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Axis Communications Unveils State-of-the-Art Experience Center in Atlanta

Axis Communications recently announced the opening of a new Axis Experience Center (AEC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The state-of-the-art technology center is designed to provide business leaders, partners, and customers with hands-on experience to view and test the latest in high-performance network cameras and other edge devices as well as emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, analytics and IP-based security technologies in a simulated environment. Visitors will also enjoy direct access to dedicated Axis industry experts.

In alignment with their expansion plans for the Americas, the new Atlanta Axis Experience Center is the twelfth AEC in the Axis Americas network to open its doors, preceding four more AECs which will launch in 2022-23. Other locations include New York City, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington D.C., Mexico City and Sao Paulo Read more here

ANSI 60-day Public Comment Period is Now Open for the TMA-AVS-01 Alarm Validation Standard

Review and comments requested by September 13, 2022.

July 15, 2022, McLean, VA - The Monitoring Association (TMA) Standards Committee has received confirmation from ANSI that the Public Comment Period for its TMA-AVS-01 Alarm Validation Standard is officially now open through September 13, 2022.

Initiated in 2020, the standard provides a method of creating an alarm scoring or classification metric for unauthorized human activity detected by alarm systems that will assist law enforcement with resource allocation and Call-for-Service prioritization.

All comments must be received through the TMA website no later than 8:00 PM ET on September 13, 2022. All interested may access the draft document at https://tma.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/TMA-AVS-01-Pub-Com-R1.pdf and the TMA online comment form at https://tma.us/tma-avs-01-public-comment-portal/.

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Beefing Up Store Security to Fight Crime
Supermarkets, Restaurants Hire Security and Limit Hours to Combat Crime
Restaurants and grocery stores said they are revamping operations in response to crime, with some operators limiting hours, spending more on security and closing stores entirely.

Violent crime has been on the rise in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic, with cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York reporting a surge in shootings and killings. Murder rates have also soared in rural areas. Local officials and law enforcement point to pandemic-related stress, a proliferation of guns and increased alcohol sales, among other factors.

While violent crimes in restaurants and grocery stores remain a small part of the overall U.S. total, incidents have increased in recent years, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. The number of aggravated assaults that took place in restaurants increased by 60% from 2018 to 2020, the FBI data showed, and the number in grocery stores increased by 73% during the period.

Mod Pizza is installing more panic buttons in its stores, and offering emotional support resources to employees after an incident. Some Burger King and McDonald's Corp. franchisees said they have had to deal with crime in parking lots and people loitering in stores, particularly at night.

Store safety issues at supermarkets, driven by theft and homelessness, have become a bigger challenge in recent years, merchants say. They said they are hiring more security guards and locking up theft-prone products, while coaching employees on how to manage conflicts.

Fresh Market gives all employees safety training and coaches them to avoid confrontations and diffuse conflicts, he said. Earlier this month, Mr. Drosos said, store management discussed whether managers should carry weapons in the store, and decided they wouldn't for now.

About 72% of 18 food retailers representing over 12,000 stores surveyed by FMI said they have plans in place to deal with violence prevention, while 88% said they are ready to deal with robberies.

Theft is a growing problem for U.S. retailers, executives said, partly as organized crime rings steal from stores, then sell goods online. Kroger, CVS Health Corp. and other major retailers have cited theft as a growing pressure on their businesses. msn.com

Blaming Big City Leaders for Crime Closures
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz blames Dem-run cities for store closures
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Democratic mayors and city councils have "abdicated their responsibility" in fighting crime and addressing mental illness, which has forced his company to shutter stores due to fears over employee safety.

Schultz made the comments in leaked video that was posted to Twitter over the weekend by Ari Hoffman of KVI-AM talk radio based in Seattle.

Last week, Starbucks announced it was closing 16 restaurants in various cities across the country due to what the company said was employee complaints of drug use and violent crime on the premises.

Schultz said he believes the Seattle-based coffee chain will have to close "many more" locations. "This is just the beginning," said the interim chief executive, who came back to run the company earlier this year following the retirement of his predecessor, Kevin Johnson. "There are gonna be many more [store closures]."

In the video leaked over the weekend, Schultz cited the "issues of mental illness, homelessness, and crime." "Starbucks is a window into America," Schultz said. "We are facing things in which the stores were not built for."

Schultz then took Democrat-run cities to task for not providing solutions: "In my view, at the local, state, and federal level, these governments across the country and leaders - mayors, governors, and city councils - have abdicated their responsibility in fighting crime and addressing mental illness," he said.  nypost.com

Cities Respond to Retail Violence Surge
Communities hiring private security as crime rises amid police shortage
This year's violent crime numbers are on pace to surpass 2021 for cities like Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Seattle. The New York Times reports that assaults at retail establishments are increasing faster than the national average.

