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Addressing Unique Retail Challenges - Part 1

Guest on associate violence has become part of retail security and loss prevention

By Sean Foley - SVP, Customer Success at Interface Systems

Retailers of all sizes continue to have unique challenges when it comes to security and loss prevention issues. The 2022 NRF Retail Security Survey revealed that retail shrink has become an almost $100 billion problem. Most survey respondents also reported that guest-on-associate violence, external theft, organized retail crime (ORC) and cybercrimes have become higher priorities for their organizations. ORC has become so widespread that almost one third of retailers surveyed have established a dedicated ORC team.

With so many threats coming from both within and outside of an organization, it is hard for retailers to know where to turn when looking to mitigate these growing risks. And while employee training is certainly an important first line of defense, the amount of staff turnover in many establishments makes it difficult to keep employees current and engaged with security best practices.

One answer might be to always have dedicated security guards on premises, yet few retail establishments can justify such a cost. Human guarding is not without its own issues as the profession suffers from an extremely high rate of turnover, and its presence can be seen to affect the customer experience.

To complicate matters further, retail chains increasingly rely on commerce outside the confines of the store such as buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) services. The industry is willing to invest in solutions, but they want demonstrable results proportional to their unique needs and individual budgets.

Unique Solutions for Retail Security

Most retailers have a video surveillance system installed. However, if no one is watching, it can only ever provide evidence of an event that has already occurred. For loss prevention specialists looking to curb losses instead of simply reporting them, a more proactive approach is needed. Ideally, the goal is to stop losses or deter crime before it happens.

Legacy security solutions are not designed for today’s retail service model. As a result, many retailers are working closely with managed service providers as an extension of their own in-house teams. They are looking to employ the most effective technology solutions that will help them secure and scale their operations.

Part Two Tuesday: AI-based Cameras with Smart Voice Down Capabilities | Point of Sale Integration with Video

Summer 2023 Weekend Shooting Analysis
America's Crime & Violence Surge Continues

Big City Violence Continues to Drop Compared to Last Summer

1,033 Shootings - 276 Killed - 1,089 Injured in 15 Cities Over Last 9 Weekends
Shootings (down 5%), deaths (down 20%) and injuries (down 4%) have all declined from 2022

The D&D Daily's Big City Weekend Violence Study - Memorial Day to Labor Day

The Daily's annual study analyzes weekend shooting data in 15 major U.S. cities from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend 2023

Starting Memorial Day Weekend, the D&D Daily compiled and analyzed data from 15 major U.S. cities to get a snapshot of summer gun violence.

Over this past weekend, from July 21st through July 23rd, there were 101 shootings recorded in these 15 big cities, resulting in 31 deaths and 104 injuries.

In total, over the past nine weekends, these cities have recorded 1,033 shootings, resulting in 276 deaths and 1,089 injuries.

Compared to last summer at this time in the study, total shootings in these cities are down 5%, deaths are down 20%, and injuries are down 4%.

The D&D Daily will continue to track this data throughout the summer to capture the weekend violence trend in our nation's big cities as warm weather typically brings about more crime and violence.

Click here to see the list of incidents per city and follow along each week as this spreadsheet will be updated every Monday. docs.google.com

Read more coverage about America's crime and violence surge in the section directly below

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

U.S. On Track to Record 'Largest Annual Decline in Homicides'
Still, homicides across those cities are 24% higher than in same period of 2019.

Survey of 30 U.S. Cities Shows Nearly 10 Percent Drop in Homicides in 2023

After a surge during the height of Covid, killings have fallen but remain well above prepandemic levels.

More than three years after the start of the pandemic, the country is on track to record one of its largest — if not the largest — annual declines in homicides, according to a report released on Thursday.

Even so, violent crime is still considerably higher than just before the pandemic, the benchmark that police chiefs and city leaders are striving to return to, as cities remain awash in guns.

In the new report, the nonpartisan Council on Criminal Justice examined crime data from 30 U.S. cities — including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Denver — and found that through the first half of the year there were 202 fewer homicides, a drop of more than 9 percent. Still, homicides across those cities are 24 percent higher than in same period of 2019.

I would call the result heartening,” said Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who was the lead author of the report. “Not a cause for celebration. Most cities have not returned to the homicide levels that were prevailing just prior to the height of the pandemic. So we have a ways to go.”

The latest data at least offers a hopeful sign that the increases in violent crime during the pandemic were not the start of a new era of steadily rising crime, as many experts have worried. But the data is limited to the cities in which the council could obtain data, and the authors cautioned that for some categories only a few cities released statistics.

Gun assaults, for instance, declined 5.6 percent — a positive sign for gun violence overall — but that was based on only the 10 cities in the study that provided gun assault data.

