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Protests & Violence

Anti-Riot Bill Proposes Stiffer Penalties
Alabama House committee advances protest bill that targets rioters
Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a revised bill that would stiffen penalties for participating in a riot or demonstrations that block traffic, a proposal that drew criticism for its broad definition of what could be considered a riot.

The bill's sponsor said the measures are needed to crack down on violent behavior, but advocacy groups and Black lawmakers have raised concerns that the legislation could be used to silence peaceful demonstrators.

"It's about protecting lives," Treadaway said. "We're talking when you start burning buildings, you start looting stores and assaulting police officers, these new laws kick in."

The revised proposal would change the definition of a riot and define new crimes of assault against a first responder, aggravated riot and traffic interference. It would allow police to hold offenders for 24 hours without bond.  cbs42.com

New Police Reform Legislation
'Historic' Indiana police reform, training bill heads to governor to sign into law
A universally supported bill that codifies requirements for police officers to undergo de-escalation training in Indiana will head to the governor's desk after a year of rallies and protests calling for police reform.

House Bill 1006 unanimously passed through the Senate on Tuesday. In addition to training requirements, the bill allots $70 million to repair and update the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy's training facility.

It also establishes a procedure allowing the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board to decertify an officer who commits misconduct, prohibits chokeholds under certain circumstances and criminalizes an officer turning off a body worn camera to conceal criminal behavior.

The bill now heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk for a signature. indystar.com

Judge Deciding Whether Jurors in Chauvin Trial Are Compromised
Judge weighs delay or change of venue after $27M settlement
The judge presiding over the murder trial of Derek Chauvin said Tuesday he is weighing whether to delay or move the murder trial in the wake of the city of Minneapolis announcing in the midst of jury selection that it pay the George Floyd family $27 million to settle a lawsuit.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said that he's considering a delay of the trial or having the proceedings moved to another city in the state. He added that he alone will question the seven jurors on Wednesday who were seated when the settlement was disclosed at a news conference. He wants to size up whether their ability to be fair to Chauvin has been compromised. startribune.com

Utah council tackles officer discipline, preps to enact new police reform laws

London protesters target controversial bill to give police more powers

COVID Update

110.7M Vaccinations Given

US: 30.2M Cases - 549K Dead - 22.3M Recovered
Worldwide: 121.3M Cases - 2.6M Dead - 97.8M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 266
*Red indicates change in total deaths

New Hotspots Emerging
After weeks of declining cases, echoes of hot spots emerge
in Upper Midwest, New York City area

As a dangerous variant spreads, experts urge continued coronavirus vigilance despite positive trends across U.S.

After weeks of declining coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations, new hot spots of infection have emerged, and disease experts warn that the spread of a more dangerous variant and a too-rapid rush to return to normal life could prolong the historic health emergency.

Caseloads are down nationally and tens of millions of people are fully loaded with antibodies to the virus, with more than 2 million people getting doses of vaccine every day. But the virus continues to pose a real and present threat, with about 55,000 new infections daily.

Michigan has seen a rise in hospitalizations and positive test results. Minnesota's numbers are creeping up, as are Maryland's and New Jersey's. Many places, including New York City and surrounding counties, are no longer seeing steady declines in cases, despite intensive vaccination efforts. washingtonpost.com

Positive Trends Continue - With Some Red Flags
U.S. COVID-19 deaths fall 22% last week, daily vaccinations set record
The United States reported a 22% decline in deaths from COVID-19 last week, while vaccinations accelerated to a record 2.4 million shots per day, according to a Reuters analysis of state, county and CDC data.

The number of new COVID-19 cases being reported each week has dropped for nine straight weeks, falling 10% to just under 378,000 in the seven days ended March 14. Deaths linked to COVID-19 dropped below 10,000 last week, the lowest since mid-November.

However, health authorities warned Americans not to lower their guard, pointing to a resurgence in infections in several European countries after they relaxed social distancing measures. reuters.com

Trending News: Picking Up OSHA Warning
Nat'l Law Review: OSHA Puts Employers on Notice: Expect an Increase
in COVID-19-Related Inspections
On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a National Emphasis Program (NEP) related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The purpose of the NEP is to ensure that "employees in high-hazard industries are protected from the hazard of contracting SARS-CoV-2"; the NEP directs OSHA to target worksites that have workers with increased potential exposure to this hazard. In addition, the NEP directs OSHA to ensure that workers are protected from retaliation for raising safety and health concerns related to COVID-19. natlawreview.com

OSHA Slammed Again in New OIG Report

Right on top of WSJ Scathing Investigative Report on March 4

DOL Inspector General Slams OSHA
Critical reports advocates for Emergency Temporary Standard
The Department of Labor (DOL) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has criticized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for inadequate COVID-19 enforcement and advocated for the adoption of Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), which OSHA is expected to issue very soon.

The OIG report acknowledges the political pressure the agency has had to operate under over the past year. "Due to the pandemic, OSHA has received a surge of complaints in a matter of months, while garnering the attention of Congress, labor unions, and media with requests to act swiftly on behalf of the 130 million workers at more than eight million worksites nationwide whom OSHA is responsible for protecting."

The OIG notes that restrictions on onsite inspection and travel led to a dramatic decrease in inspections, which dropped from more than 26,000 in an eight-month period in 2019 to approximately 13,000 inspections in the same timeframe in 2020. OSHA received 15% more complaints but performed 50% fewer inspections in a 10-month period in 2020.

The report also found that states operating OSHA state plans did better than the federal agency. During the pandemic, OSHA issued a total of 295 violations arising from 176 COVID-19 related inspections, while 1,679 violations arose from 756 COVID-19 related inspections that were conducted under State Plans.

