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Alberto Vanegas promoted to Manager - Investigations & Intelligence for lululemon
Alberto has been with lululemon for more than three years, starting with the company in 2018. Before his promotion to Manager - Investigations & Intelligence, he served as Organized Retail Crime Manager - North America. Prior to joining lululemon, he spent more than two years with TJX Canada as Store Investigations Supervisor, Regional ORC Investigator, LP Systems Remote Investigator, and Lead Store Investigator. Earlier in his career, he held AP roles with Hudson's Bay Company. Congratulations, Alberto!

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







The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Businesses & Lawmakers Continue to Respond to Tops Mass Shooting

FBI Warns of Rise in Retail Mass Shootings
If You Shop at Walmart or Kroger, the FBI Has a Major Warning for You

The agency reports on a concerning trend that's becoming increasingly common.

The FBI is reporting on new crime concerns around grocery stores.

According to data from the FBI, there has been a 100 percent increase in active shooter incidents since 2016, with 40 shootings occurring in the year of 2020 alone. Out of the 40 incidents, 24 happened in places of commerce, such as grocery stores. Between 2000 and 2017, the number of shootings at grocery stores averaged out to be less than one per year, but according to the FBI, there were two such shootings in 2018 and then six in 2020.

A majority of these attacks happen at specific retailers.

When looking closer at places of commerce, officials notice two nationwide companies that appear to be a common target: Walmart and Kroger. One of the largest grocery store shootings in the past few years took place in 2019, when a gunman opened fire on back-to-school shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 23 people and injuring another 23. That same year, a "disgruntled" former Walmart worker shot at people in a Southaven, Mississippi, store, killing two.

In 2021, there were two mass shootings at Kroger-owned grocery stores, according to The Washington Post. One occurred at a Kroger in a Memphis suburb, where one person was killed and more than a dozen were seriously injured. The other took place in Boulder, Colorado, at a King Soopers outlet-which is owned by Kroger-and 10 people were killed.

Both retailers responded to these incidents with policy changes.

According to CNBC, the two companies took a public stance against guns in 2019, asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in any of their stores. Kroger and Walmart said that even in states where "open carry" laws allow them to do so, customers should not bring guns into their stores unless authorized by law enforcement officers. Walmart also banned the sell of ammunition that can be used in military-style assault rifles that year, while Kroger had completely exited "the firearm and ammunition business" a year prior in 2018. bestlifeonline.com

Businesses Rush to Hire Security Guards After Tops Mass Shooting
NY security companies see increase in calls since Tops mass shooting
Security companies in Upstate New York are seeing an increase in calls since the mass shooting at a Buffalo Tops supermarket this past weekend. More businesses are looking into hiring security guards.

"There's a renewed feeling of making sure that they're on top of everything," said the president of C.O.P. Security, Jack Barton. "They're aware. Awareness is everything when it comes to security."

The grocery store where a gunman opened fire on Saturday in Buffalo had an armed security guard on duty. Barton's company provides armed and unarmed guards to customers. One of those customers is a school in Greece. The guard there has been with the company for several years - working at various venues, and festivals.

"I think that you'll find that in most cases, presence, is probably 90 to 95% of a security officer's job," Barton said. "But there is that 5% action is needed or reaction."

The security guard at the Tops store in Buffalo reacted. Aaron Salter is being hailed as a hero - he fired his weapon and hit the suspect. But Salter ended up becoming one of the 10 people killed in the mass shooting.

Since the incident, his security company and others are seeing an uptick in requests for armed guards. "I would expect all the companies around this area anyways are probably getting more calls." Barton says, the armed guards with C.O.P. Security have the option of wearing protective vests.

"It's just a matter of making sure that you're on top of your game, if you will," he said. "You've got to stay alert [and] stay vigilant. You never know. You never know what's going to walk in, what's going to set someone off." spectrumlocalnews.com

Buffalo Shooting Fuels Passage of New Domestic Terror Law
House, Acting After Buffalo Rampage, Moves to Combat Domestic Terrorism
The House passed legislation on Wednesday aimed at bulking up the federal government's efforts to combat domestic terrorism, acting over the opposition of Republicans days after a gunman motivated by white supremacist ideology killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo supermarket.

Lawmakers advanced the bipartisan legislation on a nearly party-line vote of 222 to 203 that reflected deep polarization about addressing white supremacy and other racially motivated extremism that is now considered the nation's greatest internal threat.

The vote came as the Buffalo massacre has shone a spotlight on how racist conspiracy theories such as the one that motivated the shooter have increasingly drifted into Republican politics and right-wing media, where prominent voices, including some members of Congress, have subtly echoed or overtly embraced them. Only one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted for the bill.

The measure would establish three new offices - one each in the F.B.I., the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security - to monitor, investigate and prosecute domestic terrorism. It would require biannual reports assessing the domestic terrorism threat posed by white supremacists, with a particular focus on combating "white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services."

Yet it would stop short of creating new federal powers to crack down on domestic terrorism; it would not create new criminal offenses or new lists of designated domestic terrorist groups, nor would it give law enforcement additional investigative powers.

Proponents said that in a Congress that has long been paralyzed on legislation to combat gun violence, the bill was the best they could to address the root causes of the racist shooting rampage in Buffalo. nytimes.com

'Inadequate Laws' Fueling America's Mass Shooting Surge?
What Do Most Mass Shooters Have in Common? They Bought Their Guns Legally.
From 1966 to 2019, 77 percent of mass shooters obtained the weapons they used in their crimes through legal purchases, according to a comprehensive survey of law enforcement data, academic papers and news accounts compiled by the National Institute of Justice, the research wing of the Justice Department.