Robberies, burglaries and larcenies were also down

Robberies, residential burglaries, nonresidential burglaries, and larcenies all decreased in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2022. Robberies fell by 3.6%, residential burglaries by 3.8%, nonresidential burglaries by 5%, and larcenies by 4.1%. nytimes.com

Click here to read the full report

Cartels Are Orchestrating Retail Theft Operations in All 50 States
Mexican drug cartels are behind the surge in retail thefts
Mexican cartels are quietly expanding their global criminal empires to include mass theft operations targeting big-box stores, luxury retail brands, and small businesses, then selling the stolen goods online and laundering the profits through Chinese brokers.

The same transnational criminal organizations, known as cartels, that have facilitated the greatest-ever human smuggling operation across the U.S.-Mexico border over the past two years and simultaneously caused the fentanyl epidemic in America now have a hand in organized retail crime.

These organized theft rings are not merely shoplifters — they are part of a larger band of criminals that has infiltrated every state.

In the same way that Mexican cartels use Chinese brokers to funnel their profits from fentanyl back to Mexico, the cartel-operated retail crime rings send money made from reselling goods back to Mexico through the same Chinese money launderers.

The Chinese government attempted to crack down on the transfer of cash in 2017 when it placed a $50,000 U.S. dollar cap on individuals' annual foreign currency exchanges. As a result, money launderers stepped in to assist illegitimate businesses. The cartels use legitimate financial accounts to launder bulk cash and interstate funnel accounts, stolen gift cards, and front and shell companies.

Since the pandemic, the public and private sectors have seen huge upticks in organized retail crime, which coincided with coronavirus lockdowns, rioting and looting following the George Floyd protests, and some liberal cities loosening punishments on crimes like theft.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) proposed the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act in January to create a new center within DHS as a hub for local, state, and federal efforts to prevent and respond to organized retail crime.

The retail federation has for months pressured Washington to take up the bill without success. It issued another plea to lawmakers to pass the Grassley bill in June. Absent more action, federal agencies can, on their own, choose to team up with businesses and local government. washingtonexaminer.com

Seattle Releases Organized Retail Crime Audit & Recommendations
This audit presents seven steps for the City to improve its approach to addressing the organized fencing operations that underpin ORC in Seattle

New audit recommends how Seattle can tackle organized retail crime

A new report from the Seattle City Auditor said the city can do more to tackle ORC

It’s become such a problem, in 2022, Seattle police got 13,103 calls from the top 100 retail locations in the city. Responding to those calls cost police officers more than 18,000 hours of time, which the report said is equivalent to the annual work of nine full-time patrol officers.

Even with the high number of calls, the city auditor’s office said it’s a crime that’s under-reported and is encouraging businesses to call the police because it's a crime impacting small and large retailers across the city.

On Friday, the city’s audit detailed seven recommendations to address the problem:

This audit presents seven steps for the City to improve its approach to addressing the organized fencing operations that underpin ORC in Seattle:

1. Support City participation in collaborative efforts among agencies, including collaboration with the new Organized Retail Crime Unit in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

2. Leverage federal and state crime analysis resources.

3. Use in-custody interviews of “boosters”—people who steal on behalf of fencing operations—to gather information on fencing operations.

4. Explore new uses of technology to address ORC.

5. Use place-based approaches to disrupt unregulated street markets.

6. Follow the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office “prosecution checklist” for ORC cases.

7. Consider City support of legislation that addresses ORC.

To read the full audit’s recommendations: The City Can Do More to Tackle Organized Retail Crime in Seattle king5.com

Anti-Theft Legislation Picks Up Steam in New York
New York lawmakers continue to press for anti-shoplifting measures
A proposal to increase penalties for shoplifting in New York is gaining support in the Legislature as lawmakers this year have proposed a variety of ways to address what has become a multi-billion dollar headache for retailers across New York and the country.

State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced Saturday he would sponsor legislation to address repeat offenders who have been convicted of petty larceny twice within the last three months or three times a year. It would treat those offenses as fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony.

"Repeat shoplifting is a significant concern affecting our community's businesses and burdening law-abiding families with higher prices," he said. "This legislation ensures that repeat offenders are held accountable for their actions and, hopefully, serves as a strong deterrent against shoplifting in our state."

The proposal has the backing of state Sen. Jake Ashby, a Republican.

Shoplifting has increasingly come onto the radar of New York lawmakers as voters register concerns surrounding crime and public safety, an issue that polling has shown continues to resonate with people. Violent crime has started to decline, and officials have touted a decrease in shootings this year.

Lawmakers this year proposed measures meant to crack down on the assaults of retailer workers. The Legislature is sending to Gov. Kathy Hochul a proposal to create a 15-member task force to address organized retail theft and examine how other states have handled the problem.

A rise in shoplifting coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with fewer retail workers in stores as well as organized rings ransacking businesses in order to re-sell items over the internet. Some Democratic lawmakers have been hesitant to embrace measures to increase criminal penalties and charges over the years in Albany. spectrumlocalnews.com

Cargo Theft: The Fastest-Growing Segment of the Retail Crime Crisis?
The Retired Investor: Cargo Theft Is Bain of Business in America
Retail theft in general is a growing problem in the United States and organized crime has long considered that cargo is its most lucrative target. Crooks have used everything from road pirates to sophisticated computer hacking to rake in billions of dollars and that number is increasing each year.