"Increased complaints, reduced inspections and most inspections not being conducted onsite subject employees to greater safety risk," the OIG said. This was said to have led to "an increased risk that OSHA has not been providing the level of protection that workers need at various job sites." ehstoday.com

Will we see new protections/laws for shopworkers in the UK?
UK Ministers back new move to protect shopworkers
Minister from the Labour frontbench and across the House of Commons are backing calls for the creation of a new protection of shopworkers law.

The government to being asked to include a provision in its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to deliver much-needed legislation to tackle growing abuse against shopworkers.

Labour's frontbench has indicated they would support legal protection for shopworkers during the second reading debate on the bill and it attracted backbench support from across the House of Commons. The measure is also backed by leading retailers and trade associations. talkingretail.com

UK's Not Out of the Woods Yet - More Closures Coming
UK: Covid-19 pandemic drives record number of stores shutting down in 2020

Research from PwC & Local Data Company shows 17,532 chain stores closed down last year, while only 7655 opened

This leaves a net deficit of 9877 permanent store closures - the highest on record

The results are based on a survey of 208,000 shops operated by multiple retailers - in other words, retailers that operate five or more shops across the UK. The study, as reported by The Sunday Telegraph, described the figures as "expected" due to the pandemic.

The study also found that retail parks were least affected when compared to high streets and shopping centres, and that small towns were benefiting from a "mini-renaissance" due to restrictions on travel and stay-at-home orders.

The turmoil saw 176,718 jobs lost across retailers during 2020, according to data from the Centre for Retail Research (3,400 jobs lost weekly). retailgazette.co.uk

Law360 - Public Posting
Coronavirus Regulations: A State-By-State Week In Review
The first 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic were marked by the passage of a much-anticipated $1.9 trillion stimulus package this past week, as states forged ahead with vaccination expansion initiatives and relaxed rules for newly reopened industries.

Here's a breakdown of some of the COVID-19-related state measures from the past week. law360.com

Click below to see interactive state-by-state map

Fired for Refusing a Vaccine?
Florida employers can require employees to get vaccinated
With more people able to get COVID-19 vaccines and businesses taking steps to bring operations back to normal, can an employer require workers to get vaccinated? And what happens if an employee refuses?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance saying that generally, yes, "employers can mandate a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they comply with all federal EEO laws." There are a few exemptions and a recent survey found that many employers are in no hurry to put a mandate in place.

Florida is one of those states where employers have the upper hand. As an at-will employment state, unless you're under contract or in a union, employees have few legal rights and can be terminated for just about anything.

Employment Lawyer Cynthia Sass of Sass Law Firm in Tampa said those reasons can include refusing a vaccine if an employer requires it. fox13news.com

Law Enforcement Declining the Vaccine?
More than 800 Massachusetts State Police employees decline COVID-19 vaccine
More than 800 Massachusetts State Police employees declined to receive the COVID-19 vaccine despite being in the first stage of priority for the doses, police sources said.

A total of 845 members of the MSP, including sworn personnel and civilian officers, declined to receive the vaccine at state police clinics. That's about 30% of the force's sworn and civilian officers.

Sterling said that many officers received the vaccine at other sites, rather than police-designated ones. The union has not mandated that officers receive the vaccine and claimed it would be an invasion of privacy to ask members if they've received a vaccine dosage. abcnews.go.com

Returning to the Office - It's All About Safety Initiatives-Safety Patrols
& That "Extra Presence" of Safety Personnel

St. Paul Downtown Alliance prepares for office workers return post-COVID
For a year, only about 10% of downtown employees have ventured back to the office.

The St. Paul Downtown Alliance hopes to smoothly transition 55,000 office workers back into the urban core after months of being sequestered at home due to COVID-19. With a mix of outdoor cleaning, safety patrols and events designed to welcome office workers back into the city. Alliance President Joe Spencer expects the first wave of employees to return after July 4.

For now, the plan is to spruce up St. Paul, add a yet-to-be disclosed "extra presence' of safety personnel and host outdoor events. The Alliance will advertise events and safety initiatives so the public knows St. Paul is ready for thousands to re-enter downtown. startribune.com

COVID Forever Changed How We Work
Working from home is here to say, latest job listings show
The number of U.S. job postings on Indeed.com that mention "remote work," "telecommute" or "working from home" has more than doubled over the last year, from 2.9% in January 2020 to 6.9% last month, according to new data from the career services site. Most of those remote positions are in finance, law, therapy and technology, especially tech support and software development.

"Most striking is that the remote job postings share has continued to rise even as many workers have returned to the office," Jed Kolko, Indeed's chief economist, said in a blog post. cbsnews.com

Survey: What Employees Want Post-Pandemic
Employees want to feel safe at work, see their work friends and have work-life balance. How those wants are met may be different now because of COVID-19.


Despite Progress, Harassment Remains a Workplace Challenge
Three years after the #MeToo movement sparked a cultural reckoning around sexual harassment and assault, one-quarter of working Americans-including 29 percent of working women-say they are more likely to report an incident of sexual misconduct in the workplace than ever before, according to an independent CBS News poll. More than half of young men surveyed said that #MeToo has made them rethink some of the ways men behave toward women.

Despite this progress, work remains to be done, particularly by employers. According to a report from the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), Coming Forward: Key Trends and Data from the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, nearly two in three people reported the harassment or assault they experienced to their employer, and 28 percent of people surveyed said the harassment they experienced was not an isolated incident.

The report found that more than 70 percent of people who experienced workplace sex harassment and sought help from the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund faced retaliation of some kind. Of those who experienced retaliation, 36 percent reported being fired, while 19 percent reported poor treatment or heightened scrutiny in the workplace.

Of the workers who reported harassment, nearly 30 percent said nothing was done about it; 37 percent said nothing happened to the perpetrator.

