale of other endeavors - and that may be because retailers are wary of working with the 800-pound gorilla.

Amazon's decision to sell these technologies - which together are known as Just Walk Out - has a lot in common with Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing network. Like AWS, it's a new service-oriented technology, which the company first perfected on its own systems before selling as a service to other major corporations. AWS now has 45% of the cloud computing market

But there are reasons to think that Just Walk Out might not be an AWS repeat. Although Amazon secured an early high-profile deal with the airport vendor OTG, few other retailers have thus far followed. This time, Amazon's sheer size might end up holding it back. Amazon is playing both sides; it's offering new, back-end technologies to its rival retailers at the same time as it is collecting aggregate customer data to outmaneuver those very same retailers.

For retailers interested in cashier-less tech, the reason to opt for a startup like Grabango over Amazon Just Walk Out is data sharing. "Data that is generated by a retailer stays with that retailer with Grabango," Radlow said. Amazon, by contrast, is a direct competitor of all these retail stores - and by letting in its technology, retailers fear they might be enabling Amazon to gather customer information that will ultimately help it compete. modernretail.com

State Department Employee & Spouse Plead Guilty - Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods from U.S. Embassy
Seoul, Korea: U.S. Embassy Information Programs Officer & spouse pled guilty to selling counterfeit Vera Bradley products on numerous e-commerce platforms.

Between September 2017 and December 2019, the two conspired to sell counterfeit goods, primarily Vera Bradley products. Thompson Jr. used his State Department computer to create numerous accounts on a variety of e-commerce platforms. Once Thompson Jr. created these accounts, Zhang took primary responsibility for operating the accounts, communicating with customers, and procuring counterfeit merchandise to be stored in the District of Oregon. Thompson Jr. and Zhang also directed a co-conspirator in the District of Oregon to ship items to purchasers across the United States. justice.gov

Warning issued over using debit cards for online shopping







2014 LA Fashion District Raids & Investigation Continues:
Cartel Drug Money Laundering & Undervaluing $62 Million in Goods

 - Continued After 2014 Raids

Fashion District Wholesaler & 2 Men Linked to Company Indicted in Schemes to Avoid Tariffs, Launder Drug Money and Avoid Taxes
A federal grand jury has returned a 35-count indictment alleging that a Fashion District outfit was at the center of two schemes, one that avoided the payment of more than $10 million in customs duties on imported clothing, and a second "Black Market Peso Exchange" scheme in which the company laundered narcotics proceeds and failed to report on tax returns over $17 million derived from cash transactions.

The schemes are outlined in a 49-page indictment, which was filed late Wednesday and is the latest case resulting from an operation in September 2014 when law enforcement authorities executed dozens of search warrants as part of an investigation into money laundering and other crimes at Fashion District businesses. During one of those searches at a downtown condominium linked to the defendants in this case, authorities seized more than $38.3 million in cash.

Overall, according to the indictment, CTJ imported goods that were undervalued by more than $62 million, causing approximately $10,269,068 in unpaid tariffs and duties that should have been paid to CBP. Some of this conduct occurred prior to authorities executing search warrants at CTJ and GLLR in 2014, but the indictment alleges that undervaluation resumed in 2018 and lasted until at least July 2020.

In the second scheme, the Rhews used CTJ "to receive large amounts of bulk United States currency, including from narcotics proceeds, as payment for outstanding merchandise orders from customers in Mexico and elsewhere," CTJ allegedly accepted large cash payments of up to $70,000 even after the law enforcement action targeted their businesses in 2014.

If convicted of the charges in the indictment, the Rhews would each face potential sentences of decades in federal prison, and CTJ could face fines of as much as $100 million. justice.gov

The Daily's Previous Coverage

Sept. 11, 2014:

Nearly 1,000 federal & local officers raided over 70 shops in LA's Fashion District for money laundering Mexican drug cartel money - $65M seized Wed. morning

Oct. 24, 2014
U.S. agents scrambling to figure out how retail stores & businesses in LA's Fashion District laundered millions for drug cartels

Jan. 3, 2018
LA Fashion District Textile Co. & 2 Owners Plead Guilty - Laundering Drug Cartel $$
Case Started When 1,000 Officers Raided Fashion District Businesses in Sept. 2014


"Work at Home" Re-shipping Scam

Former Avondale Woman Sentenced To Three Years of Probation for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
New Orleans: PENNY JOHNSON, age 52, a former resident of Avondale, Louisiana, who now lives in Mississippi, was sentenced on December 9, 2020 to three (3) years of probation for conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

JOHNSON participated in a "work at home" re-shipping scam wherein internet fraudsters would direct items purchased from sellers such as eBay to JOHNSON's residence. As part of the scheme, JOHNSON would then inspect the contents and re-ship the mail and other packages to the fraudsters. Prior to the Indictment, JOHNSON had been advised by United States Postal inspectors that she was facilitating a fraud upon eBay and other online customers, but she persisted. The stolen/diverted mail included items such as a paintball gun, a drone, two Dyson vacuum cleaners, women's shoes, two Apple Air Mac books, and a smart phone. justice.gov

Monroe, NY: Two women from NYC accused of stealing over $2,000
of goods from a Walmart
A police investigation revealed that Erika Vargas and Brooke Lee left the store without paying for several items, police said. Vargas is accused of leaving the Walmart in Monroe with $1,229.97 worth of stolen merchandise. Lee fled the store located at 288 Larkin Drive in Monroe with $1,006.95 worth of stolen goods, according to New York State Police. hudsonvalleypost.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Shelby, NC: Mall theft chase ends in suspect being fatally shot by hourly associate
One person is dead and another in jail following a shooting near the Hampton Inn and Suites in Shelby. Jacob Wesley Isenhour, of Grover, has been charged with first-degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm inside city limits. According to the Shelby Police Department the victim, whose name has not yet been released, was leaving the Cleveland Mall via Dunham's Sports when the store security alarm sounded. Isenhour, an employee of the sports shop who was working at the time, allegedly chased the victim through the mall parking lot in an attempt to confront them. Isenhour located the victim near a wood line at the opposite end of the mall parking lot, where he allegedly shot at him. When Shelby Police arrived at the scene they located the victim near the hotel and placed Isenhour under arrest. Cleveland County Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene where the victim was pronounced dead. shelbystar.com

