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Sarah Hix promoted to Senior Director of Asset Protection for The Home Depot
Sarah has been with The Home Depot for over 17 years, starting with he company as a cashier. Before her promotion to Senior Director of Asset Protection, she spent more than five years with the company as Director of Loss Prevention. Prior to that, she held various roles with Home Depot, including Director of Store Operations for five years, Senior Manager - Store Operations for over 8 years and Staff Accountant for more than a year. Congratulations, Sarah!

Robby Perry, CFCI named Senior Manager I, Specialty Compliance & Ethics - Fraud Analytics/Investigations for Walmart
Before being named Senior Manager I, Specialty Compliance & Ethics - Fraud Analytics/Investigations for Walmart, Robby spent over a year with Capital One as a Principle Fraud Investigator. Prior to that, he held various roles with JPMorgan Chase & Co., including Regional Investigator - Credit Card Fraud Investigations, AML Investigator - Financial Intelligence Unit, Manager - Fraud Loss Prevention, and Fraud Investigator - Fraud Loss Prevention. Congratulations, Robby!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   

Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position



Sensormatic Solutions Survey Finds Engaged Sales Associates – Not Robots
– Are Driving In-store Sales and Experiences

Johnson Controls today announced that Sensormatic Solutions, its leading global retail solutions portfolio, released the results of its 2020 Consumer Shopping Trends survey of more than 1,100 consumers. The survey revealed that by an overwhelming majority,
64% of consumers still prefer to engage with in-store associates, 30% prefer a retailer’s mobile app and only 5% prefer robot assistants.

While consumers prefer to connect with humans for in-store assistance, they don’t think it’s necessary at the point of sale (POS). Over half (55%) of consumers said they “always” or “usually” use self-checkout to make a purchase in-store. Additionally, those who shop more frequently are more likely to use self-checkout. Findings revealed 30% of everyday shoppers “always” use self-checkout, compared to 17% of those who only shop a few times a week.

The survey also explored the rise in consumer adoption of emerging fulfilment services such as
buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in store (BORIS). Nearly half (40%) of consumers use BOPIS regularly, followed by BORIS (31%) and curbside pickup (15%). Thirty six percent of consumers don’t use any of these services on a regular basis.

It’s National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day!
National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day says ‘thank you’ to officers

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was founded in 2015 as a way to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for the communities they serve and protect, and to spread encouragement and respect to these dedicated men and women.

There are several ways to show your support. Send a note of thanks to your local, county or state police agency. Wear blue, turn your social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show your support. and share your support using #NationalLawEnforcementAppreciationDay to share on social media.

Line of Duty Deaths in 2019: 134
Officer Suicides in 2019: 228

Law enforcement increasingly using cloud extraction tech to collect social media & app. data: report
Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using extraction technology to access data saved to the cloud, according to Privacy International citing a YouGov investigation it commissioned. PI further warns that emotion and facial recognition technology can be applied to extracted data such as photos.

When law enforcement confiscates a smart device, officers can easily extract tokens or passwords to access sensitive personal data stored in iCloud or apps such as Uber, Instagram, Slack, Gmail, Alexa and WhatsApp. This technique affects not only the phone owner’s data, but also that of their friends. This practice creates a security risk for vulnerable data saved on third-party servers. Extraction technology deployed by law enforcement successfully bypasses this encryption.

Cloud extraction technologies allow law enforcement to run emotion and facial recognition on media stored in the phone, explains Camilla Graham Wood, solicitor at Privacy International, further adding that these methods can also be used “to conduct continual monitoring of an individual’s social media without them ever knowing.” While there is some transparency around the use of mobile data extraction, almost no information is offered about cloud extraction technology available for law enforcement, she says. Once police officers gain access to user credentials, they have access to all the data including posts, likes, events and connections.

Frustrated NYC Barneys workers say their liquidating store
has devolved into chaos & It's a 'free for all' of rampant theft

Business Insider spoke to four employees who said high turnover and understaffed floors have caused rising rates of stealing, which one staffer estimated to amount to thousands of dollars' worth of loss. Some team members blamed this on poor communication from Barneys leaders.