A 2020 poll from the Gallup Center on Black Voices found that about one in four Black and Hispanic employees in the United States report having been discriminated against at work in the past year. For comparison, 15 percent of white employees reported discrimination. asisonline.org

States & Local Governments Just Piling On Lawsuits

Home Town State Arkansas Attorney General Sues Walmart Over Opioid Crisis
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Monday sued Walgreens, accusing the pharmacy chain of fueling the opioid crisis in the state by filling a large number of suspicious orders for painkillers.

Rutledge filed the lawsuit in Pulaski County Court, accusing Walgreens of violating the state's Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The lawsuit accuses Walgreens of not doing enough to safeguard against suspicious prescriptions being filled, leading to to a large amount of opioids being distributed around Arkansas.

Walgreens said it would vigorously defend itself against the suit, and the drug store chain said its pharmacists' primary focus has always been patient health and safety. The company said its pharmacists are equipped with "robust" policies and procedures as they make their best clinical judgment.

State and local governments have filed thousands of complaints against companies in the drug industry over their roles in the opioid epidemic. Pharmacies, including Walgreens, are targeted in many of the lawsuits. abcnews.go.com

FMCSA chief Joshi: Drivers will take hit from automated trucks

Acting Administrator Meera Joshi sees 'major shift' in trucker workforce

"We can argue about scope and timeline, but what we can't argue about is that this a reality: There will be a major shift in workforce," said Meera Joshi, acting administrator at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), speaking Wednesday at the agency's Analysis, Research and Technology Forum.

In January the U.S. Department of Transportation, at the request of Congress released a preliminary study assessing the affect automated driving technologies would have on the truck-driver workforce. The report found there is "vast uncertainty" about of how and when driving automation may be adopted in long-haul trucking and the associated effects on professional drivers.

But it also noted that in the long term, the adoption of Level 4 or 5 advanced driving systems "may supplant certain driving tasks and reduce the need for human drivers, leading to lower freight costs and productivity improvements, but also to periods of transitional unemployment for some affected workers." freightwaves.com

DSW parent eyes 65 store closures

Five Ideas for Designing an Effective Virtual Event Agenda

Quarterly Results
Caleres Q4 Famous Footwear down 6.2%, Brand Portfolio down 32.4%, ecommerce up 25%, net sales down 18.3%
Caleres FY 2020 Famous Footwear down 20.4%, Brand Portfolio down 35.8%, ecommerce up 40%, consolidated sales down 27.5%

Designer Brands (DSW) Q4 comp's down 20.1%, net sales down 26.6%, FY 2020 comp's 34.2%,
net sales down 36%

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Free Video Alarm E-Book:

Caught Red Handed - Twice!

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Upcoming RH-ISAC Events

April 15 - RH-ISAC Virtual Regional Workshop Hosted by Salesforce

May 6 - RH-ISAC Virtual Regional Workshop Hosted by Best Buy

May 12 - RH-ISAC Virtual Regional Workshop Hosted by PespiCo

May 20 - RH-ISAC Virtual Regional Workshop Hosted by Wendy's

June 17 - RH-ISAC Virtual Regional Workshop Hosted by Canadian Tire

Sept. 28-29 - 2021 RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit


RH-ISAC: Top Three Focus Areas for CISOs in 2021

In a year that tested our resolve, the RH-ISAC community was resilient. The COVID-19 pandemic altered business-as-usual operations, changing the ways consumers shop and travel, and how employees work. Many of our members were forced to reduce staff and contractors, financially de-prioritize large capital and long-term projects, and delay initiatives that would have contributed to the maturity of their information security programs.

It is no surprise, then, that 45% of the challenges that chief information security officers (CISOs) cited in our 2020 CISO Benchmark Report were organizational. Business priorities changed and increased the demand for internal services while the threat landscape - particularly related to eCommerce - accelerated and evolved. With limited funding, resources, and staffing, our members achieved more with less.

Find out what CISOs from the RH-ISAC community are focusing their 2021 efforts on
in the recent RH-ISAC blog post.


Security Industry CEO's Discuss Biden's $10B & Emerging Threats

Security CEO Roundtable: Restoring Our National Cybersecurity
Now that President Biden has proposed the allocation of $10 Billion for cyber security and IT modernization, what specifically should the federal government focus on to restore confidence in our national cyber security defense posture?

Cybereason held a roundtable event with leading security industry CEOs to discuss increased security funding in the recently passed American Rescue Package legislation in the wake of two recent devastating attacks.

Nation-state threat actors are conducting offensive operations against the United States with relative impunity - whether for espionage or through the spread of misinformation to influence elections. The panel examines what steps the US needs to take to deter bad actors like Russia and China, and what effective deterrence would even look like in a larger geo-political context. Do we need to play better offense?

The panel also examines emerging threats focused on COVID-19 vaccine research and production, attacks against healthcare facilities and other critical infrastructure. What kinds of threats can we expect to see more of in 2021?

But it's not all doom-and-gloom, as the panel also looks at what's going well in cybersecurity with regard to better enabling defenders and some of the more promising developments in the cat-and-mouse game of security. securityboulevard.com

Microsoft Security Response Center
We have been actively working with customers through our customer support teams, third-party hosters, and partner network to help them secure their environments and respond to associated threats from the recent Exchange Server on-premises attacks. Based on these engagements we realized that there was a need for a simple, easy to use, automated solution that would meet the needs of customers using both current and out-of-support versions of on-premises Exchange Server.

Microsoft has released a new, one-click mitigation tool, Microsoft Exchange On-Premises Mitigation Tool to help customers who do not have dedicated security or IT teams to apply these security updates. We have tested this tool across Exchange Server 2013, 2016, and 2019 deployments. This new tool is designed as an interim mitigation for customers who are unfamiliar with the patch/update process or who have not yet applied the on-premises Exchange security update.