Possibly the fastest-growing segment of theft in the U.S. is related to cargo. The commercial shipment of freight moving by railroad car, truck, and aircraft, as well as storage, warehouses, distribution, and consolidation facilities, is the red meat for cargo pirates.

It is a large industry that accounts for anywhere between $15 to $35 billion in thefts per year. Depending on what is inside a container truck, for example, thieves can walk away with thousands to millions of dollars in stolen goods. Common targets this year include food, beverages, auto parts, solar panels, vehicle batteries, tires, and pharmaceuticals.

Thus far in 2023, cargo theft has experienced a 41 percent increase from 2022. Tactics range from targeting refrigerated trucks to Mission Impossible scenarios where criminals are disguised as legitimate drivers, employees, or business representatives. They also use high-tech "sniffers" to detect GPS trackers manufacturers placed in or on high-tech cargos. Cyber robbers hack into dozens of companies exploiting transportation and shipping systems to forge invoices and delivery documentation. This allows bad actors to brazenly pick up cargo from warehouses and other distribution centers offering forged documents and steal containers full of goods in front of unknowing employees and or security guards.

Behind this crime wave are professionals with organizations that are capable of evading federal, state, and local police, as well as corporate security including insurance agents. As retail crime continues to rise, a handful of states have attempted to stiffen penalties on those that steal in groups. Other states may follow. However, much of what needs to be done to stop further spikes in retail crime lies in updating and focusing on American crime policies.

Changes in bail policies make it easier to entice people to steal because they won't spend time in jail should they get caught. The amount of money stolen to trigger a felony charge is another issue. You would think that upping the penalty for stealing would simply be a commonsense solution to retail theft of any kind, but not in this country.

The retail industry is urging state governments and law enforcement to go after the mob bosses and masterminds behind the crime scene. To do so, organizations such as the National Retail Federation want lawmakers to enact statutes that would create a new category of crime — organized retail theft. iberkshires.com

Retailers Continue to Fire Employees for Trying to Stop Thefts
Georgia Lowe's worker fired after trying to stop shoplifting gang making off with $2,000 worth of goods

The long time employee of Lowes was fired for violating company policy that state's employees who witness shoplifting must not intervene

A Lowe's worker has been fired from a Georgia store for intervening in a shoplifting heist that left her with a black eye. Donna Hansbrough, 68, attempted to stop a gang of shoplifters making off with more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from her store in Rincon, Georgia last month.

The thieves refused to go quietly and punched her repeatedly in the face, leaving her with a black eye.

Despite her heroic efforts standing up to the criminals, Hansbrough's was fired by Lowe's after 13 years for violating company policy that state's staff who witness shoplifting must not intervene and instead call the authorities.

'They say that if you see somebody stealing something out the door, not to pursue, not to go out,' Hansbrough told the Effingham Herald.  'I just got tired of seeing things get out the door. I basically lost all the training. Everything they tell you to do, I just … I just lost it' she explained.

Detective Vance from the Rincon Police Department said the employee had suffered 'two traumatic events all at once with being violently attacked and losing her job, her happiness, her peace, all at the same time.'

It is the latest incident in a string of cases across the U.S. where employees have lost their jobs for intervening in shoplifting incidents. dailymail.co.uk

7 Mass Shootings This Past Weekend Across U.S.
U.S. Passes 400 Mass Shootings In 2023–On Pace For Deadliest Year
Seven mass shootings across the country over the weekend brought the number of mass shootings in the U.S. this year to more than 400, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, surpassing the number of shootings at this point last year and putting 2023 on pace to be the deadliest year in at least a decade.

The U.S. has reported 402 mass shootings since the start of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shootings in which at least four people are killed or injured, not including the shooter.

The most recent shootings came Saturday in Houston, when a gunman injured five people inside a bar, leading local police on a search for the suspect, while a separate incident during an illegal auto race in Seattle left four people injured, including one who was critically injured.

With more than 400 shootings so far this year, 2023 has surpassed the number of mass shootings reported at this point last year, when 359 people were killed in 365 mass shootings through July 23, according to the Gun Violence Archive. forbes.com

Rockford, IL: Retailers say shoplifting is on the rise

The Question After Every Mass Shooting: How Much Do We Deserve to Know?



Facial Recognition & Other Technology Can Boost Workplace Safety
How AI is Reducing Injuries & Improving Workplace Safety

Next-gen analytics deployed on existing surveillance cameras provides an extra set of ‘trained eyes’ for safety managers

Many people aren’t aware that, right now in their business, they can begin using AI to immediately change their operations by leveraging existing surveillance camera systems. When you begin to view your camera network as an extra set of trained eyes instead of just as security-focused technology, the possibilities to transform your workplace become endless.

