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James P. Carr CPP, CFI, CCIP named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Amazon

Before joining Amazon as Regional Loss Prevention Manager, James spent more than two years as a District Manager for Securitas Security Services. Earlier in his career, he spent a decade with Rent-A-Center in multiple senior AP/security roles, including Sr. Director - Global Asset Protection & Corporate Security, Director - International LP & Corporate Security, and Director of LP - Western Division. He also held LP roles with Auto Plus Pep Boys and TJX Companies. Congratulations, James!

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







Lone worker protection is a fundamental responsibility for all retailers,
says Interface

Interface customers Sally Beauty and Helzberg Diamonds join Interface at RILA to present best practices for protecting lone and mobile workers

Earth City, MO., (April 20, 2022) -"Every employer's fundamental responsibility to their employees is to eliminate risks to health and safety, for every worker, including those who work alone," advises Matt Smitheman, Senior Solutions Consultant, at Interface Security Systems, a leading managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises.

Read more in today's Vendor Spotlight column below

In Case You Missed It

Macy's VP of AP Will Talk RFID & ORC at RFID Journal LIVE!

Discover RFID and IoT Technology Solutions With The World's Largest Gathering of Qualified RFID Buyers and End Users May 17 - 19, 2022

RFID Journal LIVE! is the world's largest conference and exhibition focused on radio frequency identification and related technologies. Now in its 20th year, LIVE! typically features more than 150 exhibitors from 26 countries showcasing best-in-class RFID tags, readers, software and implementation services. Innovative new products are introduced at LIVE! each year, so you will be among the first to see the newest RFID products.

With attendees from all over the world, RFID Journal LIVE! unites the global RFID community with a unique educational conference. Our 2022 conference will include three days of industry-specific and how-to tracks, as well as general education for those new to the RFID market. Our educational sessions and conference offerings are specifically designed to help all attendees and exhibitors to plan strategies, network, buy and sell, and learn and share ideas.

Joe Coll, Macy's VP of asset protection, will sit down for an in-depth discussion of how RFID technology can be used to bring down organized retail crime (ORC). Macy's has long been employing radio frequency identification to improve inventory accuracy and enhance on-shelf availability, but RFID has provided new insights into what is stolen, as well as where and how this occurs. Coll will explain how RFID and video can be linked to combat ORC.

RFID Journal LIVE! 2022 will feature more than 90 educational sessions in eight industry-specific and nine technical and how-to conference tracks, plus RFID Professional Institute certification training, the co-located IEEE RFID 2022 event and the RFID Journal Awards. What's more, the conference will offer exhibits and demonstrations conducted by the industry's leading technology firms. For more information, visit rfidjournallive.com. rfidjournal.com


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Mall Violence & Security Fears Grow After Shootings
Are malls safe? South Carolina, New Jersey shootings raise questions about security, procedure
A pair of shootings at shopping malls this month, first in New Jersey and then in South Carolina, sent shoppers and employees scrambling for safety. The incidents left security experts to answer the question of what malls are doing to keep millions of visitors safe.

In Columbia, South Carolina, 14 people were injured in a shooting Saturday at Columbiana Centre Mall as shoppers browsed on Easter weekend. In East Rutherford, New Jersey, on April 7, a 37-year-old man was shot multiple times at the American Dream mall, one of the country's largest retail and entertainment complexes.

Shopping malls present more security challenges than other public locations because of their large open spaces and interior doorways that lead to restaurants and shops - dead ends with no exterior exits, experts said. Unlike schools, where students participate in emergency drills for active shooters, fires and many other scenarios, shoppers in malls are not clued in on the best action to take.

Brian Higgins, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan and former chief of the Bergen County Police Department, stressed the importance of being prepared for a shooting or similar situation when visiting a mall, even though the chances of such an event are very low.

If a shooting does happen, Higgins said, getting out of the building is the ideal first step. If that is not possible, people should try to hide behind or under something and remember to silence their cellphones.

Mall security and 'run, hide, fight'

As police find faster and more efficient ways to respond to shooting incidents in public spaces, mall officials have ramped up their security systems, responses and training.

Dan Kennedy, senior vice president of U.S. security operations at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the owners of Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, and 24 other U.S. properties, said he sometimes stays up at night thinking of worst-case scenarios.

Every year, all Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield properties undergo a security assessment, and twice a year, they conduct active-shooter and natural disaster training, Kennedy said. At least once a month, if not weekly, the general manager and security directors meet with police to review security plans. usatoday.com

K9 Store Security Sweeps Chicago As Theft Surges 145%
Demand for gun-detecting K-9 units at retail stores skyrockets after Mag Mile Neiman Marcus arrest

The latest solution to Chicago's skyrocketing shoplifting problem has four legs and a tail.

As CBS 2's Tara Molina reported, a gun-sniffing dog already found a firearm on somebody at the Neiman Marcus store on Michigan Avenue. Molina got in contact with a local security company providing those same services - where they say with the growing crime problem, the arrest at Neiman Marcus has their phone ringing off the hook.

"We know firsthand that K-9 is the biggest deterrent out there - period," said Tim Clancy.

The calls that Action K-9 Security is getting now are from retailers and other private businesses. "We are overwhelmed with business," Clancy said. "We're getting calls one after another because of one dog incident."