Earlier this week, Starbucks announced the closing of 16 stores, mostly in L.A. and Seattle. A letter to employees cited safety concerns. Staffing levels for police departments in many cities are hitting critical lows.

"It's a crisis. It continues to worsen, " said Jason Johnson, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. "People who are law enforcement officers - for, I think understandable reasons - are discouraged, demoralized and are really looking for an exit."

Crime is not only dangerous for citizens, it's also bad for business. In an effort to boost safety, some communities are now hiring private security companies to help fill in the gaps when police don't have enough manpower.

Earlier this year, the Downtown Seattle Association hired unarmed private guards to help patrol a business district overrun by homeless people and drugs. Last month in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot dedicated $5.3 million to protect homes and businesses with private security devices.

"I get what the businesses are doing, the cities with the lack of resources, but this is not a good move," said Johnson. "We can't outsource law enforcement this way to the private sector they're not empowered to make arrests and enforce the law."

With recruitment numbers dwindling, some worry about the future of the profession, the quality of new recruits, and growing fears of rising crime for the foreseeable future. local12.com

   RELATED: Businesses hiring security, reducing hours due to crime

Mass Attacks Defense Toolkit
Preventing Mass Attacks, Saving Lives

The Mass Attacks Defense Toolkit can help reduce casualties from mass shootings and other violent attacks

NIJ-funded researchers created this toolkit to help reduce the likelihood of mass shootings and other public attacks, and reduce the casualties of completed attacks. Whatever your role or level of experience, this toolkit can make you a better defender against mass attacks.

After studying 600 mass attack events and plots, interviewing dozens of experts, and reviewing hundreds of references, the team identified the Mass Attacks Defense Chain, a series of defenses that work together to reduce the probability of mass attacks and their impacts.

In this toolkit, researchers describe the most important tips they found to help reduce the likelihood and casualties of mass attacks. They also point to key guidance and resources to provide more-detailed information.

There are three top takeaways on what community partners-and the public-can do to defend against mass attacks.

Proactive prevention - Almost two-thirds of foiled plots in our data were foiled because of public reporting.

Relentless follow-up - An interagency team led by a single point of contact designated for each case should lead the necessary follow-up.

Diligent training - Advance planning and training are required of all agencies and partners who will jointly respond to mass attacks.

Click here for the toolkit

Violence Surge Isn't Just a Big City Problem
As Violent Crime Rises in Portland and Across the Nation, Should Progressive Reforms Bear the Blame?

A report looks at the national context surrounding some high-profile Portland attacks.

Violent crime rates are rising across the country, and the trend is making people feel unsafe in their cities-and, by extension, threatening progressive efforts to reform the criminal justice system in Portland and major cities across the country.

But are progressive reforms and activist politicians to blame for the latest crime wave? That question was posed by a timely report published last Tuesday by researchers at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

Their conclusion: There just isn't enough evidence to establish a link between increased violence and progressive policies. "We're seeing narratives about crime and public safety being used to rollback gains in the reform movement-largely without evidentiary basis," Ames Grawert, an author of the report and senior counsel at the Brennan Center, told WW.

The problem is real: The nation's murder rate rose by nearly 30% in 2020 alone, the report notes. In Chicago, murders increased 57% from the prior year. In Portland, there was an 83% jump in homicides.

But, Grawert said, it's "not a blue state problem." The pandemic-fueled crime wave is hitting red and blue states, progressive cities and conservative rural counties.

Still, the electorate's appetite for criminal justice reform appears to be waning. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recently rolled back aspects of major bail reform legislation passed in the state in 2019. And in San Francisco, a progressive district attorney was ousted from office following backlash over the city's lack of progress in addressing persistent low-level crime. wweek.com

Here's what to know about the Los Angeles County DA recall effort


COVID Update

599.2M Vaccinations Given

US: 91.4M Cases - 1M Dead - 86.7M Recovered
Worldwide: 568.7M Cases - 6.3M Dead - 540M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 360   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 787
*Red indicates change in total deaths

COVID Cases, Hospitalizations & Deaths

Cases Up in 40 States
Covid Rises Across U.S. Amid Muted Warnings and Murky Data

Many health officials say the wave is cause for caution, not alarm.

Covid-19 is surging around the United States again in what experts consider the most transmissible variant of the pandemic yet. But something is different this time: The public health authorities are holding back.

In Chicago, where the county's Covid warning level was raised to "high" last week, the city's top doctor said there was no reason for residents to let the virus control their lives. The state health director in Louisiana likened a new rise in Covid cases there to a downpour - "a surge within a surge" - but characterized the situation as concerning but not alarming.