1. PPE compliance

When it comes to regulatory compliance, the data generated by these analytics can be aggregated into a dashboard to show a variety of information related to PPE violations, such as how many were detected and where they occurred. Using facial recognition in conjunction with such a tool could also identify those who run afoul of PPE rules and how many violations they have had.

2. Identifying unsafe behaviors

Every day, safety managers walk into their facilities and see the challenges facing their workplace safety programs. Video-based AI can act as a force multiplier for these managers, detecting and providing alerts about not only predefined safety violations, but also risky worker behaviors.

This could include everything from someone failing to hold a handrail in a stairwell to alerting security when a worker has entered a restricted area. In industries such as food preparation where strict hand-sanitizing protocols must be followed, video AI can also be used to measure adherence with such policies.

3. Targeted training

Aside from monitoring the environment, video analytics can also help businesses take a more focused approach with their safety training efforts. Rather than forcing everyone at a particular site to take part in weekly or monthly training sessions, leveraging video analytics for compliance monitoring in conjunction with facial recognition technology, for example, would enable you to identify known violators so that training could be focused and tailored to them rather than the workforce writ large. Currently, numerous organizations must host frequent safety trainings for all employees when violations may only be committed by a handful of people, thereby hampering overall productivity rates. safetyandhealthmagazine.com

Starbucks Union Activists Protest Outside Philly City Hall
Starbucks baristas, labor allies rally at Philadelphia City Hall
Baristas and labor allies rallied outside of Philadelpia's City Hall on Saturday. They launched the 'Kick Starbucks Off City Hall' campaign to counter what they have dubbed Starbucks' "union-busting campaign."

Starbucks Workers United called on council members to support a change in vendor from Starbucks to a local, union coffee vendor. The city's labor department has been investigating the global coffee chain for allegedly being a repeat offender of Philadelphia Fair Work Week scheduling ordinances.

Lydia Ferandez, a Starbucks worker in Philadelphia, said, "The fact that Starbucks has been a top violator of [the] law, that there is an active investigation against them with the city's Department of Labor is a big deal," Ferandez continued in a press release.

Union workers are mainly arguing for a fair work environment, to earn a living wage, guaranteed hours, and consistent scheduling. 6abc.com

The Return of COVID-Era Supply Chain Crisis?
UPS strike would trigger pandemic-era supply chain issues, expert says
As talks between UPS and the union that represents more than 300,000 delivery drivers break down, a strike this summer is looking more likely. That could impact 25 to 30 percent of parcels and packages shipped in the U.S.

The Teamsters represent 340,000 UPS workers. If a strike does happen, it would be the first since a 15-day walkout by 185,000 workers crippled the company a quarter century ago.

Since then, UPS has become an even bigger part of the U.S. economy. UPS says it delivered 24.3 million packages daily in 2022, totaling 6.2 billion packages by year’s end. That’s about a quarter of all U.S. parcel volume, according to the global shipping and logistics firm Pitney Bowes.

UPS says it has contingency plans if staff do go on strike after the July 31 contract deadline, but disruptions would still be substantial. thehill.com

A growing number of US states are working to loosen child labor laws
Bars in various states across the country may be staffed by high schoolers as more lawmakers and businesses push to lower the legal age to serve alcohol and bartend.

Dream on Me, which bought Buy Buy Baby’s intellectual property, snagged 11 of its store leases at auction, could reopen stores

UK consumers defy high inflation and shop more in June

Nearly 75% of these purchases happen in store

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director, Asset Protection & Safety job posted for Denny's in Spartanburg, SC
This position will exemplify Denny’s vision, mission and core values. Provide strategic leadership in the development and implementation of programs, policies, procedures and initiatives in the areas of Assets Protection, Employee/Guest Safety and Cash Handling. Position is responsible for minimizing the financial losses of restaurant operations related to theft, vandalism, accidents, injuries, and improving WC & GL trends. Position will oversee all safety and assets protection related functions for the Denny’s and Keke’s brands, including the corporate offices. careers.dennys.com

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Lidl to close 11 stores across the United States immediately

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Every year, 3 million shopping carts are replaced, with most leaving a retailer's parking lot never to return. Another 4 million will be stolen before their 3rd year of service. Are your shopping carts an ever-growing blight within your organization? Are the days of a cart for every customer a distant memory, lost in the chaos of rusty baskets and squeaky wheels? Do you worry about the mounting maintenance and replacement costs, not to mention what it looks like to your customers and community seeing such disrepair? Don't despair! For just dollars per day, you can change the life of a shopping cart. Give your organization the gift that keeps on giving.

Install Gatekeeper Systems, CartControl® system! Say goodbye to daily cart rescue missions and costly municipal fines - save time, money, and hassle with an investment that pays you back. Shopping carts should be making you money, not costing you money. Stores often experience a full, multi-level return on investment within a year of installing a CartControl®system.