The firm with the K-9 unit for which Neiman Marcus is working is not a local one; it's based out-of-state. But the calls received by Action K-9 Security - which is a local firm based on the city's West Side - are for services they haven't provided in the past. Clancy said Action K-9 Security worked for a while in the Macy's that has since left the Water Tower Place.

Now, he said, "There's a big trend here about how to protect your stores so you don't leave Chicago." Action K-9 Security could be part of continued ramped up private security efforts we're tracking across the city, with crime continuing to spike.

We found with retail theft up 145 percent in the Near North Side community area, which includes the Magnificent Mile - with more than 330 cases. That makes the Near North community area the hardest-hit area of the city.

"We're bringing something more to the table to deter anyone - including up to three, four, or five individuals from coming in and smash and grab," Clancy said. Clancy said Action K-9 Security is working on plans now where they could have teams work in multiple stores in one day. cbsnews.com

Lawmakers Must Take Action to Fight Soaring Retail Theft
Political leaders must lead fight against organized retail crime
Organized retail crime has a detrimental effect on our neighborhood stores and retailers. Oftentimes, stores find themselves the repeat victim of theft. Not only do the financial losses of stolen goods pile up, but they are often left with shattered windows and broken locks.

Encountering one of these crimes can be traumatic for consumers and employees. And there is no solace when it's known that there are little repercussions even if perpetrators are caught. We shouldn't take lightly the real fear this causes for shoppers and employees.

It's not just stores that are victims of organized retail crime, but our neighborhoods and residents too - partially those in communities of color. As a result of being repeatedly targeted by coordinated thieves, neighborhood stores in many communities have reduced their hours and in some cases even closed permanently.

There is not just one simple fix to solve this problem. That's why we have formed Californians for Safe Stores and Neighborhoods which is advocating for the governor and Legislature to support a comprehensive solution to dismantle organized retail crime.

First, we need to continue the investment made by Gov. Newsom and the Legislature in last year's budget with funding for the retail crime task force. Next, we need to address the problem of the digital black market. Senate Bill 301 (Skinner) is a common-sense, online marketplace transparency reform that will disrupt high-volume 'fencing' operations and bring criminal enterprises out of the shadows.

Finally, AB 2390 (Muratsuchi) gives members of the Legislature a highly sought-after opportunity to pass a balanced policy proposal that safeguards existing criminal justice reforms while demonstrating that Sacramento is attentive to public safety concerns of Californians.

This desperately needed legislation would open the door for thousands of additional offenders to be eligible for diversion programs established by Proposition 47 - which would deter serial theft and provide individuals an off-ramp from incarceration and into effective and life-changing diversion and job training programs. capitolweekly.net

Cutting Off Retail Theft at the Source
Several states consider legislation targeting theft & online reselling
Retail theft has spiked during the pandemic, and as states wait for federal action, a growing number are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to online marketplaces.

Recent measures aim to prevent both theft and fraudulent sales on platforms like Amazon, eBay and Facebook. Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, Alabama and Colorado have all passed legislation and more are considering it, according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

"Really what we're trying to get at is to make it harder to sell stolen goods from behind a fake screen name, a fake business," said Jason Brewer at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. "Folks that are using the anonymity of the Internet to dupe consumers into buying something that's stolen."

RILA says this is a win for both online retailers and the general public. However, Amazon has raised concern that states doing this on their own will create a patchwork of regulations and end up hurting law-abiding sellers.

They're encouraging states to wait for the bill in congress to pass. RILA agrees a federal measure would make things more cohesive but says most states have been following the bill in congress as a framework.

There won't be different kinds of regimes that folks will have to sign up for. It'll just be (...) if you're a small business, you're really providing the marketplace you're selling through with some very basic business information. So it really wouldn't matter what state you're in where you were buying from where you were selling to," Brewer said.

For those in states that don't have protections yet, Brewer suggests double-checking that a seller is legitimate before buying what may seem like a good deal. thedenverchannel.com

Violent Easter Weekend
US rocked by 3 mass shootings during Easter weekend; 2 dead
Authorities in South Carolina are investigating a shooting at a nightclub early Sunday that wounded at least nine people. It was the second mass shooting in the state and the third in the nation during the Easter holiday weekend.

The shootings in South Carolina and one in Pittsburgh, in which two minors were killed early Sunday, also left at least 31 people wounded.

The three Easter weekend mass shootings are in addition to other gun violence in recent days. Last week, a gunman opened fire in a New York subway car, wounding 10 people. A suspect was arrested the next day. Earlier this month, six people were killed and 12 others wounded in Sacramento, California, during a gunfight between rival gangs as bars closed in a busy downtown area just blocks from the state Capitol. apnews.com

Gun safety activists decry inaction as US shootings surge

Baltimore Police Department plans to hire civilian investigators

New Progressive Crime Agenda Relieving Harm From Past Progressive Agendas



COVID Update

570.1M Vaccinations Given

US: 82.4M Cases - 1M Dead - 80.2M Recovered
Worldwide: 506.1M Cases - 6.2M Dead - 458.3M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 354   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 755
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Vaccines 'Holding Up' Amid New COVID Surge
Covid Cases Rise In 32 States Amid New Virus Strain
Covid-19 cases are rising in more than half of all states due to the new coronavirus subvariant, but White House Covid-19 advisor Dr. Ashish Jha said Sunday the vaccines are still "holding up" against the virus and the new strain does not cause more severe infection.