By downloading and running this tool, which includes the latest Microsoft Safety Scanner, customers will automatically mitigate CVE-2021-26855 on any Exchange server on which it is deployed. This tool is not a replacement for the Exchange security update but is the fastest and easiest way to mitigate the highest risks to internet-connected, on-premises Exchange Servers prior to patching. microsoft.com

Risk management in the digital world: How different is it?
Managing risk arising from remote work has largely been reactive, and risk managers have had to adapt to new digital threats that weren't necessarily as prevalent when work was done from a physical office.

Risk managers need to think proactively about how working remotely impacts their organization's exposure to risk and how to mitigate potential breaches. This can happen through constant communication, and end in creating a risk-aware company that gives everyone the ability to assess and counteract risky situations.

Prioritizing and communicating risk
Last year, the number of active phishing websites increased 350% from January to March alone. Now that employees are connecting to the office from their own remote networks and not through their office's secure network, the chance of a security breach is higher than ever. While risk managers know this already, securing company data is essential to customer trust and longevity. To prioritize risk during remote work, risk managers need to involve executives and keep them updated and educated on potential problems and solutions. Prioritizing risk now will pay dividends in the long run.

Risk managers and executives must first identify the risks and find out where the company stands, aligning risk culture with the existing company culture. Then, they can implement new risk management strategies that may require drastic changes, such as new software, revised policies and educational tutorials on risk.

Working with technology and automation
Risk management can be assisted by new technologies developing in the IT and automation industries. Utilizing these new features comes at a price but automating tasks for risk management will save time and money in the long run. Companies need to prepare for new methods by creating a stable risk infrastructure before implementing them. helpnetsecurity.com

Call centers are a fraudster's field of dreams
Combating Call Center Fraud in the Age of COVID
Millions of pieces of personally identifiable information (PII) are transmitted from customers to service agents every day. Anyone able to infiltrate these systems - either physically or digitally - can turn around and make a small fortune selling all sorts of valuable information on the Dark Web. In fact, according to Aite Group, 61% of fraud originates in the call center.
During normal operations, security is extremely tight. Agents are authenticated with an ID badge, their arrivals and departures are tracked, and they are not even allowed to have a pen or pencil when taking calls. But these are not normal times. COVID-19 has shifted more than 1 million agents from locked-down call centers to work-from-home systems - weakening physical security strategies meant to prevent rogue actors from exfiltrating information for personal or financial gain.

Now, more than ever, it is critical that organizations with large call center operations take advantage of new, innovative technology to secure the conversation.

Preventing Work-From-Home Security Risks

1. Prove Agents Are Who They Say They Are
Speech recognition and voice biometric technology in the call center are nothing new. Organizations often use these technologies to authenticate customers that call in and to evaluate intent. But speech recognition and voice biometrics can be used on the agent side as well.

2. Automate and Encrypt PII Collection
Rogue agents and unauthorized users can't steal information they don't know. Instead of relaying PII verbally over the phone, customers can submit information digitally without any agent exposure. This can be done over text or encrypted SMS that pings a server on the back end and sends the agent a confirmation to continue the engagement once the data is accepted.

3. Detect Anomalies With AI
All call center calls are recorded for quality of service and security but, with thousands of calls conducted every day, not all can be monitored. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can close that gap by parsing through conversations to identify abnormal behavior at scale. These solutions can search for changes in tone, long pauses, and other indications that something unexpected has occurred. It can even learn to remove bias from fraud detection - such as forgiving specific speech patterns from agents that have a speech impediment or accent. By leveraging AI, systems are able to constantly learn and adapt models to improve accuracy. darkreading.com

Hackers are targeting telecom companies to steal 5G secrets



Register today for the Retail Loss Prevention Forum! This timely online event will bring together leading retail loss prevention and security professionals to discuss proactive strategies, technologies, and best practices for protecting people, property, and assets.

During the Retail Loss Prevention Forum, you'll gain actionable insights on these pertinent topics:

Organized Retail Crime
Cyber Security Landscape in Canada
Upside of Curbside & other Pandemic Measures
Responding to Escalated Violence
New Technologies for LP
Payment Security & Fraud Prevention
and more

Visit RCCLPConference.ca for full event information and stay tuned for agenda and speaker announcements.

COVID Update

In Case You Missed It
Toronto has had some of the longest COVID-19 business closures in North America
As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on for a year, Toronto has become a flashpoint for the inherent inequities and political consequences that come with difficult public-health decisions.

The city has had some of the strictest, and longest-running, closings in North America - and the harshest on small business. On Monday, when the stay-at-home order in Toronto and neighboring Peel Region is lifted and they enter the grey "lockdown" zone, retail stores will be able to open at 25-per-cent capacity for the first time in more than 100 days. (Big box and grocery stores have been allowed to operate throughout the pandemic, with certain limits.) But indoor dining, hair salons and barbers, gyms and recreational venues such as pools and cinemas will remain closed.

"I'm not suggesting Ontario become Texas, and end mask bylaws and end every restriction. What we're asking for is some alternatives to a blanket lockdown," said Dan Kelly, CFIB president and chief executive officer.

By contrast, in British Columbia, retail shops, restaurants and pubs have remained open during the second wave with safety protocols in place. Only Montreal's restaurants have been shuttered longer than Toronto's - since Oct. 1, compared with Oct. 10 - but retail stores and hair salons have been allowed to reopen in Quebec. Los Angeles has opened stores with limits, salons and outdoor dining; New York's indoor dining ban lasted from mid-December to Feb. 12 (Around 60 days by contrast - in Canada 270 days). theglobeandmail.com

COVID Infection Rates Climb inside Amazon Fulfillment Center
Amazon ordered to temporarily close Canadian warehouse over COVID-19 concerns
Amazon.com Inc's Canada division has been ordered to close its Brampton facility in southern Ontario, with workers being asked to self-isolate for 14 days, according to a statement from Peel Public Health on Friday.