According to a sales associate specializing in women's accessories and jewelry, the environment at the 7th Avenue stores has become a "free for all," with customers regularly walking out with five-finger discounts without apprehension.

It's been very difficult for the whole team," she said. "People are very threatening toward us physically and verbally. There's nothing we can do. We have to sit here and take it and hope it doesn't get physical."

In December, at the height of the holiday shopping season, Barneys employees at the uptown Madison Avenue location were physically attacked while apprehending two women stealing a Moncler hat, according to the New York Daily News. In video footage of the incident, the women can be seen lashing out by hitting and scratching employees who chased after them into the street.

The women's accessories specialist said part of the issue is that high turnover rates have left a void in the company's loss-prevention department. In the past, staffers were incentivized to stop theft and would receive a percentage of the preserved sale toward commission rates, but this policy no longer exists, three employees said.

Additionally, existing security guards have varying levels of apprehension training, making it difficult to stop thieves in their tracks.

"We have a lot of theft, so much so that we've had to lock up every single bag on my floor," the accessories specialist said. "We were robbed twice in one week once, and in the summer, we had droves of kids just coming trying to steal from us."

The World Has a Plan to Rein in AI—but the US Doesn’t Like It
US officials worry the proposal could unnecessarily slow development of artificial intelligence at American companies.

In December 2018, Canada and France announced plans for a new international body to study and steer the effects of artificial intelligence on the world’s people and economies. Just over a year later, the IPAI has been renamed the Global Partnership on AI, but it still hasn’t quite gotten off the ground. Six of the G7 are on board—with the United States the lone holdout.

Proponents of the idea say it will help governments get up to speed on AI developments and could build international consensus on limiting certain uses of the technology, such as AI projects designed to control citizens or infringe human rights. The White House says the body is unnecessary bureaucracy that threatens to dampen AI development by being overly cautious.

Because advice or principles espoused by the Global Partnership wouldn’t be legally binding, it’s unclear how much the body really could constrain nations’ AI programs. It would also lack the means to regulate private companies. Lynne Parker, US deputy chief technology officer, says the US still worries the group would be too restrictive.

“Our concerns are that the group could be too heavy-handed,” she says. “We believe it’s unethical to hamper and squash down the development of AI technology to the point where you don’t want to use it.”

McD's Former 'Guys Club' Culture Continues to Take Its Toll
2 Black Female McD's Exec's File Discrimination & 'Irrational, Vile, and Cruel' Retaliation Suit

The lawsuit claims that discrimination at McDonald's became "overt" under ex-CEO Steve Easterbrook and Chris Kempczinski, who was promoted from the head of the US business to CEO in November.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Illinois, comes as McDonald’s new chief executive, Chris Kempczinski, works to address concerns about the burger giant’s workplace culture. His predecessor Steve Easterbrook was fired in November after disclosing a consensual relationship with an unnamed McDonald’s employee.

According to the lawsuit McDonald's cut its total number of black corporate officers from 42 to 7, down 83%, from 2014 to 2019. McDonald's uses the term "officer" to describe employees at a vice-president level or above that. A McDonald's representative told Business Insider that the company's officer count has dropped overall, in a recent restructuring.

A McDonald’s spokesman said 45% of the company’s corporate officers are people of color, along with all of its 10 U.S. field vice presidents.

3 Members Of Trip-And-Fall Scheme Get 80-60-68 Months Fed. Prison
For $31.7 Million Scheme To Defraud NYC-Area Businesses & Insur. Cos.

BRYAN DUNCAN, ROBERT LOCUST, and RYAN RAINFORD were sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein to prison in connection with their participation in a multimillion-dollar trip-and-fall fraud scheme.