Pittsburg, KS: C-Store Armed Robbery suspect dies in custody; suspected suicide
The Pittsburg Police Department announced Sunday that a suspect in a recent string of armed robberies was taken into custody over the weekend. On Monday, however, Crawford County Sheriff Danny Smith confirmed that the suspect, 46-year-old William T. Haddan of Pittsburg, had died in custody. Smith said Haddan died early Monday morning, and while a final autopsy report will take some time to complete, it was suspected that Haddan's death was a suicide. On Friday, Dec. 11, Pittsburg police officers were dispatched to the Pete's convenience store in response to a call about an armed robbery, Haddan was arrested a short time later.  morningsun.net

UK: Harrow, England: Shoppers flee as man killed in triple stabbing in town centre
Horrified Christmas revellers ran for cover after a young man was killed in a triple stabbing that left a high street looking like a "war zone", witnesses said. Two gangs brandishing weapons clashed near Debenhams in Harrow town centre last night as shops shuttered up from a busy trading day. Police found a man in his twenties suffering stab injuries at around 7.15pm in St Anns Road. Despite the efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other victims, believed to be in their late teens, also suffered knife injuries.  standard.co.uk

Eureka, MO: Shooting, chase started with argument following Walmart robbery
A shooting and pursuit that spanned two counties on Sunday started with an argument following a theft at the Kirkwood Walmart, charging documents say. Police said a man was shot near the Eureka-Wildwood border in St. Louis County just after 9 a.m. Sunday. The shooting, police said, stemmed from an argument amongst two suspects in a Kirkwood theft earlier in the morning. Charging documents said Brandon Burton, 29, and the shooting victim got into an argument after the Walmart robbery. The argument turned physical and police say Burton stopped his car off an exit of I-44 and tried to get the man out of the car. Burton then shot the man multiple times, police said. Officers near the scene later spotted the Burton's car, a white Nissan Sentra then led officers on a chase through Wildwood, Ballwin, Pacific and Grey Summit before crashing into a telephone poll in Franklin County. kmov.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

San Antonio, TX: JCP store employee assaulted during mall robbery
Police released surveillance photos of a man accused of assaulting a department store employee during a robbery. The robbery happened on December 5 at 6 p.m. at the JC Penney store at Ingram Park Mall. Investigators say the man walked into the store, stole some merchandise and assaulted the worker. The man got away and has not been found. foxsanantonio.com

Southhaven, MS: 2-year-old boy abandoned at Mississippi Goodwill store with note, bag of clothes

New Bern, NC: Man Convicted of Planning and Aiding and Abetting the $600,000 Armed Robbery of Jewelry Stores in Elizabeth City and Garner

Tampa, FL: Man Sentenced To 28 Years After Committing Five Armed Robberies




C-Store - Orlando, FL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Raynham, MA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Philadelphia, PA - Armed Robbery
CBD - Seguin, TX - Armed Robbery
CVS - Fort Wayne, IN - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Buford, GA - Armed Robbery
Family Dollar - Fort Dodge, IA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Honolulu, HI - Robbery
JC Penney - San Antonio, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Woodstock, GA - Robbery
Jewelry - Portland, OR - Robbery
Jewelry - Trumbull, CT - Robbery
Jewelry - Las Vegas, NV - Burglary
Jewelry - Glendale, AZ - Robbery
Jewelry - Arlington, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Hermitage, PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Chesapeake, VA - Robbery
Restaurant - Las Vegas, NV - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - New York, NY - Robbery
Walmart - Broward County, FL - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Kirkwood, MO - Robbery
7-Eleven - Denver, CO - Robbery
7-Eleven - Henrico County, VA - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 22 robberies
• 1 burglary
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



Sami Shaikh, LPQ named Multi-Site Loss Prevention Lead for Amazon

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Featured Job Spotlights


Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Raleigh, NC - posted Dec. 14
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

Leader, Asset & Profit Protection
San Fran/Chicago/NY/West Palm Beach - posted Dec. 14
As the leader of the Data/Analytics & Investigations strategy, you should have strong analytical/investigation skills, the drive to innovate, and the ability to build strong partnerships to lead through the influence of others. They will be personable, open to learning, collaborating with others...

District Asset Protection Manager
Seattle, WA - posted Dec. 11
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture

Regional Manager LP, Audit & Firearms Compliance
IL, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, NE, OK, MO & KS - posted Dec. 9
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage at the stores in their Territory. Investigate and resolves all matters that jeopardize or cause a loss to the company's assets

Customer Success Specialists
Multiple Locations - posted Oct. 9
The role of the Customer Success Specialist is to engage, empower, and excite our community. As a Customer Success Specialist, your primary responsibility is to ensure both retailers and law enforcement, who make up our community, have great experiences and achieve real crime reduction outcomes from using our platform.
Apply Here

Sales Representatives
NuTech National - posted Oct. 13
NuTech National, an established and rapidly growing 40+ year electronic security company is expanding our National Sales Team. Seeking motivated, driven and successful sales reps to expand our national retail and governmental vertical markets. Top pay, benefits and signing bonus available. Please apply to melissa@nutechnational.com

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