The country averaged just under 35,000 new infections in the seven-day period ending Friday, up 42% from two weeks prior, though cases are well below their January peak, when the U.S. faced over 800,000 daily infections, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

New daily coronavirus cases have risen in 32 states over the last two weeks, while 18 saw declines in that period, according to data compiled by the New York Times, with cases increasing by 145% in Michigan-by far the largest increase of any state. forbes.com
The Post-COVID Brick & Mortar Comeback
COVID May Have Made Online Shopping Top-Of-Mind, But Traditional Stores Are In Comeback Mode.
While the pandemic has been good to Amazon and other shop-at-home websites such as Wayfair and Etsy, many of which saw record profits over the past two years, current data shows bricks-and-mortar stores making a steady comeback, with consumers finding a balance between online and in-person shopping with vaccines and boosters commonplace and the worst of COVID, for now, in the rear-view mirror.

While online's share of total retail sales during the lockdown-driven second quarter of 2020 hit 15.7%, according to seasonally-adjusted U.S. Census Bureau data, it had fallen to a near-pre-pandemic 12.9% by Q4 2021. This past March marked the first time since COVID where e-commerce sales fell from the same period a year earlier - off 3.3%, the first year-over-year decline since November 2013 - while bricks-and-mortar stores sales increased 11.2%, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks transactions made over their payments network as well as survey-based estimates for cash and check spending.

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, several major retailers have seen the trend first-hand. Recent quarterly online sales were down 11% while bricks-and-mortar were up 14% at Dick's Sporting Goods, while Macy's share of online sales moved from 44% a year ago to 39%, and Walmart's overall sales gained 5.6% with online up just 1%. Best Buy, meantime, showed a fiscal year revenue increase even as online sales slipped 12%.

Recent research shows while foot traffic at shopping centers has yet to return to pre-COVID levels, monthly visits to the top indoor malls were up 17% in March from the prior month, according to data-analytics firm Placer.ai, while retailers also opened more physical stores in 2021 than they closed for the first time since 2017, according to an analysis of more than 900 chains by research and advisory company IHL Group. insideradio.com

Why Employees Are Reluctant to Return to Offices
Workers are back in offices. Why does it feel so weird?

From rusty social skills to handshake uncertainty, returning to offices is unavoidably awkward.

As of April 11, an average of 43 percent of workers had returned to offices across 10 of the country's top business centers, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and the District, according to data monitored by Kastle Systems. In late December, during the omicron surge, occupancy averaged just 17.5 percent.

The upward creep of office occupancy is charting a major milestone in the country's emergence from the pandemic, a sign we're attempting to pick up where we left off. But reunions with colleagues and forgotten Girl Scout cookies and old phone chargers have been accompanied by feelings of uncertainty. Some workers are coming back to the same desks but no longer know their colleagues. Others are braving offices for the first time, having joined the workforce in the remote-everything era.

As singular and transformative as the past two years have been, workers have broadly been having parallel experiences until now. Companies shuttered operations and adopted remote work by necessity and in unison in the early phases of the pandemic. But as the virus recedes and firms are forced to chart their own courses, we're in "this weird liminal state" that presents an even greater degree of uncertainty. washingtonpost.com

Opening Up the Travel Floodgates
CDC shakes up COVID travel advisory system, removes every country from
its 'Do Not Travel' list
After months of warning all travelers to avoid a long list of countries due to "very high" COVID-19 levels, the CDC has removed all countries from its "Do Not Travel" list.

The federal agency on Monday removed 89 countries from its "Do Not Travel" list. The highest Level 4 designation will now be reserved for "special circumstances" reflecting a dangerous spike in COVID cases, a new variant or health care infrastructure collapse. While the Level 4 list had at one point included well over 100 destinations, there are currently no Level 4 countries. yahoo.com

Uber, Lyft end mask mandates for riders, drivers as COVID cases fall
Uber Technologies and Lyft Inc have scrapped face mask mandates for their riders and drivers in the United States, the ride-hailing companies said on Tuesday, as COVID cases have fallen sharply from their January peak. reuters.com

China's 'Zero-Covid' Crackdown Threatens Global Economy


Workplace Safety, Security & Compliance
Building Effective Safety Teams

Focus on educating and training teams to ensure consistent inspection or audit findings, gain buy-in and maintain compliance.

Setting standards is imperative to building effective safety or auditing teams. Once qualifications are established, providing supplemental training and education for team members is essential. After all, they cannot find a violation until they know it exists. Part of the standards you set for your safety inspection team must include accuracy of code or standard references your team members cite.

As with any inspection or audit, there will be common code violations, findings and/or deficiencies. Of those issues, certain findings will carry a higher priority or urgency. Your team must have a clear understanding of what those high priority or urgent issues are during an inspection or audit.

As team leader, it is your responsibility to initiate discussions and encourage input from team members. Initial and regular roundtable discussions keep your team well-informed and allow you to adjust the training and/or educational material to improve your team's effectiveness. Over time, other team members can lead regular meetings; this encourages additional participation and feedback.

Consistent yearly inspections also increase your team's value. Getting facilities to comply with applicable codes and standards is a measurable indication of how effective your inspection or auditing team is.

The goal for any team tasked with safety inspection or auditing is to obtain compliance. Credibility, consistency, strategic approach, and continuity of competence are the foundation to building and increasing your safety inspection or auditing team's effectiveness. Ultimately, an effective team helps to increase overall safety at the workplace. ehstoday.com

The Dark Store Takeover
'Dark' retail stores are taking over NYC: Here's an interactive map of every location

Lawmakers say some ultrafast delivery services operate in a regulatory gray area, using storefronts that are zoned for brick-and-mortar businesses.