“Bryan Duncan, Robert Locust, and Ryan Rainford were each sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their roles in an age-old fraud scheme that was callous and exploitive. They honed the slip-and-fall ‘accident’ to an efficient operation, recruiting people, the down-and-out, find the desperate, find the homeless, to stage accidents, filing fraudulent lawsuits against property owners, steering ‘accident victims’ to particular crooked medical clinics, and often even directing them to have unnecessary surgeries. Now they will spend years in prison for their crimes.”

Recruited patients were referred to specific attorneys who would file lawsuits against the owners of the accident sites and/or insurance companies of the owners of the accident sites (the “Victims”). The lawsuits did not disclose that the recruited patients had deliberately fallen at the accident sites or, in some cases, had not fallen at all. During the course of the fraud scheme, the defendants, together with others known and unknown, attempted to defraud the Victims of at least $31,791,000.


UK Holiday Disappoints

Across The Pond 2019 Retail Sales Weren't Good
'2019 was UK retail’s worst year ever'

New data has shown that 2019 was worst year on record for UK retail, as lacklustre sales over the peak Christmas trading period failed to give the sector the boost it needed.

According to the latest Retail Sales Monitor from the BRC and KPMG, overall retail sales in the UK decreased by 0.1 per cent in 2019, compared with the 1.2 per cent growth in 2018.

Full year non-food sales saw a decline of 1.3 per cent in 2019, with a 3.3 per cent increase in online sales failing to offset the 3.1 per cent drop from in-store sales. However, food sales enjoyed a 1.4 per cent uptick for the year.

She pointed to the wave of CVAs and administrations (bankruptcies), shop closures and job losses, and the ongoing impacts of Brexit uncertainty that the industry suffered in 2019.

For December alone, total sales increased by 1.9 per cent against a flat, zero per cent growth in December 2018.

“Black Friday overtook Christmas as the biggest shopping week of the year for non-food items,” Dickinson said. Overall, non-food retail sales for the quarter decreased by 1.6 per cent on a like-for-like and 1.4 per cent on a total basis.

Worst year for retail in 25 years, says trade body
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said total sales fell 0.1%, marking the first annual sales decline since 1995. Sales in November and December were particularly weak, falling 0.9%, the BRC said.

Like-for-like retail sales climbed in December, but that was due to a relatively late Black Friday, the BRC said. Once November, was included to include this distortion, like-for-like sales dropped 1.2% compared with the previous year, it said.

Why are shops struggling?

Costs are rising, with business rates, rents and wages taking a bigger chunk of expenditures. And with footfall in decline, many shops are simply too big and frequently in the wrong locations. Also, High Street retailers are under pressure from changing shopping habits, with customers spending one in every £5 online.

FTC to Hold Workshop Today Regarding Non-Compete Agreements
in the Workplace
Titled: Non-Competes in the Workplace: Examining Antitrust and Consumer Protection Issues
When: Thursday January 9, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EDT
Who: Legal scholars, economists, policy experts, FTC Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, and FTC staff.

The link for the live webcast of the workshop will be posted on the workshop page today.

Flu Shots? It's Not too Late
Got the Flu - Make Them Stay Home
'The Flu Season May Yet Turn Ugly, C.D.C. Warns'

Almost as many people are falling ill as did two years ago, in what was a particularly severe flu season. But this season’s virus is unusual, and it’s too early to tell how dangerous.

The United States may be headed into a bad flu season, according to figures recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of the last week of December, “widespread” flu activity was reported by health departments in 46 states. More ominously, a second measure — the percentage of patients with flu symptoms visiting medical clinics — shot up almost to the peak reached at the height of the 2017-18 flu season, which was the most severe in a decade.

About 61,000 Americans died of flu that season, the C.D.C. said.

This year’s flu vaccine may not be particularly effective against the strain of the virus now widespread in the United States, experts said. But even so, it’s worth getting the shot: people who are vaccinated fare better if struck by the flu than those who are not.

It is still too early to know how severe this season will be, said Lynnette Brammer, leader of the agency’s domestic influenza surveillance team.

Although many people are coming down with flu, the two chief indicators of severity — hospitalizations and deaths — are not yet elevated, she noted.