Read Gatekeeper's full blog here







Updated Cybersecurity Rules for Online Retailers
PCI-DSS 4.0 is Here. What Does it Mean for Online Retailers?
Every business that accepts card payments must follow the security guidelines set by the PCI Standards Security Council, an industry group led by card issuer representatives from major markets around the world.

Here’s what all organizations that take payments online need to know about what’s different in PCI-DSS 4.0 and how to begin or accelerate their move to v4.0 compliance.

What’s New in PCI-DSS 4.0

The new version makes updates in four key areas related to PCI-DSS goals.

Meet evolving payments industry security needs. Before the 2022 release of v4.0, the PCI-DSS hadn’t been updated for several years. During that time, payments underwent major changes due to the pandemic and rising consumer expectations for convenience. The new standard addresses these changes with new requirements, including:

1. Businesses must implement secure multifactor authentication for all accounts that access the cardholder data environment (CDE). Note that this is an internal security requirement, not a customer-facing one. This requirement is evolving and may change after March 2025.

2. System passwords must contain at least 12 characters, up from a minimum of seven. As with the MFA requirement, the password requirement applies to employees and service providers who have access to the CDE. Passwords cannot be hard-coded into “files or scripts for any application and system accounts that can be used for interactive login.”

3. Employees must be protected against phishing through practices, including security awareness training that covers social engineering and other phishing strategies.

Treat security as a continuous process. Threats are always evolving, and when one strategy fails, criminals will adopt another. Continuous security processes help retailers and banks avoid falling into a reactive posture by keeping pace with and staying ahead of threats.

More flexibility in setting security controls. Companies can still follow the processes defined by PCI, but they will have more freedom to customize their controls if they’re willing and able to meet development, monitoring and analysis requirements for their customizations.

Enhanced validation practices. Before v4.0, PCI-DSS expected businesses to scope their level of responsibility every year with a self-assessment questionnaire to determine which PCI requirements they needed to follow. Now, an assessor will need to review those annual scoping results. securityboulevard.com

Big Tech Companies Agree to AI Safeguards
White House Says Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft Agree to AI Safeguards

Tech companies adopt voluntary guidelines, such as watermarking artificial content

The Biden administration says it has reached a deal with big tech companies to put more guardrails around artificial intelligence, including the development of a watermarking system to help users identify AI-generated content, as part of its efforts to rein in misinformation and other risks of the rapidly growing technology.

The White House said seven major AI companies— Amazon.com, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta Platforms, Microsoft and OpenAI—are making voluntary commitments that also include testing their AI systems’ security and capabilities before their public release, investing in research on the technology’s risks to society, and facilitating external audits of vulnerabilities in their systems.

On Friday, most of the companies issued statements saying they would work with the White House, while also emphasizing that the guardrails were voluntary. Leaders from the companies will meet with President Biden at the White House on Friday.

“By moving quickly, the White House’s commitments create a foundation to help ensure the promise of AI stays ahead of its risks,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, which earlier this year made a multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI. In a separate statement, OpenAI said the voluntary commitments outlined Friday would “reinforce the safety, security and trustworthiness of AI technology and our services.”

There aren’t enforcement mechanisms for the commitments outlined on Friday, and they largely reflect the safety practices already implemented or promised by the AI companies involved.

The announcement comes as Biden and his administration have placed an increased emphasis on both the benefits and pitfalls of AI, with a broader goal of developing safeguards around the technology through both regulation and congressional action. wsj.com

Behind the Scenes of FBI's Fight Against Ransomware
The FBI’s Cynthia Kaiser on how the bureau fights ransomware

The deputy assistant director with the FBI Cyber Division says the bureau is making real strides against cybercrime but still needs the public's assistance.

Cynthia Kaiser, deputy assistant director within the FBI’s Cyber Division, joins CyberScoop’s Safe Mode podcast to talk about the Hive takedown and what else the bureau is doing to fight cybercrime. This transcript of the Safe Mode podcast from June 29 has been edited for length and clarity.

AdvertisementIt just seems like an insurmountable task to fight against this. Are you finding success in battling a lot of these operators and taking them down?

What we’re really looking to do is tighten the net around cybercriminals and around the cybercriminal ecosystem. And we do that by targeting those key services that they’re using. And you’ve seen that throughout many of the actions that we’ve done recently.

So let’s dig into the Hive takedown. What is Hive, first of all, or what was Hive? So let’s start there. And then I’m really interested in just the process. I know this was not a typical sort of operation, but it is sort of indicative of where you might be going in future operations against ransomware groups.

We were able to go through and do little steps along the way, the really hard technical work, hard investigative work to obtain access to a lot of the back-end information from Hive to be able then to sit there and gather information for months without them knowing anything. And we were able to proactively provide decrypters to … victims, hundreds of victims across the U.S., offer it to over 1,300 victims worldwide. So we were able to proactively go out to victims or even targeted entities who didn’t even know that they were targeted yet and provide them with decrypters so that they didn’t have to pay the ransomware actors.