Ultrafast grocery delivery services, such as Gorillas, Getir, Jokr, and Gopuff, have ballooned in New York City and elsewhere since the start of the pandemic, offering the promise of everyday items delivered to your door in minutes.

But the companies behind these services exist in a regulatory gray area, critics contend, frequently renting out storefronts that are zoned for traditional retail establishments-i.e. the kind you can walk into and buy things off the shelves-and using them as micro-fulfillment centers. These so-called dark stores often vaguely mimic the appearance of a regular store in that they are stocked with grocery items, but shoppers who try to enter are not welcome.

Some local lawmakers, including city council member Gale Brewer-formerly the Manhattan borough president-say these well-funded startups are competing unfairly with locally owned bodegas that have been doing business in the city for decades. In a press release on Monday, Brewer called on city agencies to provide more clarity about what, exactly, these services are, and which rules they are expected to follow.

"[Brick-and-mortar stores] operate in a challenging economic environment and bear a heavy regulatory burden that the fulfillment centers are not subject to," Brewer said. fastcompany.com

CEOs Join the 'Great Resignation'
Several restaurant CEOs have joined the Great Resignation

Restaurant CEOs are the latest wave of workers to join the Great Resignation.

In the last six months, six chief executives of publicly traded restaurant companies have announced plans to step down, either to retire or to move on to a new corporate challenge. Their announcements came after a tumultuous two years for the restaurant industry, which battled for its survival through pandemic lockdowns, worker shortages, supply chain snarls and sky-high food costs.

Darden Restaurants, Domino's Pizza, Denny's, Wingstop, El Pollo Loco and Starbucks are all in the midst of CEO transitions this year.

Privately held restaurant companies have seen a similar exodus. Chick-fil-A, Torchy's Tacos and Red Lobster have all announced CEO changes in recent months.

Of course, not all chief executives who retire stay retired. For example, Johnson's temporary successor - and predecessor - Howard Schultz, returned earlier this month to lead Starbucks as interim CEO. After a little rest and relaxation, some of these corporate leaders could return to the game. cnbc.com
Russia's Ukraine Invasion: The Retail Impact
Hasbro sees $100M shortfall from sales to Russia
Hasbro said $100 million in revenue is at risk as it suspends shipments to Russia. The note was part of the toy giant's guidance for the year ahead, which outlined low-single digit revenue growth despite the hit from its business in Russia as well as operating profit growth in the mid-single digits.

For the first quarter, Hasbro's revenue grew 4% year over year to just under $1.2 billion while operating profit fell nearly 20%. In its consumer products segment, the company suffered from supply chain delays, and higher freight and inventory costs.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has complicated the landscape further. Many brands have opted to halt or close down business in Russia as a response to the country's actions. Moreover, Russia's status as a major fossil fuel producer has sent oil prices soaring, adding further upward pressure on transportation and input costs.

For brands and retailers, there's little relief in sight from global and macroeconomic headwinds. Backups and bottlenecks have become part of daily operating reality at this point. In China, widespread lockdowns in Shanghai are already sparking warnings of more supply chain pain ahead. retaildive.com

Hy-Vee drops plans for five more stores in Twin Cities metro area

Hannaford eyes 100% renewable energy use by 2024

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Lone worker protection is a fundamental responsibility
for all retailers, says Interface

Interface customers Sally Beauty and Helzberg Diamonds join Interface at RILA to present best practices for protecting lone and mobile workers

Earth City, MO., (April 20, 2022)
-"Every employer's fundamental responsibility to their employees is to eliminate risks to health and safety, for every worker, including those who work alone," advises Matt Smitheman, Senior Solutions Consultant, at Interface Security Systems, a leading managed service provider delivering business security, managed network, UCaaS, and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises.

As retailers continue to adapt their business models, many are increasingly relying on lone workers for opening, closing, third shifts, curbside deliveries, and other customer interactions outside of the traditional store premises. While lone employees play a critical role in keeping these businesses up and running, they are more at risk of encountering threats at work with an estimated 48% of HR professionals reporting that their organization has witnessed workplace violence*.

Workplace violence and security concerns make talent retention and hiring challenging in a tough labor market. In times like these, more attention needs to be placed on increasing safety measures for lone employees. Security professionals are looking at ways in which they can add another layer of protection for their associates when they are working alone, for locations with limited or no existing protection, or to expand security coverage outside a business' building.

Asset protection and risk professionals should put in place a comprehensive lone worker safety policy and align with innovative solution providers to leverage technology, services, and training to protect employees and assets.

Interface Security Systems' Matt Smitheman is joining forces with Jim Mires, VP of Loss Prevention & Safety at Sally Beauty, and Tim Lapinski, DVP, Enterprise Risk Management at Helzberg Diamonds to present a session on best practices for protecting lone and mobile employees at the RILA (Retail Asset Protection Conference) on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, from 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM.