Senior Jobs Market

Research Director posted for the Loss Prevention Research Council
in Gainesville, FL
Required Documents: Signed NDA, Non-Compete, Indicate agreement with LPRC Employee handbook, I-9. The Loss Prevention Research Council is a research organization established in 2000 to minimize theft, fraud, and violent crime in retail settings using rigorous research and development. We currently have 70 retail corporation members, and over 75 security solutions provider members. The Research Director leads, develops, and manages the research and innovation team and its outputs by coordinating research and innovation strategy, projects, working group engagements, lab enhancement, IMPACT and other event preparation and execution to serve the LPRC Community, and for the greater good. Salary $124,500

Director Loss Prevention - ORC for Ulta Beauty in Bolingbrook, IL
The Director, Loss Prevention will be responsible for leading and inspiring a team of Managers and Analysts who support Organized Retail Crime functional area of Loss Prevention . This role will be responsible for all aspects of Organized Retail Crime and Special Investigations for the company to include boosting, fencing, financial fraud, serial robberies and burglaries, product tampering, and mobile device fraud. Responsible for implementing asset protection strategies to mitigate against external theft with the overall objective of controlling shrink and protecting the company’s assets.

We offer more than 20,000 products from more than 550 well-established and emerging beauty brands, including our own Ulta Beauty Collection. In 1,100+ stores, in 48 states, with 35,000 associates.

Macy's Cuts 70 Jobs & More Could be Coming Next Month

Holiday gift card purchases explode up 7% - fueled by e-commerce

Portland delays facial biometrics ban by municipal agencies until June 15th

An increase of $1 in the minimum wage linked to lower suicide rates, a study says

Quarterly Results
Bed Bath & Beyond Q3comp's down 8.3%, net sales down 9%

9 Week Holiday Sales Results
L Brands 9 Week Holiday Sales ending Jan 4th. - Comp's up 3%
    Victoria's Secret comp's down 12%
    Bath & Body Works Comp's up 9%
Kohl's Holiday Sales Nov. - Dec. comp's down 0.2%
J.C. Penney 9 week Holiday Sales ending Jan. 4th. - Comp's down 7.5%

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Retail investigations taking up your time?

Transform the way you manage video requests

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 | 2:00 pm EST/11:00 am PST

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Gov. Greg Abbott warns Texas agencies seeing 10,000 attempted cyber attacks per minute from Iran
State agencies are seeing an increase in cyber security threats as Iranian officials vow revenge against the U.S. for killing a top general.

Abbott, citing information from the Texas Department of Information Resources, said that as many as 10,000 attempted attacks per minute from Iran had been detected over the past 48 hours on state agency networks. He pointed to a cyberattack last year that involved dozens of local governments in Texas, stressing the importance of public and private sectors alike practicing “good cyber hygiene.”

According to a news report, during a a meeting of the Domestic Terrorism Task Force, Abbott pointed to a cyberattack last year that involved dozens of local governments in Texas and highlighted the importance of public and private sector implementing “good cyber hygiene” practices.

The Texas Department of Information and the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), Amanda Crawford, issued a statement, following Gov. Abbott’s meeting. They observed an increase in network activity from outside the United States, including Iran. "As global threats to cybersecurity increase, we urge Texans to be vigilant and use heightened awareness as they conduct Internet activity," they said.

Las Vegas Suffers Cyberattack on First Day of CES
Related to the CES or Iran? Don't Know Yet

The attack reportedly appears to have begun with a malicious link included in an email to a city employee. There was thus far was no indication that the attack was either related to the recent military activity with Iran, or the beginning of CES. This is a developing story. Stay tuned HERE

On the opening day of the huge Consumer Electronics Show (CES), officials in Las Vegas were busy assessing the damage from a cyberattack that hit the city. Officials there reportedly said preliminary analysis indicated that no sensitive data was compromised in the attack, which began around 4:30 a.m. local time Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Real-Time Cyber-Attack Map Lights Up After Iran attack
The map Bushell stood in front of for his interview shows cyber-attacks happening around the world in real-time, and he says days after the U.S. attacked and killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the map started to light up.