The latest surge, driven by a spike of BA.5 subvariant cases in this country since May, has sent infections rising in at least 40 states, particularly in the Great Plains, West and South. Hospitalizations have climbed by 20 percent in the last two weeks, leaving more than 40,000 people in American hospitals with the coronavirus on an average day. nytimes.com

COVID-Induced Worker Shortage Continues
Restaurants are short-staffed, and that's taking a big toll on customers and workers alike

The industry is still down 750,000 jobs - roughly 6.1% of its workforce - from pre-pandemic levels as of May, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Lockdowns in spring of that year led to layoffs and furloughs for many cooks and waitstaff, prompting the federal government to back billions of dollars in forgivable loans for small businesses. The disease ravaged the U.S. workforce, killing more than a million people over the course of two-plus years while sickening many millions more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As states relaxed their restrictions, restaurant employment recovered, although the industry is still down 750,000 jobs - roughly 6.1% of its workforce - from pre-pandemic levels as of May, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Customers are noticing the difference. In the first quarter of 2022, customers mentioned short staffing three times more often in their Yelp reviews than in the year-ago period, according to the restaurant review site. Mentions of long waits rose 23%. cnbc.com

Illinois & California Residents Fled During the Pandemic
California cities are bleeding residents. How long will the trend last?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like everyone knew a co-worker fleeing the Bay Area. Now, a new report out of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago shows just how much the exodus is gaining steam.

Only Illinois ranked worse off than California when it came to moving vans heading for the border during the pandemic, according to the report, which focused on data from the moving company United Van Lines. In 2018-19, 56% of moves in California were families fleeing the state. In 2020-21, that figure jumped to nearly 60%.

The state that was by far the biggest draw of California residents? It was Texas, the destination for more than 7,500 California families during the four years in the study, perhaps little surprise given that Silicon Valley's tech giants like Oracle, Tesla and Hewlett Packard Enterprise picked up and moved their headquarters there too.

California also continues to lose residents to Washington, Florida and Virginia while attracting consistently fewer movers arriving from those states. mercurynews.com

California's soaring summer COVID wave could top winter surge
New coronavirus infections in parts of California may be surging even higher than winter's Omicron wave, potentially explaining why so many people seem to be infected simultaneously.

Coronavirus cases soar at L.A. County workplaces, complicating back-to-office push

Anthony Fauci likely to retire by the end of Biden's term


The Toys R Us Revival Continues
Macy's and Toys R Us ramp up store-in-store partnership

Macy's is bringing Toys R Us to all of its 500+ stores

Macy's and WHP Global plan to bring Toys R Us-branded shops to every Macy's store, an acceleration of a store-in-store partnership that began last year. Macy's and WHP, which acquired the Toys R Us brand last year, said the store rollout will run from late July through Oct. 15, in time for the holiday shopping season.

The store-in-store footprints range from 1,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet for what the companies call flagship locations in Macy's in large metropolitan areas including New York, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago.

When Macy's and WHP first announced their plan to open Toys R Us shops in Macy's department stores, the plan called for over 400 locations that would roll out through this year. The announcement this week represents a significant increase given the 570 stores in Macy's portfolio as of March.

The partnership for the Toys R Us brand gives what may be its largest platform since the big box version of it was liquidated in bankruptcy in 2018. Under previous ownership, it opened a mere two stores in partnership with b8ta, which liquidated in the pandemic era. retaildive.com

Supply Chain Pressures Finally Starting to Ease
Supply chains inching back to normal brace for headwinds of softer demand
Supply strains, while still afflicting many consumers and businesses, are becoming more mundane than menacing like they were six months ago, especially in the U.S., where snarls have eased back from their pandemic peaks and some are already adding less inflationary pressure.

Modest improvements are showing up in gauges maintained by forecasters ranging from Bloomberg Economics to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. But the gradual end of the pandemic-driven supply crunch might give way to another potential headache: a slump in consumer demand that throws economic growth into reverse and leads to an ugly inventory pileup.

"Pressures in the global goods sectors, which have been a central driver of inflation, may finally be easing," Citi economists led by Nathan Sheets wrote in a research note this month. "The bad news is that this looks to be occurring on the back of a slowing in the global consumer's demand for goods, especially discretionary goods, and thus may also signal rising recession risks." japantimes.co.jp

NRF Responds to June Retail Sales
June Retail Sales Increased Despite Rising Inflation
Retail sales increased in June even as inflation climbed higher and drove up prices across the board, the National Retail Federation said today.