During this session, attendees hear about the latest technology and best practices that have been put in place by these leading retailers to implement a comprehensive employee protection strategy. Specifically, they will learn about:

Who is a lone worker and why should businesses worry about them now?
Safety and security challenges faced by lone and mobile workers
Leading technology solutions and advanced security monitoring options
How to train lone workers to deal with emergencies
How retailers and security service providers can comprehensively partner together to enhance employee and customer safety

For more information about best practices to protect lone workers, check out: 5 Essential Steps to Create a Lone Worker Safety Policy

*Source: SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Survey






Cyberattack Steals $2.5M From Customers in 4 Hours
Security Lessons From a Payment Fraud Attack

Companies need to detect and counteract brute-force and enumeration attacks before fraudsters run away with their customers' funds.

On April 10, 2020, Atlanta-based fintech firm Brightwell received word from the customer service team that customers called to complain about missing funds, says Ernie Moran, at the time Brightwell's senior vice president of risk. Under normal circumstances, if users noticed a discrepancy upon logging into their app, the company typically would look into the problem to determine whether the customer mistakenly overspent or a fraud had occurred. Unfortunately for Brightwell, it was the latter.

Brightwell spent the following weeks dissecting the damage of an attack that resulted in $2.5 million stolen in the span of four hours, Moran says. With the pandemic pushing more transactions online, more online fraudsters are targeting e-commerce platforms and payments companies. Sources advise payments providers to implement multiple measures prior to and during the transaction process to detect brute-force and enumeration attacks before fraudsters run away with customers' funds.

During the first five days of Brightwell's investigation, the company assessed how widespread the fraud was. First, they reviewed its authorization reports generated by its payments processor and the reports generated by its card brand. Then it cross-checked its internal data with the external reports, Moran says. The threat actor used the stolen credentials to buy cryptocurrency at an exchange, he said.

Over the course of its investigation, Brightwell discovered that a fraudster deployed a bot to guess the prepaid debit card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV numbers for 41,000 cards, which were guessed after 100,000,000 authorizations, Moran says. The bot guessed the credentials across seven merchants; one merchant, in particular, was used to steal "a large dollar amount," he says. Brightwell didn't name the sellers affected by the attack, nor did it disclose the general amount stolen per customer.

The ordeal led the company to create its fraud alert system, Arden, which stands for "AI risk detection engine." Despite all the data collected, Moran, now senior vice president of Arden, says the company couldn't figure out who was responsible for the attack. darkreading.com

Feds Warn About North Korean Hackers
FBI, U.S. Treasury & CISA Warn of North Korean Hackers Targeting Blockchain Companies
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Treasury Department, warned of a new set of ongoing cyber attacks carried out by the Lazarus Group targeting blockchain companies.

AdvertisementCalling the activity cluster TraderTraitor, the infiltrations involve the North Korean state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) actor striking entities operating in the Web3.0 industry since at least 2020.

Targeted organizations include cryptocurrency exchanges, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, play-to-earn cryptocurrency video games, cryptocurrency trading companies, venture capital funds investing in cryptocurrency, and individual holders of large amounts of cryptocurrency or valuable non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The attack chains commence with the threat actor reaching out to victims via different communication platforms to lure them into downloading weaponized cryptocurrency apps for Windows and macOS, subsequently leveraging the access to propagate the malware across the network and conduct follow-on activities to steal private keys and initiate rogue blockchain transactions.

"Intrusions begin with a large number of spear-phishing messages sent to employees of cryptocurrency companies," the advisory reads. "The messages often mimic a recruitment effort and offer high-paying jobs to entice the recipients to download malware-laced cryptocurrency applications." thehackernews.com

Retailer's Orders Suspended After Cybersecurity Incident
Retailer WH Smith suspends Funky Pigeon online orders after cyber incident
British retailer WH Smith Plc said on Tuesday it has suspended orders from its online greetings card and gift business Funky Pigeon following a cyber-security incident last week.

WH Smith, which sells books, stationery, and other items at its stores in travel hubs, said no customer payment data with Funky Pigeon was compromised due to the incident, which took place on April 14.

"We are currently investigating the extent to which any personal data, specifically names, addresses, e-mail addresses and personalised card and gift designs has been accessed," WH Smith and Funky Pigeon said. "We are also writing to all customers over the last 12 months to inform them of these issues."

The incident comes amid increased scrutiny on appropriate defences against cyber attacks, particularly on western financial institutions, in the wake of heightened geopolitical tensions after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

The company also said the incident would not have a material impact on the financial position of the group, based on a current analysis. reuters.com

Hackers Pounce on Vulnerabilities
Zero-day exploits found and disclosed hit a record high in 2021, Google Project Zero says
Researchers at Google's Project Zero said they tracked 58 cases of zero-day exploits "in the wild" in 2021 - the most ever detected and disclosed in a single year since the group began its work in mid-2014.

The 2021 total is more than double the previous maximum, 28, tracked in 2015. And it's "especially stark when you consider that there were only 25 detected in 2020," Maddie Stone, a security researcher with Project Zero, wrote in findings posted to the group's website Tuesday.

New software bugs are discovered, publicly disclosed and patched all the time, often before malicious hackers can take advantage of them. Project Zero is primarily concerned, however, with the vulnerabilities that attackers discover and exploit first - the ones that software companies have had "zero days" to patch.