Over the past few weeks, the rate of COVID-19 infection across Peel has been decreasing while the rate inside Amazon's fulfillment center has been increasing significantly, according to Peel Public Health.

Peel Public Health said a current investigation determined high-risk exposure to COVID-19 for everyone working at the facility cannot be ruled out.

All employees will be required to self-isolate through March 27, unless they have tested positive in the last 90 days and completed their isolation period, the health agency said. reuters.com

Have COVID-19 variants pushed Canada into a third wave of the pandemic?

'Eventually, but not for today,' Trudeau says of reopening Canada-U.S. border

Lagging vaccination rate puts Canadian factories at competitive disadvantage

March Is
Fraud Prevention Month in Canada

$160M in Fraud Losses Over Past Year
March is fraud prevention month, and experts warn of COVID-19 scams
Experts say the 17th annual fraud prevention month is highlighting new scams that have come to the surface during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Every year there's generally a different theme," said Const. John Schultz, community safety coordinator with the North Bay Police Service. "I believe (the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre) is really concentrating on the online frauds this year because of the COVID pandemic."

Experts say fraud is a growing issue across Canada, with thousands of victims each year.

"In Canada, we had over 100,000 reports received last year ... at the anti-fraud centre of scams, transiting Canada or affecting Canadians, with nearly $160 million in losses," said Jeff Thomson with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. northernontario.ctvnews.ca

Waterloo Region residents lost nearly $300K to gift card scams last year, police say
Residents in Waterloo Region lost more than $290,000 to gift card scams in 2020, according to police. In a release, officials said 167 people fell victim to scams, resulting in a collective loss of $293,867. Twenty-three people also fell victim to scams between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2021, for a combined loss of $57,430. Police said people lose an average of $2,100 per scam.

In the release, officials said scams are usually done through email or over the phone. Someone impersonates an acquaintance, friend, employee, supervisor or church member and asks victims to buy gift cards and give out the activation PINs for the card. They said the scammers will most often ask for Google Play, iTunes or Amazon gift cards. kitchener.ctvnews.ca

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects information on fraud and identity theft. We provide information on past and current scams affecting Canadians. If you think you're a victim of fraud, report it! Learn more

Interac tips in support of Fraud Prevention Month

Bail Hearing This Thursday for Canada's Epstein
Canada's AG Seeking Limited Publication Ban for Peter Nygard's Appeal
In advance of Thursday's bail appeal by former apparel tycoon Peter Nygard in a Manitoba court, the attorney general of Canada is seeking a limited publication ban.

The motion is seeking an order that would prevent the identities of any of the anonymous (alleged) victims or witnesses, who are referenced in any of the material provided by U.S. officials, from being revealed, according to the motion. It is being sought to prevent a serious risk to the administration of justice. The filing also claims that the identity of a witness previously anonymized in materials filed by the U.S. has been disclosed in evidence.

During the bail hearing, Nygard's attorney Jay Prober repeatedly argued that Nygard's health is at risk, being imprisoned during the coronavirus crisis. The attorney general's team countered that with properties in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas, the Finnish-born Nygard is considered to be a potential flight risk. yahoo.com

187K New Retail & Hospitality Jobs

Canada's job market snaps back from second-wave setbacks
Canada's job market snapped back in February, undoing nearly all the damage inflicted by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The labour market added a net 259,200 positions in February, blowing past the consensus estimate of 75,000. The rapid gain coincided with an easing of health restrictions in several provinces and followed the loss of 266,000 positions in December and January. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent from 9.4 per cent, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

The partial reopening was apparent in Friday's numbers. Quebec added 112,600 positions last month, while Ontario gained 100,300. The retail and hospitality industries combined for an increase of about 187,000 jobs, while the private sector did the bulk of hiring. theglobeandmail.com

Grocery Employee Files Breached
Coleman Group gets hit with cyber attack
The Coleman Group of Companies says it was the target of a cyber-attack that led to some of its files being accessed. It says some files may contain names, addresses and social insurance numbers of employees.

The attack was discovered and stopped the weekend of Feb. 20. The company issued letters to current and former employees to let them know of the attack. The Coleman Group hired a cybersecurity consultant to assist in the ongoing investigation.

Coleman Group of Companies includes Coleman Foods, the largest, family-owned independent grocery business in Atlantic Canada. grocerybusiness.ca

Opioid Deaths Rising in Canada
Opioid-related overdose deaths jump by 59 per cent in Ontario
Opioid-related overdose deaths increased by nearly 60 per cent in Ontario in the first 11 months of 2020, bringing renewed calls for a provincial overdose strategy.

The province recorded 2,167 confirmed and probable opioid-related deaths from January to November last year - a 59-per-cent increase over the same period in 2019, according to a report from the Office of the Chief Coroner.

B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan also had their worst years on record for drug deaths in the period since the COVID-19 pandemic began. theglobeandmail.com

Largest Yearly Investment Yet for Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada to invest over C$500 million on store upgrades
Walmart Canada said on Monday it plans to invest more than C$500 million ($400.06 million) this year to refurbish its stores. It would be the largest yearly investment in store upgrades, with more than 60% of outlets benefiting from the plan, the Canadian arm of the world's largest retailer said.