Why aren’t people reporting to the FBI when they’ve become victims of ransomware?

I think part of that is they’re not sure what they are getting when they come. Some of them might be scared. When your business is under attack, you’re worried you might have to shutter your business. Maybe that’s just not the first thing they’re thinking about. We want to try to shift that narrative. cyberscoop.com

Microsoft Applications Accessed By Threat Actors
Microsoft attackers may have data access beyond Outlook, researchers warn

Microsoft is pushing back on claims by Wiz that compromised private encryption keys may have exposed SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive data to an APT actor.

The China-linked threat actors behind the theft of U.S. State Department and other Microsoft customer emails may have gained access to applications beyond Exchange Online and Outlook.com, according to a report released Friday by Wiz.

Researchers said the compromised private encryption key may have allowed the hackers to forge access tokens for multiple types of Azure Active Directory applications, including SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive.

“Many of the claims made in this blog are speculative and not evidence based,” a spokesperson for Microsoft said via email. “We recommend that customers review our blogs, specifically our Microsoft Threat Intelligence blog, to learn more about this incident and investigate their own environments using the indicators of compromise we’ve made public.

Microsoft earlier this month warned that about 25 customers worldwide, including multiple government clients, were hacked by an advanced persistent threat group that Microsoft calls Storm-0558. cybersecuritydive.com

6 Stages of a Ransomware Attack and Payment
North Korean hackers targeted tech companies through JumpCloud and GitHub







UPS on Strike: The Amazon Impact
How will Amazon deliveries be affected if UPS Teamsters union halts work?

A looming UPS strike could be bad news for online shoppers and small businesses.

Despite the threat of a UPS work stoppage, Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly said the company does not expect a significant impact on customer deliveries as most of the company’s orders are processed through its own network. Amazon does deliver a portion of its packages through UPS, but its use of the company has been waning.

While Amazon is expected to fare better than smaller retailers if UPS Teamsters strike, logistics experts warn that some Amazon deliveries may take longer in rural areas that rely more heavily on UPS. Others say a strike could influence union organization efforts among Amazon delivery drivers.

Of the 8 billion parcels shipped by Amazon last year, 60% were sent through Amazon’s logistics network, according to shipping technology company Pitney Bowes.

That leaves 40% – or about 3.2 billion packages – shipped by other carriers. About 28% was shipped by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and 8% by UPS, according to Pitney Bowes.

While UPS’s 160,000 non-union employees are expected to work during a strike, a work stoppage from its 340,000 Teamster members means the company would be able to handle just a fraction of the nearly 25 million packages it typically delivers daily. Competitors like FedEx and the postal service could also see delivery times slow if the carriers get inundated with additional demand from UPS customers.

Amazon has “a lot more ability to move orders in and around their network,” said Gregg Zegras, executive vice president of Pitney Bowes. “That said, they rely pretty heavily on a combination of the USPS and UPS.” usatoday.com

Using AI to Battle Fake Reviews & Counterfeits
How to use Fakespot, the AI tool that helps you detect fake reviews
About 82% of consumers have come across a fake customer review in the past year, according to recent research. That number is even higher for 18- to 34-year-olds: 92% of them reported having read a fake review online.

So while there’s plenty of great deals on the internet, it pays off (literally) to not take those four- and five-star ratings at face value. Fakespot, which just became part of Mozilla, helps make it easy to filter out fake reviews, unreliable sellers, and counterfeit products so you love everything you buy and reduce your returns.

How it works: Fakespot uses AI to find patterns among reviews to detect the ones that are more likely to be untrustworthy. It then adjusts the rating and provides you with review highlights, pros and cons, price history, and alternative products from reputable brands.

Fakespot works on Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Sephora, Walmart and Shopify websites.

Once you’ve added Fakespot to Firefox, you will notice Fakespot Review Grades on product images on Amazon, Best Buy, Sephora, and Walmart. On eBay and Shopify you will notice seller ratings. Fakespot is always with you as you browse or search on these sites. Once you select a product, Fakespot will provide more information depending on the marketplace. blog.mozilla.org

Amazon is spending $120 million on a building for its internet satellites

TikTok Shop strikes ‘buy now, pay later’ partnership as part of e-commerce push







Clackamas County, OR: July 19 retail-crime operation leads to 22 arrests
On Wednesday, July 19, 2023, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office led a retail crime operation at multiple businesses in the area of SE 82nd Avenue and SE Causey Avenue in Happy Valley. The all-day mission included Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputies and detectives, as well as officers and detectives from the Milwaukie Police Department. They worked closely with loss prevention officers at participating retailers within Ross Center and Clackamas Square Shopping Center. The mission resulted in the arrests of 22 people on multiple charges, and deputies and officers were also able to clear 11 arrest warrants. Stolen items ranged from food and clothes to tools and cosmetics. While the mission focused on retailers within the shopping centers, deputies and officers also responded to other shoplifting and theft calls in the area, resulting in more arrests.  clackamas.us