The good news about the 2021 total, according to Stone, is that the increased number is likely due to the increased detection and disclosure of zero-day exploits, rather than the increased usage of them. cyberscoop.com

Biden's cybersecurity budget good start; Congress needs to fill the gaps

4 Critical Cybersecurity Areas You Should be Focusing on Now







The Next Chapter of Online Retail
What Happens When the E-Commerce Boom Ends

Online sales growth is returning to its slower, pre-pandemic trajectory. As shoppers head back into stores, new expectations around service are setting the stage for the next chapter of retail.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, e-commerce in the US made up just under 13 percent of total retail sales - down from nearly 16 percent in the second quarter of 2020, when online transactions spiked. After roughly two years of unprecedented digital growth, during which many retailers directed all their resources toward the channel, e-commerce demand has normalised, returning to its slower, pre-pandemic trajectory.

For brands that pivoted to online sales in 2020, it's not as simple as steering those investments and marketing dollars back to physical stores. People may be shopping in person again, but how they shop has been irrevocably altered by the last two years. Consumer needs have changed, whether they moved to a permanent work-from-home lifestyle or migrated from the city to the suburbs. They increasingly expect the convenience of click-to-order when they walk into stores.

"How people are shopping now, it's hard to predict," said Rony Vardi, who founded Catbird in 2004. "I have more questions than I have answers."

More than half of adults say they enjoy shopping in stores less than they did before the pandemic, according to a Forrester survey conducted last July. "Consumer expectations coming out of the pandemic are going to be much greater," said retail consultant Doug Stephens. "We've moved into the post-omnichannel reality of the market."

Stephens is referring to how, during the pandemic, retailers large and small built services designed to make shopping safe and efficient. Stores became mini-warehouses fulfilling and shipping online orders. Once-niche perks like the ability to buy an item online and pick it up in store became commonplace. The ability to see on a brand's website which products were available in which stores, once seen as a relatively sophisticated e-commerce tool, is now the norm.

We've moved into the post-omnichannel reality of the market. businessoffashion.com

Amazon Aims to Put Pandemic Struggles Behind It
After closing physical stores, Amazon doubles down on one-day delivery

In his first letter to shareholders, CEO Andy Jassy said that its Prime members "will love this." But the e-commerce giant may need it.

Amazon under Jassy, in a way, is endeavoring to get back to day one, after the pandemic interrupted some of its momentum. Most notably, the e-commerce giant had to abandon its 2019 promise to its Prime members that two-day delivery would get even speedier.

"[J]ust before COVID started, we'd made the decision to invest billions of incremental dollars over several years to deliver an increasing number of Prime shipments in one day," Jassy wrote. "This initiative was slowed by the challenges of the pandemic, but we've since resumed our focus here."

Accomplishing this will be "hard," but Prime members "will love it," he said. Amazon, however, may need it, for a couple of reasons. First, the company may need to justify this year's $20 Prime fee hike, as well as the doubling of fulfillment capacity in the last two years, which Jassy said in his letter was necessary to meet demand during the pandemic.

Second, having largely abandoned brick-and-mortar retail outside of grocery - with traditional retailers mastering digital and omnichannel commerce and consumers returning to shop in stores - such swift delivery may be an important differentiator. Amazon lost market share to physical retailers at the holidays, according to GlobalData research.

The company does plan to open a clothing store later this year, which may or may not be what rumors of its department store ambitions were about. But so far, Amazon hasn't proven adept at physical retail. retaildive.com

Lululemon enters the fast-growing online fashion resale market







Update: Dallas, TX: Man Found Guilty of Running $20M Retail Theft Ring
An Illinois man could spend up to 25 years in prison after being convicted of spearheading a multi-million-dollar operation in which merchandise stolen from brick-and-mortar stores was sold online. Following a four-day trial in late March, a federal jury found 48-year-old Artur Gilowski, of Barrington, Illinois, guilty of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Dallas said Gilowski's co-conspirators stole thousands of items worth about $20 million from stores across the United States. The thieves traveled across the country in vehicles often registered to fictious persons or tied to nonexistent addresses and used "booster skirts"-garments with concealed pouches- and electronic transmitters designed to interfere with stores' anti-theft systems. They stole from Best Buy, Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Walmart, and Lowe's Home Improvement, according to the indictment in the case. The U.S. Attorney's Office said the stolen merchandise was shipped to Gilowski, who sold it on various e-commerce sites-the indictment mentions Gilowski operating storefronts on Amazon and eBay specifically-generating a total of $11 million-plus in profits. To do so, he created numerous online seller profiles, as well as multiple bank accounts and companies registered in other people's names. Evidence in the case showed Gilowski made more than a million dollars in cash from his operation, the U.S. Attorney's Office said, including $97,000 that was found in the center console of his truck. One of his co-conspirators testified at trial that Gilowski "treated money like trash."  nationaljeweler.com

(DOJ) Syracuse, NY: Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Nationwide "Felony Lane Gang" Conspiracy
Tyrone Parker, age 40, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pled guilty today in federal court in Syracuse to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman. n pleading guilty, Parker, whose aliases include "Tyron Parker" and "Thigh," admitted that he was involved in a fraud scheme known as "Felony Lane Gang" between July 2019 and September 2020. Parker and his co-conspirators traveled across the country breaking into cars, often targeting those parked by women at locations such as health and fitness centers, daycares, outdoor recreational parks, and dog parks. After committing these "smash-and-grab" vehicle thefts, Parker and other members of the conspiracy stole debit cards, credit cards, checkbooks, and photo identifications, which they later used to commit bank fraud by recruiting women to impersonate the smash-and-grab victims in drive-through bank lanes and cash checks. The recruited check cashers were almost always suffering from an addiction to controlled substances and were provided payment at least partially in narcotics. Parker admitted that the loss amount from the conspiracy attributable to him is between $95,000 and $150,000, over a 15-month period. Parker was one of nine men charged in a 13-count indictment for their roles in the scheme. Each of these defendants is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants whose cases remain pending are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. justice.gov