In July, Walmart Canada announced plans to spend C$3.5 billion over the next five years to strengthen its e-commerce business and renovate stores. Walmart Canada said on Monday the plan was expected to create more than 2,000 construction jobs in the country. reuters.com

Sobeys to Acquire Majority Share of Longo's

Empire Expands Realm in Canada

50 Drug Stores Robberies Over Last Few Months
Calgary police make arrests in pharmacy armed robbery spree
Calgary police have made two arrests after nearly 50 drug store robberies in the last few months. But as the arrests were made yet another armed robbery took place at a city pharmacy.

"In the fall of 2020, a dedicated investigative team was brought together to identify and locate the persons responsible for causing significant harm to pharmacy employees who were being targeted for robbery of pharmaceuticals and cash," said CPS in a release.

"Investigators have identified several groups of individuals believed to be responsible and on Monday, March 8, 2021, arrested four individuals connected to at least six robberies. westernstandardonline.com

Regina man facing numerous charges in connection to attempted murder,
armed robbery
A Regina man is facing numerous charges in connection to multiple incidents in February, including an attempted murder and armed robbery, according to police. Regina Police Service said it responded to Ingersol Crescent for a alleged attempted murder on Feb. 3. Police say a gun was fired at the driver of a vehicle by another man on foot. The suspect fled on foot. One week later, RPS said it responded to a reported robbery at a restaurant in the 5900 block of Rochdale Boulevard, on Feb. 10. A man armed with a gun had allegedly demanded money and keys to a vehicle. Police say the suspect left the restaurant and threatened a woman in a vehicle, demanding she get out, and then drove away in the vehicle. regina.ctvnews.ca

Killeen man pleads guilty to using knife at local store

Thunder Bay, ON: Woman gets 16-month sentence for c-store robbery

Suspect sought following shoplifting incidents at Kemptville business

Winnipeg man charged in alleged credit card fraud, money laundering scheme

Robberies & Burglaries

C-Store - London, ON - Robbery
C-Store - Thunder Bay, ON - Burglary
Pharmacy - Calgary, AB - Armed Robbery

Restaurant - Regina, SK - Armed Robbery
Unnamed Store - Dartmouth, NS - Armed Robbery

How are we doing? We need your input & suggestions. Send to lpnews@d-ddaily.net

View Canadian Connections Archives






Does Biden Continue Scrutinizing Amazon's Counterfeits
Will US lawmakers rein in marketplace counterfeits?
As retailers like Amazon try to police the sale of knockoffs, several congressional bills aim to regulate online merchants to protect consumers and brands.

On Jan. 14, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative unveiled its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, a report detailing which markets are known for ample fake goods. High levels of knockoffs were sold through Amazon's foreign domains, including in the U.K., France, Germany and Italy, the report noted.

The 2020 report is among the last from the former Trump administration, during which Congress summoned Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos for a hearing regarding the platform's dominance and the prevalence of fake or stolen merchandise sold there. Now that President Joe Biden has taken office, it remains to be seen whether Congress or the White House will continue scrutinizing Amazon's knockoff goods problem, leaving retailers to fight fraud with or without Amazon's help and consumers to wade through what may be knockoff or dangerous merchandise, sources say.

Will lawmakers step in?

Despite the increased scrutiny of Amazon and other large tech companies last year, there seems to be less political pressure to further regulate or break up companies like Amazon, because the commercial harm may be of less interest to politicians, Behr said. The counterfeit and stolen goods problem on e-commerce platforms has catalyzed retailers, trade organizations and manufactures to join the Buy Safe American coalition. The group is pushing for the passage of the INFORM Consumers Act requiring online marketplaces to verify sellers and collect their information.

In addition to the INFORM Consumers Act, Kennedy pointed to several bills that could change the liability online marketplaces face or provide consumers with more transparency: SANTA Act, which requires online marketplaces to share verified information on children's product sellers with consumers, and the SHOP SAFE Act, which imposes liability on e-commerce for the use of counterfeit marks by third parties. If one of these bills or an amalgamated version of them passes, Kennedy said he foresees a possibility that Amazon could impose liability on online marketplaces for products sold through them or require more seller transparency, adding that these measures could have bipartisan support.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides protection for online sellers from infringement claims as long as the platforms can self police goods sold through the marketplaces, Behr said, adding that one could debate how effective these platforms are at self-regulation. It's not clear whether the government is prepared to make Amazon liable for the products sold through its platform, he said. retaildive.com

Abusing Amazon Returns Can Land You in Jail
Amazon issued a statement on Tuesday about a man who was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, though fraud related to the company does not appear to have been the major impetus behind the government's case.

Nevertheless, the Department of Justice said in its press release on Friday that the person charged in the case would be ordered to make restitution to Amazon:

"It was alleged in court documents that Chaves defrauded Amazon through theft of inventory through falsely represented returns. It is alleged in court documents that Chaves ordered products from Amazon and, at times, replaced the original products with lesser value replacements, often items different than the ones he originally ordered, before returning the packages to Amazon for refunds."

In a statement on Tuesday, Amazon said it had been defrauded of over $50,000 by the individual and said it supported the investigation, prosecution, and sentencing.

You can find the press release on the AboutAmazon.com website. Let us know if you think Amazon does a good job on cracking down on returns abuse. ecommercebytes.com

China's market watchdog to slap new rules on e-commerce platforms




Grady County, OK: Grady County Sheriff's Office deputies are on the lookout for a third suspect involved in a massive theft ring
Law enforcement has already made two arrests after uncovering a cache of weapons and drugs. One of the suspects is a paroled felon, released 25 years before his sentence was served. Samuel Mirich, 39, is suspected of being the kingpin in a multi-state crime operation. Mirich was supposed to be behind bars serving a 35-year sentence for accessory to murder. Grady County Deputies were called on March 1 to a trailer home on the county line between Grady and McClain counties. Blanchard Police, Dibble Police and deputies from both counties were hot on the trail of a stolen car out of Texas.