What the CFO's are reading:
Cybersecurity 2020: Welcome to the Digital Cold War
Embracing ERM - The Next Step in AP & IT Security

In the year ahead, organizations must prepare for the unknown. They can do so by ensuring they have the flexibility to endure unexpected and high-impact cybersecurity events. Businesses will need to manage security risks in ways beyond those traditionally handled by the information security function, as well. Increasingly innovative attacks will most certainly impact both business reputation and shareholder value. And for some organizations, these attacks will come from well-funded and technologically advanced actors.

Based on comprehensive assessments of the threat landscape, we believe businesses must focus on the following security areas in 2020: the race for technology dominance among nation-states; third parties, the internet of things (IoT), and the cloud; and cybercrime, from both internal and external sources.

Digitally connected devices and superfast networks will prove to be a security concern as modern life becomes entirely dependent on these devices and their software. Highly sophisticated and extended supply chains present new risks to corporate data as it is necessarily shared with third-party providers.

Finally, since so much critical data is held in the cloud, cyber criminals and nation-states will have new opportunities to disrupt economies and take down critical infrastructure and entire companies.

Well-Funded Cybercrime

Criminal organizations have a massive resource pool available to them in the form of nation-states outsourcing cyberattacks as a means of establishing deniability.

Additionally, the insider threat is one of the greatest drivers of security risks that organizations face and will remain so in 2020. Malicious insiders will continue to utilize their credentials to gain access to an organization’s critical assets. Many organizations are challenged to detect internal nefarious acts, often due to limited access controls and the ability to detect unusual activity once someone is already inside the network.

Involving the Board

The executive team sitting at the top of an organization has the clearest, broadest view. A serious, shared commitment to common values and strategies is at the heart of a good working relationship between the C-suite and the board. Without sincere, ongoing collaboration, complex challenges like cybersecurity will be unmanageable.

Covering all the bases — defense, risk management, prevention, detection, remediation, and incident response — is better achieved when leaders contribute their expertise and use their unique vantage point to help set priorities and keep security efforts aligned with business objectives.

Given the rapid pace of business and technology and the countless elements beyond the C-suite’s control, traditional risk management simply isn’t nimble enough to deal with the perils of cyberspace activity. Enterprise risk management must build on a foundation of preparedness to create risk resilience by evaluating threat vectors from a position of business acceptability and risk profiling. Leading the enterprise to a position of readiness, resilience, and responsiveness is the surest way to secure assets and protect people.

After data breach, should Wawa bosses get the Target treatment?
CEO & CIO Stepped Down - Added CSO & Chief Compliance Officer
Debit, credit card info of 40M customers compromised, data exposed by malware for 9 months

What happens to executives of retail companies such as Wawa Inc. when they acknowledge a data breach that exposed customer data that should have stayed private?

In early 2014, giant retailer Target Corp. set an example that is still cited by corporate security professionals.

First, the chain acknowledged a data breach had exposed 40 million credit and debit card holders’ names and account numbers to criminals over the previous three weeks. Three weeks later, the company admitted hackers had also picked up personal information: phone numbers, addresses, and emails of 70 million Target customers.

That March, the company’s chief information officer, responsible for data and computer systems, resigned under pressure. The company also started searching for a new security chief, and a new compliance boss.

Next, Target chief executive Gregg Steinhafel, who had spent 35 years with the company, took personal responsibility for the data breach, and stepped down from the top office. Target said the data breach cost it more than $160 million in 2013-14. The company later paid $28.5 million to settle private and state legal claims from the data breach.

Target said its data breach had lasted three weeks. Wawa admitted its data was exposed by malware for nine months - March to December. Wawa says credit and debit card information was exposed to criminals, but not detailed personal information.

Wawa has not announced any changes at the top so far. Unlike Target, Wawa is a private company, owned partly by executives like CEO Chris Gheysens, partly by members of the founding Wood family and their du Pont cousins, and partly by thousands of Wawa employees who are given shares as a retirement savings plan.