"June's numbers show consumers are powering through price pressures, but inflation is eating away at savings built up during the pandemic and is wiping out recent income gains," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "Inflation remains a challenge to consumers trying to make ends meet and will continue to be an issue even if it cools down in the months ahead. Despite that, consumers are holding up notably well and continuing to spend." nrf.com

'The Great Resignation' Continues
Nearly one-third of workers plan to quit: Conference Board
Nearly one out of three workers (31%) plan to quit their jobs in the next six months, and 94% of workers who left their companies during the past year do not regret the move, the Conference Board said, describing findings from a survey primarily of professional employees and office workers.

Only 38% of respondents said they plan to remain with their current employer in the next six months, the Conference Board said, citing the June 21-28 survey of 1,100 individuals. Nearly one out of four workers (22%) left their jobs for higher pay, while 17% quit for a more flexible work schedule. cfodive.com

Big Pay Raises Coming?
Companies next year plan biggest average pay raise since 2008
U.S. companies facing a tight labor market, high turnover and the biggest price pressures in 40 years plan in 2023 to raise worker pay on average by 4.1% - the largest increase in 15 years, according to Willis Towers Watson (WTW).

Nearly three out of four companies (73%) attribute their planned pay increases to the need to attract and retain employees in a highly competitive labor market, WTW said Thursday, describing a survey of 1,430 companies. Almost half of respondents (46%) cited employee expectations for higher pay as a cushion against inflation. cfodive.com

Ross opens 29 stores in 2 months - Planning 100 Stores in 2022
Those openings include 21 Ross Dress for Less and eight DD's Discounts stores in 12 different states as part of the retailer's plans to add about 100 stores in 2022.

Retail braces for second half of 2022, as cautious shoppers pay more but get less

Old Navy closing its Chicago store on State Street

Kohl's replaces executive leading tech, supply chain

100 Iconic Brands That Changed Grocery

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director LP & Analytics job posted for Dollar Tree in Chesapeake, VA
The Director of Analytics and Support for Protection measures the effectiveness of asset prevention programs for the enterprise and delivers valuable insights to support the successful operations of the company as it relates to loss reduction. The Director possesses a high degree of knowledge and experience in Asset Protection that is vital to the business operation. The Director must foster good working relationships with corporate work groups to develop and support programs based on data, observations and recommendations to improve inventory shrinkage and operations.  sjobs.brassring.com

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Gatekeeper Systems is proud to announce the 2021 edition of our Annual Pushout Theft Snapshot is now available.

This year's edition examines almost 300 recorded pushout thefts across the United States from January to December 2021.

Highlights include a rise in pushout thefts ending in violence, ORC pushout thefts have increased and average pushout theft loss is slightly down from last year.

Click here to download your copy of the 2021 pushout theft snapshot






AI in Cybersecurity Surges Following Pandemic
Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity Market Size to Reach USD 133.8 Billion by 2030 Driven by Growing Number of Cyber Attacks

The Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Cybersecurity Market size accounted for $14.9B in 2021 and is estimated to reach the market value of $133.8B by 2030.

The rising number of cyberattacks helped the industry to generate a noteworthy artificial intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity market revenue during the projected years. Additionally, according to Cisco data, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks will more than double to 15.4 million by 2023, up from 7.9 million in 2018.Furthermore, more than four-fifths (86 percent) of data breaches in 2020 were financially motivated.

AdvertisementOur recent artificial intelligence in cybersecurity industry analysis found out that enterprises lose millions of dollar in cyberattacks. For instance, cybercrime costs organizations $2.9 million per minute, and data breaches cost major corporations $25 per minute. According to IBM's Cost of a Data Breach report, the United States has the highest data breach costs in the world, with the average attack costing $8.6 million.

COVID-19 Impact on Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity Market

With the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, most companies around the world suffered massive losses. The global artificial intelligence in cybersecurity market, on the other hand, saw a profiting effect. During the early phase of the pandemic, when governments around the world imposed strict movement restrictions and frequent lockdowns to combat virus spread, most organizations adopted a work-from-home culture. This paradigm shift pushed organizations into new challenges, such as increasing vulnerabilities to cyber threats as a result of their reliance on home networks for internet access. As a result, the demand for robust cybersecurity systems incorporated with artificial intelligence increased exponentially, benefiting the overall market in the midst of the crisis.

Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity Market Dynamics

The growing adoption of IoT and the growing number of connected devices are the factors that are expected to fuel the artificial intelligence in cybersecurity market share. The internet of things has greatly facilitated the execution of complex tasks and simplified the lives of millions of people. However, as the number of connected devices grows, so does the threat of cyberattacks. globenewswire.com

FBI Cryptocurrency Warning
Bogus cryptocurrency apps swindle users out of millions, FBI warns
Fraudulent cryptocurrency investment apps bilked at least 244 victims out of nearly $43 million, the FBI said in an alert Monday. The advisory is just the latest indicator of ongoing scams by cyber criminals preying on a growing interest in online cryptocurrency investment to steal from U.S. consumers.