While mass shootings, defined by many experts as episodes involving four or more fatalities, represent a relatively small percentage of overall gun crimes, they have risen drastically in recent years, with at least eight of the 20 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history taking place since 2014.

That a majority of these criminals have made their gateway purchases though legal means reflects the profound inadequacy of local, state and federal statutes to detect or deter mass shooters, say law enforcement officials, researchers and the families of people they killed.

"The reality in this country right now, is that anyone who wants to cause harm to themselves, or do someone else harm, can easily acquire the means to do so - legally," said Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in 2018. nytimes.com

   Accused gunman in Tops mass shooting indicted by grand jury

   How some Tops shoppers found safety in store's break room during shooting

   911 Dispatcher May Be Fired Over Handling of Buffalo Shooting Call

   See the D&D Daily's initial Buffalo shooting coverage here

The Great Debate: How to Solve America's Retail Crime Surge

California's New Retail Crime Campaign Makes the News
New campaign launched Wednesday aimed at combating retail theft

One grocery chain says their 47 stores are hit by thieves 1,400 times per week.

The group, Californians Against Retail and Residential Theft (CARRT), said they plan on meeting with lawmakers to educate them on the impacts of a proposition they say is in part to blame for the rise in crime.

At a time when minority business owners were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, these organizations are saying the rise in retail crime is rubbing salt on the wound.

Superior Grocers said its 47 stores in California get hit at least 200 times a day. That's 1,400 hundred times a week. They played some of the surveillance videos during the press conference where you can see people casually walking out of stores with carts full of goods.

They believe Prop 47 is in part to blame. That's the proposition voters passed to make anything that criminals steal valued at less than $950 a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The legislature has already blocked bills that aim to repeal or modify it this session.

While CARRT as a group said they won't pick a political position, they believe law enforcement is not given the tools needed, and part of the solution lies within district attorney's offices as well.

"I think some of this can go back to upcoming elections as well," said David Kusa of the Automotive Service Councils of California. "We do have a number of district attorneys in some larger cities that have absolutely refused to prosecute these crimes. We have to be more aware of what we're voting for so changes can be made there specifically."

Even if the legislature does pass something on Prop 47, it will still need to go back down to the voters. Politicians who are against changing Prop 47 are not blind to the retail theft making headlines. Some argue there needs to be more of a focus on getting to the root cause of why these criminals are committing the crimes: Poverty, homelessness, you name it. cbs8.com

'Shoplifting on Steroids'
Organized retail theft not a victimless crime
It could be called shoplifting on steroids. Known as "Organized Retail Crime," it's growing at a fast rate nationwide. Locally too, law enforcement is handling these cases.

Sheriff Furlong says organized retail crime is on the rise here and nationwide. It costs the industry $7,000,000 dollars for every #1 billion sold. The merchandise is often turned over to the internet where it can be sold at a fraction of the cost.

The crime is anything but victimless says the industry. Besides the economic loss, there are also safety concerns as well as the psychological impact such a crime can have on a customer or worker should the incident take a turn for the worse.

That's why Sheriff Furlong says in "retail crime" no one should take matters into their own hands as the incident is underway. "Every case is a potential for turning into disaster right there on the spot," says Sheriff Furlong.

He says, instead, to take mental or physical notes, a description of the suspects, cars, and note which way they were headed. If you happen to see merchandise that's too good to be true for the price on the internet, it could be stolen. Sheriff Furlong says let law enforcement know.

The sooner officers are made aware of the crime, Sheriff Furlong says the better chance they have of solving it. kolotv.com

More Police & Prosecutions to Solve Crime Surge?
San Francisco mayor calls for more policing, prosecutions as chamber survey highlights angst over public safety
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city needs more police and prosecutions for wrong-doing, speaking at the chamber's annual CityBeat breakfast as a poll highlighted voters' concerns over public safety issues.

There was a dramatic increase in respondents describing crime and public safety as a major issue - 55% said it was in 2022, up from 46% in 2021 and 26% in 2020. Breed told her chamber audience that San Francisco has about 1,719 police officers, down 277 from 2019 and 463 short of what a city of San Francisco's size needs.

In addition to providing homeless services, assistance to those with mental health or drug abuse problems and supporting police-reform efforts, Breed said, "We also need arrests by the police as well as prosecution accountability for those selling drugs in our neighborhoods."

San Francisco residents said they plan to act on their concerns, with 45% of those surveyed saying they're likely to leave the city over the next few years, and with 25% listing crime as the primary reason for wanting to leave. That's up from 15% in 2021 and just 8% in 2020 citing crime as the key reason to move out of San Francisco.

So it's not surprising that the CityBeat poll also found two-thirds of respondents said they plan to vote for a recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin in the June 7 election. Boudin is under fire for what critics say is a de-emphasis on prosecutions. bizjournals.com

   Security company proposes K9 teams to help protect Chicago streets

   Baltimore city officers to spend more time on patrol, less on 'minor' crimes



COVID Update

583.2M Vaccinations Given

US: 84.7M Cases - 1M Dead - 81.4M Recovered
Worldwide: 526M Cases - 6.2M Dead - 495.8M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 358   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 771
*Red indicates change in total deaths

100K COVID Cases a Day Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend
Top Biden health officials sound warning on rising coronavirus infections
Top Biden administration officials warned Wednesday that one-third of Americans live in communities experiencing rising levels of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations and urged them to resume taking personal protection measures, including wearing masks.