Taylorsville, UT: 2 Gun store employees accused of stealing $41K in goods
Two former employees have been arrested for allegedly stealing roughly $41,000 in firearms and accessories from a Taylorsville gun store. Stephen Daniel Cord, 41, of Tremonton, and Matthew Robert Provard, 25, of South Jordan, are accused of using the point-of-sale system at Doug’s Shoot’n Sports to fraudulently give themselves in-store credit and purchase firearms, ammunition, gun parts and accessories. Cord and Provard also hid merchandise in a back room of the store and concealed the stolen items inside backpacks, court documents state. The employees were captured on surveillance video leaving the store with the items without purchasing them, police said. The employees’ alleged actions over several months were discovered in June by the gun store’s owner, who then alerted law enforcement.  gephardtdaily.com

McFarland, CA: Woman arrested after allegedly stealing $15,000 in product at Rite Aid
A woman was arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise on Sat, July 15. According to the McFarland Police Department, a woman was seen stealing store merchandise from the Rite Aid on West Kern Avenue around 2:04 p.m. Employees of the store were able to notify the police and describe the woman and her vehicle, a red Jeep SUV MPD officers were able to find the suspect vehicle, as well as the woman, "shortly after the theft had occurred. The woman was identified as Alicia Anderson, 32, of Sacramento. Anderson also had an alias as Angelique Anderson. Following a search, Anderson was found with nine large garbage bags of stolen merchandise valued at over $15,000. According to the MPD, Anderson had stolen the merchandise from various Rite Aid locations from Los Angeles to Kern County.  turnto23.com

Lewisburg, PA: Man allegedly steals $1,471 of sports trading cards from Walmart

Miami, FL: Burglars ransack Verizon store, thousands in merchandise stolen

Lady Lake, FL: Suspected $1,000 thief arrested after Lowe’s manager ID’s him ‘without hesitation’

Darien, CT: Over $700 Worth Of Allergy Medicine Stolen From Stop & Shop

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Shootings & Deaths

Philadelphia, PA: Man, 24, ambushed and shot to death outside North Philadelphia convenience store
A 24-year-old man was ambushed by an assailant who shot and killed him outside a convenience store in North Philadelphia. The shooter, reportedly dressed head to toe in black clothing and wearing a black mask, appeared to be waiting for the victim and approached him as he walked out of the store, according to officials. The fatal shooting happened Saturday night, about 9:45, at North 26th and West York streets. Inspector Pace went on to say the entire incident was captured on video. The shooter approaches the victim as he walks out of the store, aims his weapon close to the victim and fires three times, hitting the man once in the torso. The gun then appears to jam, at which point the shooter flees the scene. fox29.com

Charlotte , NC: 1 killed in shooting in shopping center parking lot
One person is dead after being shot in a shopping center parking lot in University City on Sunday afternoon, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Police were called to University Pointe Boulevard near Ikea Boulevard at the University Pointe Shopping Center around 2:45 p.m. on Sunday. At the scene, officers found a victim with gunshot wounds in the parking lot. Officers tried to save the victim’s life but shortly after MEDIC arrived on the scene he was pronounced dead.  wsoctv.com

Atlanta, GA: Man shot, killed near southwest Atlanta corner store
Police are investigating a deadly shooting which claimed the life of a man at a corner store on Friday evening. The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. at in the 900 block of Oakland Drive SW near Merrill Avenue SW. Atlanta Police say officers arrived at the scene to find a man who was shot at least once.  fox5atlanta.com

Chicago, IL: Pizza delivery driver killed in Auburn Gresham armed robbery ID'd by family
A 40-year-old pizza delivery driver was shot and killed during an armed robbery in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on Friday morning, Chicago police said. Crime tape surrounded the Auburn Gresham alley where a dark gray Toyota Prius could be seen with it's doors wide open and it's flashers on. Officers responded to South Laflin Street at about 2:24 a.m. and found a man, identified by his family as Orlando Talavera, inside of a vehicle with wounds to the back and face, police said. Talavera was transported to Advocate Christ Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  abc7chicago.com

Pinal County, AZ: Deputies arrest suspect in connection with store clerk’s death
Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputies have arrested a man in connection to the death of a store clerk on Sunday morning. Details are limited, but PCSO says they had the suspect in custody around 5:15 p.m. The search for the suspect began after deputies and Arizona City firefighters responded to a welfare check request at the Sunlite Market, just off Sunland Gin Road and Concordia Drive, around 7:15 a.m. for a store clerk that was injured and not breathing. The clerk was pronounced dead by officials at the scene and has not been identified.  azfamily.com

St Louis, MO: Man arrested for fatal shooting at South City convenience store
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office has charged Mohammed Abdi with first-degree murder, following his arrest for a July 7 shooting at the QuickTrip on Gravois Avenue. The victim was 52-year-old Jametric Steele of East St. Louis. Police responded to a shots fired call at the convenience store's parking lot. Steele was found dead at the scene, shot in the head. Abdi was taken into custody Saturday and remains in jail without bond.  audacy.com