If Wawa was paying top dollar for state-of-the-art security systems that were poorly implemented, that will place pressure on the company to reconsider its tech approach. On the other hand, if a review found the company hadn’t been spending enough on tech and security, Gheysens as CEO would expect to face especially tough questions.

Either way, “they have to pay a lot more for security now — a great CIO, a great security head, best-in-class outsourcing, along with appropriate spend — because they can’t afford to let this happen again.”

The Hidden Cost of Ransomware: Wholesale Password Theft
Organizations in the throes of cleaning up after a ransomware outbreak typically will change passwords for all user accounts that have access to any email systems, servers and desktop workstations within their network. But all too often, ransomware victims fail to grasp that the crooks behind these attacks can and frequently do siphon every single password stored on each infected endpoint. The result of this oversight may offer attackers a way back into the affected organization, access to financial and healthcare accounts, or - worse yet - key tools for attacking the victim’s various business partners and clients.

The "Art of Cloud War" for Business-Critical Data
Those who wish to do your business harm are hearing the famous words by Sun Tzu in the book The Art of War: "Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected." This is the typical philosophy adopted by modern cybercriminals to identify points of weakness and exposure, whether they are in business data centers or in the cloud. But in a move never imagined by Sun Tzu himself, today's defenses may even be circumvented and damaged by business executives themselves.

The "Pace Gap" Issue Created by the Cloud - The Benefits of a United Security Front - The Need for Collaboration Between the Business and Security Operations - Public Cloud: An Organization's Closest Ally or Greatest Enemy.

Amazon: We fired four Ring employees for improperly accessing users' video data



MJ BizCon: Mary Jane’s Biggest Event of the Year

By Tony Gallo, Managing Partner & Katharine Baxter, Lead Technical Writer for Sapphire Risk Advisory Group

In the security industry, there are two conferences experts don’t want to miss: The International Security Conference and Exposition, commonly known as ISC West, and the ASIS Global Security Exchange. Security professionals converge at these annual events where they can network with other professionals, discover new products and emerging technologies, and learn about the latest industry trends. The Security Industry Association and ASIS set the standards for security training and knowledge and their events attract tens of thousands of people in North America and around the world.

But these events aren’t the only places for security experts to convene. For those security experts interested in or engaged in the quickly evolving cannabis industry, there’s arguably an even more important conference to attend: MJBizCon.

This conference, hosted by Marijuana Business Daily, has occurred annually since 2012 and has increased in size every year. In 2019, the conference, which was held on December 11-13, attracted 33,000 people- more than ISC West’s 30,000 attendees and ASIS GSX’s 22,000 attendees.

MJBizCon connects an entire industry of professionals in much the same way as conferences like ISC West and ASIS GSX. It may not have been around as long, but every indication shows that MJBizCon has become the go-to show for anyone looking to invest time into the cannabis industry. Read more here

Top 4 Predictions for Hemp and Hemp CBD in 2020
Though 2019 was indeed busy, the U.S. hemp and Hemp CBD industries are far from normalized. The next few years will continue to be equally busy and we expect there to be dramatic changes across the board, both good and bad. Here are our top four predictions for 2020.

1. State Hemp Production Rollouts
Some states submitted plans to the USDA immediately, but it only began its substantive review after issuing its interim regulations. In 2020, we expect that the USDA will approve most of the plans, or force states or tribes to change their plans up to comply with the USDA’s rules. Either way, state-level production is expected to kick into full gear under the 2018 Farm Bill.

2. FDA Enforcement
While, to date, the FDA has not initiated any kind of public enforcement proceeding or litigation, the fact that it went from just a small handful of letters over 11 months to 15 in one day signals that the FDA is shifting into enforcement mode. 2020 may be the year where we see actual enforcement or litigation.

3. Hemp CBD Importation
Over the last few months, our hemp attorneys have fielded numerous questions about importing raw hemp or Hemp CBD products, mostly from South America and Europe, but even from Asia or Africa. Importation can trigger the jurisdiction of a number of agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, the FDA, and/or the USDA.