The increase in new infections - nearing 100,000 a day - comes as the nation heads into Memorial Day weekend with its large gatherings and travel. That case count is almost certainly an undercount, officials said, given the widespread use of at-home tests for which results are often not reported to health officials.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly encouraged those living in communities designated yellow or orange, indicating they have large numbers of new infections and hospitalizations, to consider wearing masks in indoor public spaces and taking other steps to protect themselves. washingtonpost.com

COVID's Long-Term Impact on the Workplace
How the Workplace is Changing in the Pandemic Era

A study by Littler looks at how issues such as regulations, office locations and pandemic policies will affect the workplace.

Employers Split on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Though employers' approaches to vaccine mandates have evolved since last year - 41% of respondents now say they are mandating vaccination or requiring regular testing, compared to 21% in Littler's August 2021 survey - the survey data suggests that most businesses' policies are set at this point in the pandemic.

Only 1% are planning mandatory vaccination policies that haven't been implemented yet, and only 2% remain unsure of their plans. The largest share (56%) said they will not implement such a policy unless required by law.

An Uphill Battle: Reopening Offices Amid a Competitive Talent Market

Nearly 70% of respondents said they had already instituted a formal return-to-office policy as of the end of March (54%) or would do so between April and August (13%). Nearly all respondents (97%) are already offering or considering expanding flexibility and remote work options to help attract and retain employees - with 47% doing so to a great extent. "We are at a pivotal moment in the world of work.

Workplace Regulation Expected to Impact Employer Operations

More than 60% of respondents anticipate a moderate or significant impact on their businesses from enforcement efforts and compliance requirements associated with OSHA (76%), state and local agencies (73%), the Department of Labor (65%) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (63%). ehstoday.com

Reinstating Employee Mask Mandate at Apple Stores
Apple Reinstating Employee Mask Mandate at Approximately 100 U.S. Stores
Apple retail employees at around 100 stores will need to go back to wearing a mask while working, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple is mandating masks for employees again due to a rising number of COVID cases across the United States.

Customers who visit an Apple Store are not required to wear a mask at this time, but Apple is continuing to recommend masks for all ‌Apple Store‌ visitors.

Apple has been shifting its operating policies throughout the pandemic to keep in line with local regulations and to mitigate risk for employees and customers in areas where COVID is spiking. Apple stopped requiring masks in March when COVID levels were lower, and masks still aren't required for employees in all locations.

In addition to requiring masks for retail employees at some locations, Apple today told corporate employees that they must go back to wearing masks when in common areas. Apple is also maintaining its two day in-office work week for corporate employees for the time being, and will delay going to a three-day work week. macrumors.com

How Often Can You Be Infected With the Coronavirus?



Aldi's Former Div. Dir of Real Estate Indicted for $554K in Kickbacks
Former ALDI Executive and Local Contractor Indicted for Bid Fraud
East St. Louis, Ill. - On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, a federal grand jury in East St. Louis returned a nine- count indictment charging a former Aldi executive and a local general contractor with federal fraud offenses relating to the construction of Aldi grocery stores throughout Southern Illinois and Missouri. Former Aldi Regional Director of Real Estate, Louis Ross, 62, of Florissant, Missouri.

Ross served as the Director of Real Estate for Aldi's O'Fallon, Missouri, Division, which encompasses the area. According to court documents, Schniers, through C. Juengel, provided general contracting services to Aldi in connection with the construction and renovation of Aldi stores in the O'Fallon, Missouri, Division.

The indictment alleges that Ross and Schniers submitted fictitious bids in the names of other regional construction companies that were higher than C. Juengel's bids.

According to the indictment, C. Juengel was awarded twelve contracts for general contractor services between March 2016 and May 2017, as a result of the fraud - valued at over $21 million dollars. Because of the lack of competition in the bidding process, Aldi allegedly overpaid for the construction and renovation of stores in the O'Fallon, Missouri, Division.

Schniers paid Ross monthly kickbacks in exchange for the receipt of the Aldi contracts. Over a four-year period, Ross allegedly received $554,000 in kickbacks. In addition, the indictment alleges that Ross also received thousands of dollars in kickbacks from another individual for the exclusive right to serve as the civil engineer on all Aldi new construction and renovation projects in the O'Fallon, Missouri, Division.

Court June 10, both facing 20 years on each count.  justice.gov

What Retail Labor Shortage?
Walmart & Amazon aren't seeing a labor shortage - they've had too many workers, and now it's taking a financial toll

Walmart said it was overstaffed during the most recent quarter, and Amazon faced the same issue in its warehouses

Throughout the past several months, businesses across the US shared a common problem: not enough employees. But in the first few months of 2022, two of the nation's largest retailers experienced a new staffing problem, one that impacted their quarterly financials.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said during the company's quarterly earnings call Tuesday that the company experienced "weeks of overstaffing" during the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, primarily due to the pandemic.

Walmart had hired extra associates at the end of 2021 to cover for staff that was out on COVID leave, but when Omicron cases declined the first half of the quarter, employees came back to work sooner than expected.

The overstaffing issue was resolved during the quarter, primarily through attrition, McMillon said. Still, several weeks of overstaffing at the retail giant meant several weeks of wage pressure, which ate into profits for the quarter: Walmart reported that profit declined 24.8% from last year and announced Tuesday that it would cut its profit guidance for the full year.