The fraudulent apps identified in the alert posed as legitimate banking institutions, inviting investors to deposit funds and then telling them that they couldn't make a withdrawal unless they paid alleged taxes on their investments first. Even after paying the fees, victims were unable to access funds.

Two of the phony exchanges named in the alert stole branding from legitimate or formerly legitimate exchanges to confuse victims. The FBI said one of the firms, YiBit, defrauded at least four victims of approximately $5.5 million between October 2021 and May 22. The scam aroused suspicion on Reddit investor forums where users discussed being approached on WhatsApp by suspicious women claiming to have reached their number by accident.

Criminals behind Supayos, the other fraudulent exchange named in the alert, signed one victim up to a fake subscription to an account with a minimum balance of $900,000 without his consent and said if he didn't comply his assets would be frozen, the FBI said.

Losses to cryptocurrency scams climbed steeply between January 2021 and March 2022, the Federal Trade Commission reported in June. A little over half of the $1 billion in reported losses could be traced to investment scams such as those flagged in the FBI alert. The Justice Department has responded to the increase in fraud by pumping up its own resources, including in February by launching an FBI unit specializing in cryptocurrency crimes.

The FBI alert urged financial institutions to proactively warn consumers of potential scams and periodically search online for scammers copying their name or logo. cyberscoop.com

Cybercriminals Creating Fake Identities to Scam People
How Hackers Create Fake Personas for Social Engineering

And some ways to up your game for identifying fabricated online profiles of people who don't exist.

It is surprisingly easy to come up with a whole identity for a fake person in this day and age. In all reality, there are online tools that do all the hard work for you. Social engineering is just too easy for scammers and cybercriminals.

But how can someone defend against falling for Internet scams like this? Whenever possible, if an individual can do their due diligence by reaching out to the alleged company or school this persona is/was a part of, they can determine if this is legitimate.

Examining their profile might also reveal that the account has little to no activity. Social media sites may prune or remove accounts with little to no activity, in which case scammers really need to spend time to keep up the charade and look as realistic as possible.

If there is any suspicion you received a message from a fake persona, it is worth doing some online research to determine if this person is who they say they are - or if they exist at all.

For some semblance of "training your eyes" to detect fake computer-generated profile pictures, check out Which Face Is Real. Bear in mind some of the indicators discussed: centered eyes, blurry backgrounds, fading glasses or hair strands, and mismatched earrings. When lies and cons are at your door, inbox, or direct messages, you are the front line of defense. darkreading.com

A New Target for Cybercriminals
VIDEO: How to prepare your organization for a Slack or Office 365 breach
Whether it's Slack or Office 365, communication and workflow apps are an essential tool for organizations to collaborate efficiently regardless of geography.

However, using any of these as a primary communication channel, replacing email and knowledge management repositories, makes it a new target to exploit that contains sensitive information.

In this Help Net Security video, Ofer Maor, CTO at Mitiga, discusses the top security considerations for organizations to prepare for and minimize the potential impact of a Slack or Office 365 breach. helpnetsecurity.com

How Attackers Dupe Developers into Downloading Malicious Code From GitHub
Developers need to be cautious about whom they trust on GitHub because it's easy to establish fake credibility on the platform, security vendor warns.

Industrial cybersecurity leaders are making considerable headway






Hold Space to unmute while muted on Zoom

Those of us with too sensitive of mics or too loud of working spaces can be a nuisance to our fellow team members on Zoom meetings. Enabling push to talk can be an effective way to still participate without having to constantly scramble to click the mute/unmute button. To enable, go to the Audio tab and select the option, "Press and hold 'Space Key' to temporarily unmute." Once that is selected simply hold down the space key when you want to talk during your Zoom meetings, and you will automatically be muted again once released.




Nationwide Amazon Investigations
Amazon warehouses under investigation from feds, Department of Labor

Workers at Amazon warehouses have complained about poor working conditions.

Federal prosecutors in New York and the Department of Labor are inspecting Amazon warehouses around the country as part of a civil investigation into unsafe and unseemly workplace conditions. The inspections began Monday morning, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

"This morning, the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration entered Amazon warehouses outside New York City, Chicago and Orlando to conduct workplace safety inspections in response to referrals received from the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York concerning potential workplace hazards related, among other things, to Amazon's required pace of work for its warehouse employees," a spokesman for the office, Nicholas Biase, said in a statement provided to ABC News.

