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ORC 4-9-12



2012 Archives

ORC ring of three females busted at Burlington Mall in Burlington. Mass., after hitting Bath and Body Works and several other stores. A search of their vehicle resulted in the recovery of hundreds of dollars worth of stolen merchandise from area stores. Detectives are working with other agencies to identify the location of each store. Police believe these three individuals are members of an organized retail theft ring responsible for multiple thefts in the area. In a separate effort Burlington Police busted another two-female shoplifting team hitting the Express Store in the same Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass. as they coordinate their efforts with security personnel to curb ORC at the Mall. (Source

Las Vegas Police nabs 50 in identity theft stings. 13 suspects have been apprehended in the Chase bank ATM identity thefts, while 19 others arrested in Vegas in Operation Open Market. Fourteen others have been arrested in eight additional states with connections to information gained through the investigation. (source
Excerpts from GAO-11-675:  Efforts to Combat Organized Retail Crime

The U.S. Government Accountability Office ORC report June 2011

Stakeholders Identified Additional Federal Actions Intended to Deter e-Fencing and Mitigate Potential Health and Safety Concerns but Potential Impacts Are Unknown

Seller Contract Information

Retail and law enforcement stakeholders we interviewed identified two options that could help combat ORC, but both would require legislative action to implement and the potential impact remains unknown. The first, proposed by two retailers and representatives from three retail associations we spoke with, would require that identified high-volume sellers on online marketplaces list a verified name and address, viewable to potential buyers. According to one retailer, this initiative would be intended to provide an additional deterrent to e-fencing by reducing the perception by sellers of anonymity during online transactions. Determination of high-volume sellers could be based on sales volume or the number of completed transactions in a specified time period. However, officials from online marketplaces we interviewed identified several potential concerns with such a requirement and it is not known to what extent it would deter those engaged in e-fencing activities.

Specifically, officials from eBay stated that providing potential buyers with seller contact information may undermine its business model by allowing buyers to circumvent the site and contact sellers directly. Similarly, Amazon officials noted that making this information public is currently prohibited by the company’s terms and conditions and emphasized their desire to avoid any potential efforts by customers to circumvent Amazon and pursue direct sales from merchants. Further, eBay company officials noted that providing public access to seller information may also present a potential safety risk as specific merchandise, its estimated value, and its location would be available to potential criminals, a safety concern that Amazon officials echoed. Finally, eBay officials voiced concern that providing full contact information, particularly an email address, may present an increased risk to sellers of identity theft due to the greater potential for "phishing" scams. These concerns would likely also apply to other online marketplaces with similar business models that cater largely to individual sellers. In addition, as discussed previously, eBay already conducts a number of actions to validate sellers on its site and collects a great deal more seller information than such a requirement would provide, information that the company makes available to retailers and law enforcement as requested.

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