Of course, high wage costs weren't the only culprit in Walmart's less-than-stellar quarter - McMillon said inventory levels are elevated and container, storage, and fuels prices are up, all of which contributed to Walmart's profit miss. businessinsider.com

New Biometric Checkout Tool
Mastercard to launch biometric checkout tool for retailers
Following other fintech companies and retailers experimenting with biometrics, Mastercard announced Tuesday that it is introducing a biometric checkout program. The card issuer is working with NEC, Aurus, PaybyFace, PopID and Fujitsu Limited to deploy the tool internationally, maintain its safety standards and protect the data collected.

Consumers will be able to review their bill and smile into a camera or wave their hand over a reader to pay. Mastercard is first piloting the program in Brazil and plans to test out the feature in the Middle East and Asia, per the announcement.

The program outlines standards for financial institutions and tech companies to follow to secure the data and keep customer information private. The participants in the program can offer consumers biometric checkout services either online or in-store through the merchant or an identity provider app.

Mastercard is pitching this new program as a more hygienic, secure payment method for merchants. The service also allows for loyalty program integrations and personalized product recommendations for consumers, per the company announcement. retaildive.com

How Can These Be Applied to Retail LP?
The Seven-Pronged Investigations Checklist
Inspired by Gawande's book, I reflected on my former career as an employment law attorney, in which I conducted numerous workplace investigations and litigated many botched ones. I asked myself, "Based on these experiences, what most often went wrong and what would have prevented disaster?" The following seven-step checklist represents the results of this reflection:

1. Presume to investigate.
2. Set the stage.
3. Protect the people and the process.
4. Perform "EAP interviews."
5. Don't cut corners.
6. Properly convey supportable findings.
7. Remember the post-investigation checkup.

I recommend you keep this checklist at the ready. Perhaps create a simple document listing the seven prongs. When trouble next arises, you'll have it handy.  shrm.org
Register Now!
IAFCI Annual Spotlight on Fraud Conference
The International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) Connecticut Chapter annual Spotlight on Fraud Conference is set for June 9-10, 2022 at Mohegan Sun Casino Uncasville, CT. This is a great opportunity to hear about some recent financial crime trends and how to address and prevent them.

Not only retail crime but also cryptocurrency, social media investigations and many more presentations. This is also a great opportunity to network with various branches of federal, state and local law enforcement and the financial investigators industry. Come and hear some awesome presentations.

Conference Agenda | Registration Information

Albertsons rolls out AI-powered carts in select stores

Amazon expands contactless payment at more Whole Foods stores

2 top Kohl's executives to depart as the retailer gets closer to a sale

Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk to step down

Quarterly Results

VF Corp Q4 sales up 9%, FY22 sales up 28%
   North Face up 24%
   Vans flat

Foot Locker Q1 comp's down 1.9%, sales up 1%

Ross Stores Q1 comp's down 7%, sales down 4%

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Calm Before the Ransomware Storm?
U.S. Saw Signs of Decline in Russian Ransomware Strikes at Start of Ukraine War

Officials say sanctions and other disruptions have slowed ransomware operations, but others fear relief is fleeting

The pace of Russian ransomware attacks on U.S. organizations appears briefly to have slowed at the outbreak of war in Ukraine, according to U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts, though any decline is unlikely to signal a prolonged reduction.

National security officials and private sector analysts haven't pinned down the causes of the perceived drop in attacks, and they warn the frequency of ransomware attacks may again be rising.

Some national security officials have credited U.S. and European sanctions imposed on Moscow over the invasion of its neighbor for temporarily stemming the ransomware tide. Officials also speculate Russia's top hackers have trained their sites on Ukraine since the invasion-or that some of them may have needed to relocate to escape the combat. Many Russian-speaking criminal hacker groups recruit from Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe.

"Ransomware is actually down" in recent months, Rob Joyce, who runs the National Security Agency's cybersecurity directorate, said at a conference last week. "As we do sanctions and it's harder to move money and it's harder to buy infrastructure in the West, we're seeing them less effective."

Analysts say it is difficult to precisely gauge the frequency of ransomware attacks, in part because so few victims publicly report when they suffer an attack. Ransomware is a type of cyberattack in which the perpetrators lock up a target computer network's files until they receive payment.

Still, signs of a lull appeared to emerge in late winter. For a period of at least several weeks coinciding with the start of the war, some of Russia's most notorious criminal hacking gangs were less active or nearly disappeared completely, according to private sector analysts and emergency breach responders.

Much of the world's cybercrime-including ransomware-originates in Russia or in Eastern Europe, according to security researchers and government officials. Russia has denied U.S. accusations that its state security apparatus is involved with cybercrime or tolerates it.

"A lot of these groups were physically located in conflict areas, and have had to pause operations to move to safety," said Bill Siegel, chief executive of Coveware Inc., a company that specializes in ransomware recovery. wsj.com

Stop Letting in the Hackers with Bad Cyber Hygiene
FBI and NSA say: Stop doing these things that let the hackers in

Enable multi-factor authentication, patch your software, and deploy a VPN, but configure them securely, the US government and allies warn.

Cyber attackers regularly exploit unpatched software vulnerabilities, but they "routinely" target security misconfigurations for initial access, so the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and its peers have created a to-do list for defenders in today's heightened threat environment.

CISA, the FBI and National Security Agency (NSA), as well as cybersecurity authorities from Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the UK, have compiled a list of the main weak security controls, poor configurations, and poor security practices that defenders should implement to thwart initial access. It also contains the authorities' collective recommended mitigations.