"The Civil Division of the SDNY is investigating potential worker safety hazards at Amazon warehouses across the country, as well as possible fraudulent conduct designed to hide injuries from OSHA and others," Biase added.

A U.S. Department of Labor spokesperson told ABC News: "OSHA received referrals from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York regarding allegations of safety and health violations at several Amazon facilities. We routinely receive referrals from various federal agencies, law enforcement, advocacy groups and others."

"Acting on the referrals, OSHA has opened inspections at Amazon workplaces in New York, Illinois and Florida. Because these are active investigations, we are unable to provide more information at this time," the spokesperson added. abcnews.go.com

Amazon-Facebook Lawsuit
Amazon Sues Facebook Group Administrators Over Fake Reviews

Unnamed individuals used more than 10,000 Facebook groups to coordinate misleading reviews in exchange for free products or money, Amazon alleges

Amazon.com said it filed a lawsuit against the administrators of what it says are more than 10,000 Facebook groups used to coordinate fake reviews of Amazon products.

Those in charge of the Facebook groups solicit the reviews for items ranging from camera tripods to car stereos in exchange for free products or money, Amazon said in a statement.

The activity, which is against Amazon's rules, occurs across Amazon's stores in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan, the company said. Such bogus reviews are typically used to boost products' ratings and increase the likelihood customers buy them.

The lawsuit represents "proactive legal action targeting bad actors," Amazon Vice President Dharmesh Mehta said in the statement.

Amazon has for years been dogged by inauthentic reviews. During the pandemic, consumers have flocked to e-commerce platforms, and with that has come growing review manipulation and customer frustration. The U.K.'s antitrust regulator last year launched an investigation into whether Amazon and Alphabet Inc. unit Google are doing enough to eliminate fake reviews.

One of the Facebook groups, called "Amazon Product Review," had more than 43,000 members. Facebook removed the group this year, Amazon said, adding that it evaded Facebook's detection by changing letters in phrases that might set off Facebook's alarms.

U.S. lawmakers in 2019 questioned Amazon's efforts to tackle fake reviews in a letter to then-Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. The Federal Trade Commission also in 2019 fined a retail website that paid a third party to post reviews on Amazon, in its first case against the use of fake paid reviews. businesswire.com   wsj.com

Google Review Extortion Scam
Scammers attempt extortion with negative Google reviews

Independent operators across the country say Google is finally deleting illegitimate one-star reviews

Late last week, Le Pavillon restaurant general manager Jon Fitzgerald noticed the high-end French restaurant in New York City had gotten a couple of one-star reviews on Google in a single day.

That was very unusual for the highly rated seafood concept, operated by Daniel Boulud's Dinex Group. The reviews gave no commentary - just the one star. Fitzgerald was immediately suspicious the reviews were not from legitimate diners, and his fears were soon confirmed.

A day or two later, the restaurant received an email from a Bernardo Souza demanding a $75 Google Play gift card, or the bad review postings would continue

Fitzgerald said he knew it was a scam, and he didn't respond to the email. By then it had become clear that restaurants across the country had been targeted, impacting concepts from Nightbird in San Francisco to Sochi Saigonese Kitchen in Chicago.

If you suspect a scam, Shelton said, "Stay calm and rational. Do not allow yourself to become defensive or combative. Use your anxious, panicked energy to take action for good in flagging the negative reviews for removal and/or writing thoughtful responses to de-escalate the situation and extinguish it from going viral and impacting your sales." nrn.com

Walmart to officially launch expanded drone delivery program

One Amazon worker's lonely effort to unionize a WA warehouse







Bloomington, IN: Best Buy employee pleads guilty to felony theft; $10,000 in restitution
A Normal man will have to pay back more than $10,000 to Best Buy after pleading guilty to theft in McLean County Court. Kevin Verastegui entered his guilty plea to theft between $10,000 and $100,000 (a Class 2 felony) on Monday. The plea was part of an agreement reached with the state's attorney's office. The agreement included a sentence of seven days in jail, 30 months probation, a $75 fine and restitution of around $10,700 to Best Buy. Verastegui was charged with making fraudulent returns while employed at Best Buy from April through October 2021. After a corporate investigation, he admitted to Best Buy to having committed the theft, Assistant State's Attorney Don Rood told the court. Verastegui and his counsel agreed that if the case went to trial, witnesses would testify as such.  pantagraph.com

Update: Bakersfield, CA: Man suspected of $100K in Valley Plaza mall thefts
Police have arrested a man suspected of multiple thefts totaling $100,000 from the Apple Store at Valley Plaza mall. Javon Dabbs, 19, was arrested on suspicion of eight counts of grand theft, organized retail theft and conspiracy, according to a Bakersfield Police Department release. kget.com