Detectives found the stolen car, along with half a million dollars in stolen merchandise. "They had everything hidden behind the trailer where you couldn't see it from the road," said Grady County Undersheriff Phil Blevins. Officers stumbled on stolen motorcycles, stolen ATVs, stolen Polarises, stolen trailers and stolen flatbeds. Officers had a search warrant, but had to return to the court to seek an additional warrant to cover all the drugs they found on the property. There was 300 pounds of marijuana, two pounds of meth, trafficking amounts of Fentanyl, z-bars and others drugs. kfor.com

Long Island City, NY: Thieves Load Up Shopping Carts with Pain Relievers, Walk Out of BJ's Wholesale Club With $8K in Merchandise
The police are looking for two suspects who loaded up their shopping carts with pain relievers and walked out of BJ's Wholesale Club on 48th Street without paying. The alleged thieves, a male and a female, walked into the 34-60 48th St. store at around 8:10 p.m. on Friday and placed thousands of dollars worth of Advil, Tylenol and Pepcid in their respective carts. They then exited the store via the emergency exit and the pair were last seen in a dark-colored four-door sedan. Police said the merchandise was valued at close to $8,000. The police released a photo and video of the suspects taken from the store. The store is new to the area, having opened in January. astoriapost.com

Providence, RI: Man Sentenced to 30 Months on Multiple Fraud Charges, Including Amazon Return Scheme
On Friday, March 12, The U.S. District Court of Rhode Island sentenced Michael Chaves to 30 months in federal prison for operating a fraudulent product return scheme and defrauding Amazon of more than $50,000, as well as other charges including bank fraud, wire fraud, falsification of records, aggravated identity theft, and tax evasion. Amazon supported the investigation, prosecution, and sentencing. It is alleged in court documents that Chaves ordered products from Amazon and, at times, replaced the original products with lesser value replacements, often items different than the ones he originally ordered, before returning the packages to Amazon for refunds. Chaves' alleged Amazon refund scams were discovered during the investigation by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General into Chaves' auto transport company. justice.gov

Kansas City, KS: ATF & Police investigate the theft of 42 Firearms from Pawn Shop

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Shootings & Deaths

Independence, MO: Shooting at convenience store leaves one man dead
Independence Police are investigating a homicide after a shooting Tuesday evening at a QuikTrip convenience store. The shooting happened about 7:50 p.m., at the QuikTrip on U.S. 24 near Missouri 291. According to police, the initial officers at the scene found a man dead in the parking lot near a sidewalk. Investigators located shell casings and reviewed possible surveillance video of the incident Tuesday night. The shooting marks the third homicide this year in Independence.  examiner.net

Update: Columbia, SC: 2 arrested in deadly shooting of teen at convenience store
Investigators with the Columbia Police Department have arrested two men in connection with a fatal shooting at a convenience store on Farrow Road. Deputies arrested James Oxendine Jr., 19, and Sheldon Turner, 27, one day after the shooting. Oxendine faces a murder charge, as well as possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and Turner is charged with accessory after the fact of murder. Investigators say Oxendine shot 18-year-old Caleb Martin on Monday night at the EZ Spot convenience store on Farrow Road. Martin later died at a local hospital. wistv.com

New Orleans, LA: 3 men pull out guns during Read Boulevard gas station argument, leaving 1 dead and 2 arrested
A deadly shootout at a gas station in the West Lake Forest area of New Orleans East on Sunday was the result of an argument that caused three men to draw their guns, according to police. One - 30-year-old Paul Wallace - was shot to death. The other two men, Devin Arbuthnot, 21, and Randolph Ketchens III, 19, now face second-degree murder charges, criminal court records show. nola.com

James City County, VA: Shooting at Williamsburg Outlets
At approximately 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16, James City County Police Department (JCCPD) was called to the Williamsburg Premium Outlets on Richmond Road with reports of shots fired. At 5:52 p.m., police arrived at the outlets to discover that the suspects had already fled the scene. Witnesses reported an altercation between an unclear number of people outside the Ralph Lauren store. JCCPD was able to collect shell casings on the premises. At this time, there are no reports of injuries nor damage to property. wydaily.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Rome, GA: 20 indicted in $1.35M Multi-county Burglary ring
Twenty men were indicted on charges of stealing or damaging over $1.35 million worth of property in a string of commercial burglaries across the state. While the investigation that eventually tied the string of burglaries together originated in Floyd County, the charges - which are being prosecuted under the state racketeering statute - stem from crimes across northern and middle Georgia. Most of the entries were done in one of two methods: cutting a hole in the wall of the store with a sledgehammer and concrete saw or using a crowbar to break in through the front door.

"The enterprise burgled various businesses utilizing a crowbar crew and sledgehammer crew," the indictment filed in Floyd County Superior Court states. "Each associate of the enterprise had a certain role, but these roles were interchangeable amongst the associates and incidents depending on the needs of the enterprise." Several of the local burglaries linked to the overall case include Grocery and Convenience stores. The burglaries in Floyd County are only a small slice of the pie. From Athens to Perry to Hartwell to Dawsonville, the list of affected businesses ranges through metro Atlanta as well as north and central Georgia. northwestgeorgianews.com

Oconomowoc, WI: Tactical Officers on scene at Grocery Distribution Center
A supermarket distribution center is locked down in Waukesha County Wednesday while law enforcement officers deal with a tactical situation. Authorities are providing few details about what's going on at the Roundy's distribution center in Oconomowoc. Police are asking motorists to avoid the area near Highway 67 south of Interstate 94. Roads have been closed in the area as officers deal with the tactical situation. Officers from several area agencies are on the scene. cbs58.com