"Cyber actors routinely exploit poor security configurations (either misconfigured or left unsecured), weak controls, and other poor cyber hygiene practices to gain initial access or as part of other tactics to compromise a victim's system," CISA says.

The list of actions includes all obvious candidates, such as enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) on key systems, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), but which are prone to misconfigurations when implemented in complex IT environments.

CISA notes that remote services, such as VPNs, lack sufficient controls to prevent unauthorized access. Defenders should add access control mechanisms like MFA to reduce risks. Also, put the VPN behind a firewall, and use IDS and IPS sensors to detect suspicious network activity. zdnet.com

Threat Actors Double Down on Phishing Attacks
Phishing Attacks for Initial Access Surged 54% in Q1

For the first time in a year, security incidents involving email compromises surpassed ransomware incidents, a new analysis shows.

AdvertisementThreat actors doubled down on their use of phishing emails as an initial attack vector during the first quarter of 2022 - and in many cases then used that access to drop ransomware or to extort organizations in other ways.

Researchers from Kroll recently analyzed data gathered from security incidents they responded to in the first three months of this year. The analysis showed a 54% increase in incidents of phishing for initial access compared with the same period last year.

For the first time since Microsoft disclosed the so-called ProxyLogon set of vulnerabilities in Exchange Server in the first quarter of 2021, incidents tied to email compromises surpassed those related to ransomware. Kroll described the sharp increase in phishing activity as likely the result of a surge in activity tied to Emotet and IceID malware - threat actors have been using both to drop other malware.

Kroll's analysis shows that attackers leveraged the initial foothold gained via phishing in multiple ways, including to drop ransomware and malware, and to extort without any ransomware or encryption.

Temporary Ransomware Drop-off

Kroll's analysis showed that ransomware attacks - as a proportion of all attacks - dropped 20% between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 and 30% between the third quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. At least some of the drop-off in attacks appears to have resulted from law enforcement's disruption of malicious activity by groups such as REvil, Kroll said. Another factor that likely contributed to the slowdown in ransomware attacks was the voluntary exit from the scene made by groups such as BlackMatter, Kroll added. darkreading.com

Ransomware Boom Triggers Cyber Insurance Reset
Cyber Insurers Raise Rates Amid a Surge in Costly Hacks

Insurance market resets after a ransomware boom and spillover from Ukraine

Insurers significantly increased premiums for cyber coverage over the course of 2021, as a string of high-profile attacks and government action helped boost demand for products, data collected by industry bodies shows.

Direct-written premiums collected by the largest U.S. insurance carriers in 2021 swelled by 92% year-over-year, according to information submitted to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, an industry watchdog, and compiled by ratings firms.

Analysts say that the increase primarily reflects higher rates, rather than insurers significantly expanding the amount of money they are willing to cover.

The price bumps helped the U.S. cyber insurance industry pare back its direct loss ratio, or the percentage of its income that it pays out to claimants, to 65.4% in 2021 from a record of 72.5% in 2020. However, that figure is still far above 2019's direct loss ratio of 47.1%.

The sometimes drastic rate increases reflect a realignment of a relatively new market that is maturing quickly, executives say, indicating that the insurance industry is getting to grips with pricing cyber risk. wsj.com

$1M+ Business Email Compromise Scheme
Florida Man Found Guilty In Connection With Business Email Compromise Scheme
A federal jury has convicted Pierre Yvelt Almonor, 49, of Miami Gardens, Florida, for his role in a conspiracy to launder illegal proceeds from a business email compromise scheme that defrauded law firms and other companies of more than $1 million, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Almonor was convicted of engaging in a money laundering conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering, international concealment money laundering, and transactional money laundering.

According to trial evidence, witness testimony and documents filed with the court, from August 2014 through November 2017, as part of the money laundering conspiracy, Almonor arranged to have nearly $395,000 in real estate closing proceeds stolen through a BEC deposited in a business account over which he exercised control, utilizing it as a "money mule" bank account. Money mule bank accounts are accounts used by fraudsters as a pass-through means of moving fraudulently obtained funds. Almonor then facilitated wires to Spain and South Africa totaling more than $200,000 and withdrew more than $50,000 in proceeds as compensation for his role in the conspiracy.

The money laundering conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the proceeds. justice.gov

Prioritize patching vulnerabilities associated with ransomware

CISA: Unpatched F5 BIG-IP Devices Under Active Attack







New Amazon Discrimination Complaint
Amazon is discriminating against pregnant and disabled workers, New York state agency claims in complaint
A state agency in New York has filed an administrative complaint against Amazon, alleging the e-commerce giant discriminated against pregnant and disabled workers by denying reasonable accommodations and forcing them to take unpaid leave, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

Amazon has more than 39,000 workers across New York in nearly two dozen worksites, which employ in-house consultants who evaluate accommodation requests, according to a statement from the governor's office. But the New York State Division of Human Rights, the agency that filed the complaint, alleges the retailer has a policy that allows onsite managers to override recommendations from the consultants, which has led to denials in the worker requests.

State law requires all employers to provide reasonable accommodation for pregnant and disabled workers. The governor's office lists three separate employee requests from pregnant or disabled workers that it says were denied.

The complaint also alleges that under Amazon's policy, employees with disabilities are forced to take unpaid medical leave even when the accommodation consultant "has identified a reasonable accommodation that would allow the employee to perform the essential functions of their position without an undue burden," the governor's office said in a statement. It said such practices violate state law.