Thief River Falls, MN: Nearly $14,000 taken in Self-Checkout Scheme at Walmart
A Wisconsin woman faces several counts of felony theft after allegedly taking thousands dollars in items from Walmart in Thief River Falls. Luptina Werre, 37, is accused of taking a total of $14,352.74 on five separate incidents, from Walmart from May 28th to July 6th. According to the criminal complaint, Werre scanned items at the self check-out using the Walmart App, however canceled the transaction using her cell phone. Werre allegedly used the same scheme on other visits to the store, and on one trip refused to show her receipt to employees after crossing the point of sale. When Werre was confronted by Loss Prevention Employees to discuss the transaction, she allegedly said the items "were good" and stated "the same thing happened in Grand Forks last week." Werre is accused of taking thousands of dollars worth of merchandise on May 29th, July 1st, July 3rd, and twice on July 6th.  trfradio.com

Tahoe Vista, CA: 7 Arrested, Including 6 Grocery Store Employees, After Large Shoplifting Bust Near Tahoe
Employees of Safeway and one other person steal nearly $2,500 in groceries Seven people, most of them grocery store employees, have been arrested in a major shoplifting bust in the North Lake Tahoe area last week. The Placer County Sheriff's Office says, back on the night of July 13, they got a call about several people reportedly loading up two vehicles with groceries allegedly stolen from the Tahoe Vista Safeway store. sacramento.cbslocal.com

San Francisco, CA: Walgreens' shoplifter arrested again for stealing from CVS
Police call Jean Lugo Romero a "prolific shoplifter" who after serving half of a 16-month sentence returned to retail theft. SFPD estimates he has stolen more than $15,000 worth of items over time. yahoo.com

Gwinnett, GA: Vape store owners frustrated with repeated break-ins

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Shootings & Deaths

Webster, MA: Man facing charges in death at shopping plaza in Webster
A suspect is facing a murder charge in connection with the death of a man that happened outside a shopping plaza in Webster, Massachusetts. Bernard Cusson Jr., 51, is accused of killing 39-year-old Joseph Bottis, whose body was found in the front walkway of a business at 116 E. Main St. on June 17. Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early said someone reported at 2:45 a.m. that a person was sleeping near the gardening section at the Big Lots store at the East Main Street Plaza. When officers arrived, they found Bottis dead at the scene. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Bottis and determined that he had fractures to his skull that are consistent with blunt force trauma. wcvb.com

Takoma Park, MD: Police identify mobile mechanic killed outside Advance Auto
Police are investigating a shooting turned into a homicide after a man who was shot Saturday morning in Takoma Park, Maryland, has died from his injuries. Takoma Park Police Department officers were called to the 6300 block of New Hampshire Avenue around 11:07 a.m. for a reported shooting. Officials said officers arrived at the location and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound in a parking lot of an Advance Auto Parts store. wusa9.com

Tulsa, OK: Victim Shot Outside Restaurant After Confronting Car Burglary Suspect
Tulsa Police are investigating a shooting outside a restaurant over the weekend. According to police, the victim was eating at Cheddar's near 71st and Highway 169 when they saw someone breaking into their car outside. Officers say the two fought and the victim was shot in the leg with a gun from their own car. Police say they arrested Blevin Williams on multiple charges including assault with a deadly weapon. They also say Williams drove into the parking lot in a stolen car. The victim was transported to the hospital, according to police.  newson6.com

Newark, NJ: Grocery Store Owner killed inside his store by a stray bullet


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Grand Junction, CO: GJPD Finds No Credibility to Mesa Mall Shooting Threat
On Monday, the Grand Junction Police Department received a call from a reporting party stating they had information that someone had threatened to carry out a shooting, specifically targeting women, at Mesa Mall. Grand Junction Police Department officers, detectives, and our Intel unit, were all dispatched to actively investigate the credibility of the threat. Officers did identify a subject related to the potential threat, who was contacted and thoroughly interviewed. After hours of investigation, we found no credible or corroborating evidence to the statement that was made on social media, and officers confirmed the subject involved never posted any threatening statements on social media. Currently, officers believe there is no ongoing threat to the public. co-grandjunction.civicplus.com

Memphis, TN: Police thwart potential mass shooting at Arena
A 28-year-old man distraught over a breakup with his girlfriend was arrested after police alleged he planned to shoot people leaving an event at an arena in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, according to authorities. Elijah Hyman was arrested at his apartment early Saturday on a charge of commission of an act of terrorism, according to a statement from the Memphis Police Department. Hyman allegedly threatened to commit a mass shooting targeting people leaving the FedExForum in Memphis, police said. Police did not specify the date of the planned attack or the event, but rapper Yo Gotti said his annual birthday bash performance at the Forum Friday night was the target. yahoo.com