Oklahoma City; OK: Man Imprisoned Nearly 50 Years for Deadly Liquor Store Robbery Is Freed After a Judge Orders New Trial
A man who had been imprisoned in Oklahoma for almost 50 years for a fatal shooting that he has long claimed he didn’t commit has been freed from custody after a judge ordered a new trial. Glynn Ray Simmons had been convicted in the 1974 death during a robbery of Carolyn Sue Rogers, a liquor store clerk in Edmond, located just north of Oklahoma City. A woman who was shot and injured during the robbery later picked Simmons out of a lineup. But Simmons, from Louisiana, has repeatedly said he wasn’t in Oklahoma but in his home state at the time of the robbery usnews.com

Lansing, MI: Man gets 70-year minimum for 2021 C-Store murder
Willie James III, of Lansing, has received a sentence of at least 70 years in prison for the murder of 22-year-old Antonio Taylor, Jr. at Snipes clothing store on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township on Nov. 23, 2021. An Eaton County Circuit Court Jury found James guilty of second-degree murder, felony firearm–second offense, carrying a concealed weapon, and felon in possession of a firearm.  wlns.com

San Antonio, TX: Shoppers express safety concerns at North Star Mall after second shooting in less than two months
Shots were fired at the North Star Mall for the second time in less than two months. Police say Saturday night two men shot out a glass door at the North Star Mall during a robbery. The incident happened just before 8:30 p.m. when police arrived at the mall off San Pedro Avenue. Police said two men stole some clothing from a department store and ran to the second level of the store. While trying to escape, they found out the glass door was locked. One of the men pulled out a gun and shot the door, shattering the glass. Shoppers at the mall said they’re worried that not enough safety precautions are being taken to keep people safe.  foxsanantonio.com

Miami, FL: Argument turns to C-store clerk shot and wounded in Goulds

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Fresno, CA: Huge fight breaks out at Fashion Fair Mall
A fight broke out Sunday afternoon at Fashion Fair Mall and much of it was caught on camera. Today, videos provided to FOX26 News of the incident show a large group of people scrambling in front of Sunglass Hut. Seconds later, it shows someone running with a skateboard and then a group kicking and punching someone on the ground.   kmph.com

Los Angeles, CA: Burglar disguised as deputy attempts to break into Westwood shop
A local business owner says a wannabe thief that uses different disguises has been trying to break into his Westwood tennis shop for the last several weeks. The most recent break-in attempt at Richard Hartman’s sporting good store, located in the 1000 block of Gayley Avenue, occurred just after 4 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. “Somebody’s been trying to break into my shop for probably the last two months,” Hartman, the owner of Westwood Sporting Goods, told KTLA. “They’ve been sticking screws in my door and breaking it, so I can’t get in the shop.”   ktla.com

Chicago, IL: One suspect behind hold-ups of 8 sandwich shops, restaurants

Jackson police arrest man for 5 armed robberies, C-Stores, restaurants and shoe store

Augusta, GA: Family Dollar female shoplifter pulls gun when manager takes back stolen items

San Benito, TX: 14-year-old arrested for robbing Dollar General at knifepoint

St Louis, MO: Dollar Tree employee robbed for business’s $3,500 bank deposit

Columbus, OH: Eastside grocery store destroyed by fire



Auto – Seattle, WA – Burglary
C-Store – Denver, CO – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Pinal County, AZ – Robbery / Clerk Killed
C-Store – Metairie, LA – Armed Robbery
Clothing – San Antonio, TX – Armed Robbery / Shots fired inside mall
Collectables - Lewisburg, PA - Burglary
Dollar – St Louis, MO – Armed Robbery
Dollar – Augusta, GA - Armed Robbery
Dollar - San Benito, TX – Armed Robbery
Gas Station – Jackson, MS – Armed Robbery
Gas Station – Jackson, MS – Armed Robbery
Guns – Winchester, IN – Burglary
Hardware - Lady Lake, FL - Robbery
Jewelry – Luzerne County, PA - Burglary
Liquor – Silver Spring, MD – Burglary
Kohl’s – Bensalem, PA – Robbery
Marijuana – Spokane County, WA – Burglary
Pharmacy - Darien, CT – Robbery
Restaurant - Chicago, IL – Armed Robbery / Driver killed
Restaurant – Jackson, MS – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Redondo Beach, CA – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Baldwin Park, CA – Burglary
Restaurant – Baldwin Park, CA – Burglary
Restaurant – Baldwin Park, CA – Burglary
Restaurant – Nashville, TN – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Chicago, IL – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Myrtle Beach, SC – Burglary
Shoe – Jackson, MS – Armed Robbery
Sport – Los Angeles, CA – Burglary
Target – Brea, CA - Robbery
Verizon – Miami, FL – Burglary    


Daily Totals:
• 20 robberies
• 12 burglaries
• 2 shootings
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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