"My administration will hold any employer accountable, regardless of how big or small, if they do not treat their workers with the dignity and respect they deserve," Governor Hochul said in a statement.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement that the governor's announcement came as a surprise because the company has been cooperating with a state investigator on the matter "and had no indication a complaint was coming." fortune.com

Online Buy Now, Later: A Bubble Getting Ready to Burst?
Buy now, pay later is not a boom, it's a bubble, Harvard researcher says

There are risks with this type of debt and little regulatory oversight to sufficiently protect borrowers.

Most people love the convenience of buy now, pay later. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, installment payments have exploded in popularity along with a general surge in online shopping.

Initially, spreading out the cost of a big-ticket purchase - like a Peloton, for example - just made financial sense, especially at 0%.

Now, 4 in 5 U.S. consumers use BNPL on everything from clothing to cleaning supplies, according to Experian, and most shoppers said buy now, pay later could replace their traditional payment method (likely, credit cards).

"It's hard to buy anything anymore without being asked if you want to pay over time," said Marshall Lux, a fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School.

These days, most consumers will see a buy now, pay later option when shopping online at retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon, and many providers are introducing browser extensions, as well, which you can download and apply to any online purchase. Then there are the apps, which let you use installment payments when buying things in person, too - just like you would use Apple Pay.

"Three years ago, people talked about Peloton bikes, now people are buying sneakers, jeans, socks," Lux said. "When people start buying household goods on credit, that signals a problem."

In addition, BNPL's rapid growth is driven primarily by younger consumers, with two-thirds of BNPL borrowers considered subprime, Lux noted, making them especially vulnerable to economic shocks or a possible downturn. cnbc.com

We can become one of world's biggest companies, says CEO of Amazon freight rival







3 Arrested in $65M ORC in Houston
Houston, TX: $1.8M worth of stolen devices found in organized crime ring bust in Houston area
Three people are under arrest in connection to a $65 million organized crime and money laundering scheme that has fueled many recent cellphone robberies and thefts in the Houston area, investigators said. Federal agents and Houston police raided two homes, and a business, simultaneously on Tuesday morning. Two men and a woman were arrested after raids in Richmond and Sugar Land and the New Territory area of Fort Bend County. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at the "We Buy Phones" store on Harwin in Houston, where about 1,900 stolen electronic devices worth almost $1.8 million were recovered, authorities said. The bust, involving Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, Houston Police Major Offenders Division, and the Harris County District Attorney's Office, targeted organized criminal activity that drove other crimes. abc13.com

Sold 20,000 Stolen iPhones Globally For $15M
Charlotte, NC: Business Owners Are Indicted For Selling Stolen iPhones To Domestic And International Buyers
As alleged in the indictment, between January 2019 and January 2020, the defendants sold and shipped through Cellport more than 20,000 new iPhones. The defendants allegedly knew that many of these iPhones had been stolen or obtained by fraud. During the same time frame, Cellport's bank account, which was controlled by Alasfar and Alkhayyat, allegedly received more than $15 million in wire transfers, many of which came from new iPhone buyers and freight-forwarding services located abroad, including a company in the United Arab Emirates. justice.gov

Minnetonka, MN: Couple charged with stealing $500,000 in high-end merchandise from Nordstrom Ridgedale
Minnetonka police made the arrest after executing a search warrant at a home in Plymouth earlier this month. A couple who recently divorced and had worked together at Nordstrom in Minnetonka's Ridgedale Center have been arrested and charged with stealing merchandise valued at about $500,000 from the department store. According to a criminal complaint, Denis Palamarchuk told police after his arrest on May 4 that he stole about 20 items in April because he was getting divorced and needed money to cover his bills because his pay had been cut. But Capt. Andy Gardner with the Minnetonka Police Department said the thefts may have been taking place for nearly a year.

Minnetonka police executed a search warrant at a Plymouth residence where Palamarchuk had been staying and found high-end handbags, shoes and designer clothing believed to have been taken from the store, Detectives also recovered more than $46,000 in cash believed to be proceeds from the sale of the stolen goods, which he sold to friends and family members and online. Police said he and his ex-wife, Tatyana Alysheva, had 215 items posted on an eBay account when they were arrested. Alysheva also has been charged. startribune.com

Charlotte, NC: Video captures 'smash n' grab' burglary at Charlotte vape shop
A mad dash by a brazen group of thieves in a scary smash n' grab of a Charlotte business has the owner very upset. Video from the store showed five guys in the middle of the night - up to no good - bust into the tobacco and vape shop on East Independence Boulevard and make a mad dash to steal as much merchandise as they could in a very short time. The attack is personal for Wharat, who says he lost a lot of money from this robbery. "Including the 2 panes of glass and the metal security doors and merchandise lost it totals about $25,000," he said. fox46.com

Memphis, TN: Group of men steal jewelry, clothes, purses & more from stores
Jewelry, clothes, purses, belts, cologne and other merchandise were stolen from Memphis stores on Thursday, May 19, according to the Memphis Police Department. Police said a group of four men broke into two different stores. The burglaries started at Oak Hall on Poplar Ave., according to police. The group then made their way to Tate Jewelers where video surveillance shows a man walk behind a display case and throw several items into a box. The burglars made off in a white 2017 Ford F-150 that police said was also stolen. fox13memphis.com

Colorado Springs, CO: Man arrested for stealing 80 cellphones and $1,100 in cash from cell phone stores in El Paso County

Edinburgh, IN: 2 women accused of stealing $2,400 worth of clothes from Edinburgh mall

Greenacres, FL: Man wanted in $800 Ace Hardware theft, striking the manager with a car