Bay City, MI: Michigan Man Pleads Guilty To Leaving Pipe Bombs At Cell Phone Stores

Chillicothe, OH: Speedway Employee Scams Customer's Credit Cards; 27 times in 3 days

UK: 'Jealous' woman 'tried to hire hitman using dark web to murder her colleague at Sports Direct store after they both started having an affair with their general manager'



Update: Greenville, NC: 13-year-old charged with attempted murder after fire engulfs Dollar General
A 13-year-old accused of setting a fire that engulfed a North Carolina dollar store is now charged with attempted murder, officials said. Dozens of firefighters responded to the blaze, which reportedly started while two workers were inside. Video from WITN shows smoke billowing as crews raced to put out the flames on Thursday, July 14. The two workers escaped the fire, which was reported at a Dollar General store on Stantonsburg Road in Greenville, roughly 85 miles east of Raleigh. At the time, officials told news outlets no one was hurt, but they believed the fire had been intentional. Days after the blaze, police said a 13-year-old started it. The teen, who wasn't identified in a July 18 news release from the Greenville Police Department, is accused of going into the store and lighting "merchandise on fire," according to a preliminary investigation from local and state officials. Dollar General and Greenville Fire/Rescue didn't immediately respond to McClatchy News' requests for additional information on July 18. aol.com

Oxford, CT: Fire Breaks Out at Dollar General Store in Oxford
Crews are investigating after a fire broke out at the Dollar General store in Oxford, causing damage to the structure. Crews responded to the Oxford Road area near Park Road just after 2 p.m. Heavy smoke was visible coming from the store. Officials put out the fire and hotspots, and have since cleared the scene. "Upon arrival [of] first units, we had heavy smoke coming out the front door. Crews went in to make an initial attack to try to knock it down, but there was so much clutter in the aisleways of new merchandising stock that was blocking all the aisles, we had trouble getting in," Fire Chief Scott Pelletier said. Firefighters said the store is pretty well-gutted, but will eventually be able to be used again. The fire chief said the hot and humid weather conditions made it difficult to put out the fire. Having to rotate firefighters every 15 minutes due to the extremely heat and humidity was a time killer, Pelletier said. nbcconnecticut.com



Antique - Bellevue, WA - Burglary
Auto -Nashville, TN - Burglary
C-Store - Auburn, CA - Burglary
C-Store - Orange, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Tulsa, OK - Burglary
Clothing - Cleveland, OH - Burglary
Grocery - Lincoln, NE - Burglary
Guns - Nashville, TN - Burglary
Jewelry - Elmhurst, IL - Burglary
Jewelry - Albuquerque NM -Robbery
Jewelry - Toms River NJ - Burglary
Jewelry - King County, OR - Robbery
Jewelry - Orlando, Fl - Robbery
Jewelry - Johnsburg, IL - Burglary
Jewelry - Henderson, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - Norman, OK - Robbery
Jewelry - Palmdale, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Union Gap, WA - Robbery
Jewelry - Spokane Valley, WA - Robbery
Jewelry - Murfreesboro, TN - Robbery
Jewelry - Oklahoma City, OK Robbery
Jewelry - Murfreesboro, TN - Robbery
Liquor - Kalispell, MT - Robbery
Restaurant - Riverhead, NY - Burglary
Restaurant - Cleveland, OH - Burglary
Tobacco - New York, NY - Robbery
Vape - Gwinnett, GA - Burglary


Daily Totals:
• 14 robberies
• 13 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Corporate Risk Manager
Seattle, WA / Tacoma, WA / Portland, OR - posted June 14
Summary of Role and Responsibilities: A proactive approach to preventing losses/injuries, whether to our employees, third parties, or customer's valuables. They include but are not limited to cash in transit, auto losses, or injuries....

Corporate Risk Manager
San Diego, CA / Los Angeles, CA / Ontario, CA - posted June 10
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Corporate Risk Manager
Atlanta, GA / Birmingham, AL - posted June 10
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Physical Security Operations Center Leader
Columbia, MD - posted June 8
The primary purpose of this role is to partner, lead and manage a Central Station/Physical Security Operations Center driving operational execution and enhancements to ensure effectiveness and a positive customer experience. This individual is also responsible for leading a team of operators providing professional and accurate responses...

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Fort Myers, FL - posted May 12
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Albany, NY; Hyannis, MA; Burlington, VT; Hartford, CT
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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...

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...

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 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...

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