Santa Fe, NM: Man stole over $250K in jewelry, sold goods to tourists
Authorities say a homeless man on a court-ordered GPS monitor stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry from Santa Fe businesses over the past several months to feed a purported fentanyl habit. Edgar Guzman, who lived beneath a bridge near downtown Santa Fe, told police he sold the jewelry - at least one piece worth up to $35,000 - to tourists for between $20 and $100 each. Authorities say businesses are now "trying to compete with their own product" due to the 26-year-old reselling the items around town at a "considerably lower rate." "The net effect of these crimes can be devastating to the owners of these businesses and the city's economy," a Santa Fe Police Department detective wrote in court records. Santa Fe Police Capt. Aaron Ortiz said in the two biggest hauls - two burglaries at the Manitou Galleries - Guzman stole hundreds of jewelry pieces worth $250,000. He said none of the jewelry has been recovered. news.yahoo.com

Cleveland, OH: Man with designer tastes nabbed for stealing more than $6,000 in clothing from Saks Fifth Avenue

Fontana, CA: 2 women arrested after Rite Aid employees report them stealing $3500 in merchandise

Carmel, IN: PD search for suspect after $1700 worth of items stolen from Walgreen

Greenport, NY : 3 Women charged in $1000 theft from Old Navy

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Shootings & Deaths

Houston, TX: Southeast Houston store employee, 21, charged after fatally shooting shoplifter in back
A store employee who confronted and killed a shoplifter has been charged in the man's death, according to Houston police. Antonio E. Batres, 21, is charged with murder. The shooting happened in the 7400 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Police said, on that day, a 49-year-old man was attempting to shoplift from a store where Batres was working. When Batres and a few other employees confronted the shoplifter, things got physical. During the altercation, Batres pulled out a gun and shot the shoplifter multiple times. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Police determined that the shoplifter's back was turned when Batres opened fire and charges were filed against him in the case. The identity of the victim is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. click2houston.com

Jamaica, Queens, NY: Queens Pawn Shop owner dies weeks after beating with metal rod
The pawn shop owner who was badly beaten with a rod during a robbery of his store in Queens has died from his injuries. Arasb Shoughi, 60, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, April 17. Earlier this month, police released disturbing video of the attack in an effort to catch the assailant. The attack happened at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 28 at the Global Pawn Shop in Jamaica. The video shows the attacker hitting Shoughi in the head several times with a metal rod. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, but died three weeks later. Police say the suspect fled on foot. It's unknown what was stolen from the shop. abc7ny.com

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Double murder suspect found dead in Circle K restroom
A suspect in a double murder was found dead in a public restroom in Fort Lauderdale. According to the Broward Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit, 34-year-old Andre Anglin was spotted on Monday just before 3 p.m. near West Sunrise Boulevard. He was seen entering a Circle K. When investigators went to the store searching for Anglin, they learned he entered a restroom at the store. Then, when investigators tried to make contact with Anglin, they heard a single gunshot from inside the restroom, and found Anglin dead inside. Anglin was wanted after a woman and teen girl were shot to death shortly after 9 that morning. cbs12.com

Update: Kent, WA: Second suspect arrested for murder, string of armed robberies at pot shops
Seattle police officers have arrested a second suspect in the fatal armed robbery of a pot shop earlier this month. Montrell Hatfield, 16, was arrested by Seattle police in Kent on Tuesday. Hatfield is scheduled to be transported to Tacoma and booked on murder charges. Seattle police officers arrested the first suspect last week.  kiro7.com

Update: Fayetteville, NC: Second felon arrested in connection to January Retail store homicide
A second felon has been arrested in connection with a homicide that happened at the Southern City Swag Boutique in Fayetteville in early January. Eddie Saez, 34, was gunned down Jan. 4 inside the Southern City Swag Boutique clothing store just after 3 p.m. Police said that day that Saez died at the scene. Quinteel Pierre Harley, a South Carolina man, who is also 34, was arrested in Brunswick County on April 12, the Fayetteville Police Department told CBS 17 on Tuesday. Previously, the department arrested 28-year-old Rasheem Lopez Grant, the first suspect wanted in the homicide, on Jan. 14 in Columbia, South Carolina. He was then extradited back to Fayetteville on Feb. 4. cbs17.com

Columbus, OH: Papa John's employee shares experience after manager shot attempting to stop robbery suspect
An employee at an east Columbus Papa John's said she was traumatized after witnessing an attempted robbery at the store Monday night. Jereisha McMahan said she started working at the store in January and had heard of multiple robberies in the shopping complex but had never experienced anything like this. "I'm traumatized honestly, yeah, I won't wish this on anyone," she said.

McMahan was one of the employees working at the E. Main Street location when a man approached the team with a gun. "I could see the gun through his hoodie and my boss immediately saw that and the guy looks like he's about to head past the counter," McMahan said. According to police, a man fully dressed in black with a black mask approached the counter. McMahan says her boss also immediately saw the gun and stepped in. "My boss immediately stopped him and started protecting us and started fighting him," McMahan said.