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Shootings & Deaths

Fresno, CA: Suspect barricaded inside Save Mart in northeast Fresno after Deputy-involved shooting
A standoff in northeast Fresno is now stretching into its eleventh hour, with a suspect barricaded inside a Save Mart grocery store. It all began at about 7 pm on Thursday in the parking lot of the River Park shopping center. An off-duty deputy was in the parking lot outside Macy's when they noticed three people who were wanted in connection to a robbery. The deputy called for backup. When the suspects saw the deputies closing in, two of them ran back into the Macy's store. They were later taken into custody. The third suspect hopped in a car. Sheriff's officials said they tried to stop the car, but the suspect crashed into several squad cars. One deputy ended up shooting at the suspect, but the suspect still managed to escape. Authorities chased the suspect down Nees Avenue toward First Street. That's when the suspect got out of the car and ran into the Save Mart grocery store. The store was quickly evacuated. Officials said the suspect was the only person that remained inside. abc30.com

Montebello, CA: Video Released: Gun battles breaks out at 7-Eleven store
Shocking security video shows the moments a gun battle erupted inside a 7-Eleven store in Montebello. The shooting occurred at the store located at 800 S. Greenwood Ave. on April 30th at 9:50 p.m. Video footage shows a man in what appears to be a white shirt and white baseball cap walk towards the exit and exchange some words with another man wearing a black shirt and black baseball cap. After a few seconds, the man in the white shirt pulls out a gun and begins firing at the other man. There were about five other people inside the store, including the clerk, who all ducked for safety. The other man wearing all black returned fire and the other man left the store. It is unknown if anyone was injured or what triggered the shooting. Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the two suspects in the video. fox32chicago.com

Houston, TX: Update: Suspects accused of shooting cell phone store employee 7 times during robbery
Houston police have released surveillance video of two men wanted in the aggravated robbery of a cell phone store in the Fifth Ward area in early May. According to police, on May 6 at around 7:30 pm, two men entered a cell phone store in the 8500 block of Jensen Drive. One of the men pulled out a handgun and pointed it at an employee, demanding money, and the employee pulled out his own handgun and fired a shot towards the suspects, but missed, police said. That is when the suspect with the gun fired several rounds at the employee, striking him seven times. The suspects then grabbed the money, along with a box of cell phones, and fled the scene, according to police. The victim was transported to the hospital and is still recovering from his injuries. click2houston.com

Stockton, CA: Owner of Jewelry store robbed and attacked outside his home
A Stockton jeweler said his son saved his life after his son encountered several gunmen waiting outside the jeweler's North Stockton home. "The first thing I saw, I peeked through the little window that you see right there. And, I see three guys with masks walking this way, kind of limping," said jeweler Sal Cervantes speaking outside his home. Cervantes, who has sold gold for more than 20 years at local flea markets, said he was getting ready to leave his home around 5:45 a.m. "There was bullets running everywhere. I didn't want to come out for the same reason that I was going to get hit," Cervantes said. The three suspected robbers were identified as men ages 19, 20 and 25. The 19-year-old was identified by name as Kailen Guy and arrested on suspicion of attempted home invasion robbery. Police said the three robbers were shot after the jeweler's 23-year-old son confronted them with a gun and got into what authorities called a "gun battle" with them. Police said the 23-year-old, being called the "victim" by police, was driving by his parents home along the 6700 block of Everest Avenue when he saw the suspects lying in wait. abc10.com

St. Louis, MO: Suspect shot during Jewelry store robbery sentenced to over eight years in prison


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Lexington, KY: Verizon store robbed
Suspects tied up workers, stole products. Lexington police are searching for two suspects who allegedly tied up employees at a Verizon store and robbed the shop. The incident happened at roughly 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Verizon store on Nicholasville Road, according to Lt. Daniel Burnett with the Lexington Police Department. Employees told police that two subjects, at least one of which was armed with a handgun, came into the store, tied up the employees and stole some Apple products before fleeing. It's unknown how many employees were at the store at the time of the robbery. None of the employees were injured, police said. kentucky.com

San Jose, CA: Two charged in connection with series of San Jose Armed Robberies

Madison, WI: Wausau Man Sentenced to 2 1/2 Years for Role in International Fraud Scheme

New Castle, DE: Delaware State Police Arrest New Jersey Man on Multiple Liquor Store Burglaries



Auto - Bakersfield, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Des Moines, IA - Armed Robbery (Customer wounded)
C-Store - Roswell, NM - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Rockwell, NC - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Colorado Springs, CO - Robbery
C-Store - Kingsville, LA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Milwaukee, WI - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Pittsburgh, PA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - San Antonio, TX - Robbery
Clothing - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Clothing - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Dollar General - Gaffney, SC - Burglary
Dollar General - Gaffney, SC - Burglary
Hardware - Greenacres, FL - Robbery
Hotel - Houston, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Bloomington, IL - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Stockton, CA - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Redondo Beach, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Tampa, FL - Robbery
Jewelry - Albuquerque, NM - Robbery
Jewelry - Tempe, AZ - Robbery
Jewelry - Cordova, TN - Robbery
Jewelry - Oklahoma City, OK - Robbery
Marijuana - Los Angeles, CA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Newburgh, NY - Armed Robbery
Vape - Charlotte, NC - Burglary
Verizon - Lexington, KY - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Edinboro, PA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 23 robberies
• 5 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 107 robberies
• 21 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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VP, Asset Protection & Retail Operations
Washington, D.C. - posted April 29
The candidate will oversee the development of innovative strategies, programs and solution which help retailers mitigate loss and reduce total retail risk; Direct oversight of the NRF Loss Prevention Council and Retail Operations Council...