Frankfort, KY: Felony theft threshold limit sparks Senate debate, headed to governor
A criminal justice reform bill that would raise the bar for what counts as felony theft in Kentucky is headed to the governor after passing the Senate today by a 25-11 vote. The measure, known as House Bill 126, would raise the threshold of felony theft to $1,000. Under current law, stealing anything worth $500 or more is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Benton, said HB 126 needed to pass so the law would reflect increased prices caused by inflation. Along with Illinois, Kentucky has the lowest felony theft threshold in the region, according to prior testimony on HB 126. "I was working the streets back when it was $100," said Carroll, a retired police officer. "Then it went to $300, $500 and now to $1,000. I have not always been in support of raising that number ... but the reality of it is that it is time." wtvq.com

London, OH: 5 Girls (12 to 14years old) Shoplift from Walmart then lead Police on 80 mph chase in a stolen BMW SUV

Salem, OR: Man gets 7.5 years for stabbing security guard while stealing from Goodwill store

Denver, CO: Mexican National Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robberies of Food Service Businesses

Reading, PA: NJ man sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison for Allentown convenience store robberies

LaGrange, GA: Woman tried setting grocery store on fire after being kicked out for shoplifting

Idaho Falls, ID: Man accused of embezzling over $57,000 from his employer, Potato Products of Idaho

Detroit, MI: Nurse arrested for allegedly stealing COVID-19 vaccine at TCF Center




C-Store - Sioux Falls, SD - Burglary
C-Store - Warren, OH - Burglary
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Burglary
C-Store - Jacksonville, FL - Robbery
Electronics - Corcoran, CA - Burglary
Guns - Wyoming, MI - Burglary
Hardware - Hot Springs, AR -Burglary
Jewelry - San Bruno, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Daly City, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Dearborn, MI - Robbery
Jewelry - Cleveland, OH - Robbery
Jewelry - Cleveland, OH - Robbery
Jewelry - Wichita, KS - Robbery
Jewelry - Leawood, KS - Robbery
Jewelry - Concord, NC - Robbery
Pawn - Kansas City, KS - Burglary
Restaurant - Palm Beach, FL - Robbery (Popeyes)
Restaurant - Salem, OR - Armed Robbery
Thrift - Salem, OR - Armed Robbery
Walmart - London, OH - Robbery
Walmart - Salem, OR - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Los Banos, CA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 15 robberies
• 7 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


Regional Asset Protection Manager
Multiple Locations - posted March 16
To provide support for loss prevention and safety for restaurants in assigned regions and protect the assets of the company by leveraging partnerships at all levels of the company and utilizing existing Asset Protection and Restaurant Operating systems and processes...

ALPM - Supply Chain
Chicago, IL - posted March 1
Our Distribution Center Area Loss Prevention Managers ensure safe and secure distribution centers through identification and resolution of loss and risk opportunities.
Our Distribution Center Area Loss Prevention Managers plan and prioritize to provide optimal service to their portfolio of distribution centers and stores...

RLPM - Supply Chain
Chicago or Moreno Valley, CA or Dillion, SC - posted March 1
Our Distribution Center Regional Loss Prevention Manager leads teams to ensure safe and secure distribution centers through the optimization of talent, while ensuring a high level of support and customer focus. Our Distribution Center Regional Loss Prevention Manager develops and executes strategy, exercises judgement and makes good decisions...

ALPM - Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA - posted March 1
Our Area Loss Prevention Managers ensure safe and secure stores through the objective identification of loss and risk opportunities. Our Area Loss Prevention Managers plan and prioritize to provide an optimal customer experience to their portfolio of stores. They thrive on supporting and building high performance teams that execute with excellence...

Sr. Manager, Retail Asset Protection
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The Senior Manager, Retail Asset Protection is responsible for implementing strategies and training to ensure the effective execution of Protect Retail initiatives. This position will be responsible for leading a team that executes core programs and strategies relating to safety and security, theft and fraud mitigation and operational excellence in retail stores...

Regional Manager LP, Audit & Firearms Compliance
IL, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, NE, OK, MO & KS - posted Feb. 12
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

Regional LP & Safety Manager
Denver, CO
- posted Feb. 9
The Regional Loss Prevention & Safety Manager implements Risk Management and Loss Prevention objectives within assigned region. The position will provide assistance and training to the field operations teams to address specific Risk Management and Loss Prevention issues within an assigned span of control.  Read job description here

Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations
Rockaway, NJ
- posted Feb. 4
The Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage and safety compliance for Party City Holdings, by successfully managing Asset Protection (AP) Safety programs and reporting...


Latest Top Jobs

Vice President, Loss Prevention
San Francisco, CA
The Vice President of Loss Prevention reports to the Company's General Counsel and is responsible for leading the organization's global asset protection and security efforts. You will collaborate effectively across the Company.  linkedin.com

Executive Director, Asset Protection
Rosemead, CA
The Executive Director, AP is responsible for the company's AP function, protecting the company's integrity, people, processes, and assets from harm and loss. This position serves as the subject matter expert on a broad range of security standards and disciplines.  pandarg.referrals.selectminds.com

Senior Director, Loss Prevention
Calabasas, CA
The Senior Director of Loss Prevention is responsible for setting and championing the Loss Prevention strategy for the enterprise, including retail stores, distribution centers, corporate offices and quality assurance labs.  sjobs.brassring.com

Director, Asset Protection Solutions
Deerfield, IL
Responsible for developing and implementing department strategies and integrating efforts with division and company strategies, emphasizing product availability, inventory productivity, and cost productivity.  jobs.walgreens.com


Senior Manager, Asset Protection
Atlanta, GA
The Sr Manager Asset Protection is responsible for ensuring that Asset Protection programs are fully implemented and are being executed per expectations within assigned distribution centers.  careers.homedepot.com


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