According to police reports, the manager was shot twice in the chest. This isn't the first time this Papa John's location has been hit. According to police records, there was another attempted robbery in December 2021. Police are still searching for the suspect. 10tv.com

Memphis, TN: Kroger employee fires shots at customers in Frayser
Kroger employee is being accused of trying to kill a woman and her children in Frayser, police say. Police say the woman and her children were shopping at Kroger on Frayser Boulevard when she approached an employee and attempted to ask him a question. The woman told police the employee made a comment to her daughter which started an argument. A few minutes later, police say she saw the man in the parking lot and he threatened to kill her and her family. Police say the woman and her children got into their car and started to leave when she noticed the man driving towards her at a high rate of speed while holding a black handgun. According to the crime report, the man fired several shots in the direction of the woman's vehicle. The woman was able to speed away from the scene unharmed. Police later identified the man as Donald Fields and confirmed he was an employee of the Kroger. Fields was taken into custody and charged with reckless endangerment and three counts of attempted murder. wreg.com

Memphis, TN: Two people shot at Frayser Gas Station
Two people were shot Tuesday at a convenience store in Frayser. Police responded around 3 p.m. to Nana Market at the Valero gas station on Overton Crossing at Whitney. Officers said a man and a woman were both taken to Regional One in critical condition. Nearly a dozen shell casings were on the ground by a Cadillac Escalade. WREG saw officers checking a second Cadillac and a silver sedan as well. Investigators are still searching for the shooter(s). wreg.com

Buena Vista, GA: Armed and dangerous man wanted after firing shots at Buena Vista gas station
The Buena Vista Police Department is searching for a Richland man wanted in connection to an incident at a gas station last week in which shots were fired with more than a dozen people nearby. Police say they are searching for Raheem Ryan White, age 27, in connection to the incident that happened in the early morning hours of Friday, April 15, 2022, at the Gas N Go store, located at the corner of 6th Avenue and Broad Street. wrbl.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Bakersfield, CA: Pair sought after hammer attack at Costco
Bakersfield Police Department officers are trying to identify a man and a woman who committed armed robbery and aggravated assault at a big-box retailer on April 12. A store manager confronted a man and a woman suspected of stealing alcohol around 10:41 a.m. at the Costco at 3800 Rosedale Highway, according to a BPD news release. The suspects assaulted her with a hammer. The woman sustained "traumatic injury," the release noted, adding the couple fled the area after the assault. bakersfield.com

Wichita Falls, TX: Three Restaurant Burglaries Tuesday may be connected
Wichita Falls burglary detectives were kept busy Tuesday after responding to three business burglaries, including one at Burger King on Holliday Road where it appeared the suspect broke in through the drive-thru window. According to WFPD public information officer Jeff Hughes: Police were sent to three separate, but related restaurant burglaries, the Burger King on Holliday Street, Sonic on Jacksboro Highway and the Sonic on Kemp Boulevard. news.yahoo.com

Chattanooga, TN: Man notifies store owner of gas price mix-up after filling tank for under $6
The pain at the pump continues as the national average for a gallon of gas soars to more than $4. One Tennessee customer got his gas at a huge discount, filling up his tank for just $5.64, due to a mistake at the pump on Friday at a gas station in Chattanooga. "One of the pumps I stopped and got premium for my wife's car. I wasn't even really looking at the price because I didn't want to," Henry DeHart said. "And I went to hang it back up and I realized I had pumped 12 gallons and it only charged me $5." DeHart said that was the moment he realized there was a mistake at the pump. He went to tell the owner right away, so he didn't lose even more money in sales that day. kbtx.com



Statesville, NC: Four state police cruisers set on fire, damaged outside 7-Eleven
A 49-year-old Statesville man is behind bars after he was caught on camera lighting four police cruisers on fire at a gas station. He is accused of leaving behind around $20,000 worth of damage. Patches of ashes were scattered across the 7-Eleven parking lot just steps away from propane tanks after four North Carolina State High Patrol Trooper cruisers were set on fire. Troopers say Daniel Zelo poured gas on the vehicles and lit them on fire. Sergeant Hall says the fire caused $20,000 worth of damage in total to four Dodge Chargers. At least one car is completely undrivable. Hall says Zelo, the suspect was still in the area with a gas can after troopers put out the flames. independenttribune.com



Auto Parts- Fresno, CA - Burglary
Auto Parts - Joplin, MO - Burglary
C-Store - Stanton, KY - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Las Vegas, NV - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chester, VA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Davenport, IA - Robbery
C-Store - Crestview, FL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Huntington, WV - Armed Robbery
Costco - Bakersfield, CA - Armed Robbery
Dry Cleaner - Royal Oak, MI - Armed Robbery
Guns - Nassau County, NY - Burglary
Jewelry - Loveland, CO - Robbery
Jewelry - El Paso, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Garland TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Hurst TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Las Vegas, NV - Robbery
Laundry - New York, NY - Burglary
Pharmacy - Joplin, MO - Burglary
Marijuana - Lacey, WA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Wichita Falls, TX - Burglary (Burger King)
Restaurant - Wichita Falls, TX - Burglary (Sonic)
Restaurant - Wichita Falls, TX - Burglary (Sonic)
Restaurant - Altamonte Springs, FL - Armed Robbery (Hungry)
Restaurant - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Restaurant - Jefferson City, MO - Burglary
Restaurant - Columbus, OH - Armed Robbery / Shooting
7-Eleven - Oak Park, IL - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 17 robberies
• 10 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map





None to report.

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