Senior Manager, Asset Protection
Orlando, FL - posted May 13
You will lead and manage NA processes and programs to protect company assets, people and brand. Our mission for this role is to provide an operational focus on workplace and physical security programs, profit protection and investigations. You will report to the Consumer Products, Games and Publishing Executive Director, Global AP and Safety...

Region Asset Protection Manager-Southwest Florida
Fort Myers, FL - posted May 12
Responsible for managing asset protection programs designed to minimize shrink, associate and customer liability accidents, bad check and cash loss, and safety incidents for stores within assigned region. This position will develop the framework for the groups' response to critical incidents, investigative needs, safety concerns and regulatory agency visits...

Loss Prevention Specialists (Store Detective)
Albany, NY; Hyannis, MA; Burlington, VT; Hartford, CT
- posted May 6
Detect and respond to external theft and fraud by working undercover within the store(s) you are assigned to. Working as a team with store management and associates in combating loss in the store(s). Developing and analyzing external theft trends, utilizing information in company reports and information gathered from store management and associates...

Retail Asset Protection Associate
Medford, MA; Brockton, MA; East Springfield, MA - posted May 6
The Asset Protection Greeter role is responsible for greeting all customers as they enter the store, ensuring that customers see the Company's commitment to provide a safe and secure shopping environment, as well as deterring theft, shoplifting, or other dishonest activities...


Director Loss Prevention
Multiple Locations - posted April 25
The Director, Loss Prevention - Store Operations is responsible for leading and inspiring a team of Regional Loss Prevention Managers and Area Loss Prevention Managers and coordinating Loss Prevention efforts for the largest beauty retailer in the United States...

Regional LP Manager
San Francisco Bay Area, CA - posted April 25
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager (RLPM) leads a team of 3-7 field based multi-unit Area Loss Prevention Managers (ALPMs); coordinates shrink improvement and asset protection programs for a Region of approximately 8- 16 Districts which includes approximately 100- 190 Ulta Beauty Stores...

Loss Prevention Supply Chain Manager
Fresno, CA - posted April 25
The Loss Prevention Manager, Supply Chain (LPMSC) drives shrink improvement and profit protection activities for an assigned distribution center (DC), its in-bound and outbound shipping networks and its third party pooling centers...

LP Manager Supply Chain FFC
Romeoville, IL - posted April 25
The LP Manager, Supply Chain - FFC (SCLPM) drives shrink improvement and profit protection activities for an assigned fast fulfillment center (FFC), and its in-bound and outbound shipping networks. The SCLPM is responsible for assessing the shrink and safety posture of the fast fulfillment center...

Asset Protection Lead (Regional), Atlanta/Carolinas
Atlanta/Charlotte - posted April 22
Responsible for the protection of company assets and mitigation of risk. Effectively communicates, trains, implements, and monitors all aspects of Asset Protection programs in assigned markets. These programs include Tier Shrink Reduction Strategy, training and awareness, store audits, investigative initiatives, profit protection, health and safety and budgetary compliance...

Regional LP Manager
Pacific Northwest - posted April 22
Minimize losses to the business, improve profitability and provide dedicated support to the field and all field personnel, focusing on external theft, internal theft, systems and administrating training and P&P compliance, stocktaking processing and analysis...

Regional Loss Prevention Auditor
Multiple Locations - posted April 20
The Regional Loss Prevention Auditor (RLPA) is responsible for conducting operational audits and facilitating training meetings in our clients' locations. The audit examines operational controls, loss prevention best practices, and customer service-related opportunities.

Business Manager
Dallas/Fort Worth Area, TX - posted April 6
Sapphire Risk Advisory Group is seeking a Business Manager to work in the company's Dallas-area office in a W2 position and will closely partner with other members of the team to manage projects and communicate with contractors, vendors, and clients...

Loss Prevention Security Investigator
San Bernardino, CA - posted March 8
Protecting of Company property against theft. Detection, apprehension, detention and/or arrest of shoplifters. Internal investigations and investigations of crimes against the Company. Detect and apprehend shoplifters. Conduct internal theft, ORC and Corporate investigations. Prepare thorough and concise investigative reports...

Regional Loss Prevention Manager
Sugar Land, TX - posted March 7
The position will be responsible for: -Internal theft investigations -External theft investigations -Major cash shortage investigations -Fraudulent transaction investigations -Missing inventory investigations -Reviewing stores for physical security improvements -Liaison with local Police Depts. and make court appearances...


Loss Prevention Supervisor
West Jefferson, OH - posted March 7
Provides leadership to the LP staff which includes but not limited to performance development, direction on daily duties, and meeting department goals. Supervises Loss Prevention programs and process in the Distribution Center (DC) and partners with DC Management team to ensure physical security, product, equipment and employees meet LP requirements...

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Progress or moving forward has as much to do with which way you're facing as anything else. If you stay focused on facing your customer and not your internal team then you might find success is a little closer than you think. This goes for the vendor and for the retailer, as we all have customers to serve both internally and externally. And while it's impossible to always stay facing them the mere thought of it will bring you back a little faster if you just remember that your ultimate success is driven by your customers whether its individual stores or companies. Much too often we all tend to get lost in the politics of our inner group and use it as a means of avoiding having to accomplish difficult tasks. But all you've got to remember is to turn around and face the customer and then you'll be back on track getting things done and moving forward.  

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