4. FDA Regulation of Hemp CBD
2020 may be the year that the FDA picks up the pace and does something clear with Hemp CBD. After all, Congress has been admonishing the FDA to speed things up for months now, and just recently an appropriations bill was signed that apparently directs $2 million to the FDA to finish its Hemp CBD regulations.

New York State Law Puts Framework in Place for Regulation of Hemp Industry

Measure establishes testing, labeling for burgeoning market as well as sets clear guidelines for industry farmers, sellers.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week signed legislation establishing a regulatory framework for the production and sale of hemp and hemp extract in New York State. The measure also requires the hemp industry to test and label their products, protecting consumers from potential harm.

USDA Approves First State And Tribal Hemp Production Plans








New Tactics Punch Holes in Big Tech’s Ad-Fraud Defenses

Fraudsters use readily available technology to boost site and ad traffic, bolster search results and pad reviews

Tech giants such as Google and are deploying artificial intelligence to ferret out fraud on their platforms, but some cybercriminals are outfoxing Silicon Valley with software that is getting better at mimicking human behavior.

One group of developers running a Russian website advertises a $100-a-month subscription to a browser called Linken Sphere. Customers have used the software to get around fraud-detection tools employed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon and Facebook, according to researchers and users of the tools. The browser allows users to harness hundreds of stolen online accounts, purchased on the dark web, to generate fake ad traffic or to boost online search rankings and shopping reviews, those people say.

Another popular tool, AntiDetect, also costs $100 a month for a subscription, and offers a $2,990 professional version. Its creator charges an extra $100 a month for personal technical support, servers and free configurations. A tool called Multilogin, created by an Estonian-based company, can control up to 100 different profiles. It charges 99 euros, about $110, a month. Customers can pay more to have those profiles automated to behave in special ways.

All these tools can be used for legitimate purposes, according to researchers. They can be used by tech firms to look for vulnerabilities and test their own defenses, for instance. But they are also being used to evade fraud-detection defense for illegitimate purposes, according to researchers and users.

The tools essentially act like browsers—alternatives to Microsoft Corp. ’s Internet Explorer or Apple Inc.’s Safari—that allow for the creation of hundreds of fake personas quickly and cheaply, according to users of the tools, researchers and discussion forums about them.

The browsers help carry out one of the most popular types of online fraud—spoofing traffic to online ads or social media profile pages, thus increasing the value of those pages by making them look more effective than they really are. Marketers are expected to lose around $5.8 billion on ad fraud this year, according to a report by the U.S. Association of National Advertisers.

7 Ways Big Data Will Impact Ecommerce in 2020

Sources: Amazon to add luxury shopping platform



Tallahassee, FL: Best Buy burglary may be connected to Nation-wide ring
Tallahassee Police are looking at whether an early-morning burglary at Best Buy on Apalachee Parkway could be connected to a multi-state spree of electronics thefts. Quinton D. Harris was arrested as he fled the store at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday as officers responded to a burglary alarm. He is charged with possession of burglary tools, burglary of a structure, grand theft of more than $10,000, criminal mischief with damage to property and resisting arrest. More charges are pending as the investigation continues.

Best Buy break-ins throughout the South and along the East Coast have led to several arrests in the past few months and are being investigated as a nation-wide ring. In several other cases, suspects cut a hole in the roof or walls of the store and absconded with thousands of dollars in merchandise. In all the thefts believed to be connected to the ring have resulted in millions of dollars in stolen electronics.

Milpitas, CA: 3 Arrested in Milpitas Walgreens Robbery, Vehicle Crash
All 3 men were arrested and booked on charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit a theft and vandalism, police said. All three are on probation in other California counties for various crimes. Officers recovered over $3,700 worth of stolen property belonging to Walgreens and returned it to the store.

Jefferson City, TN: Police arrest 5, recover nearly $6,000 in stolen Walmart merchandise



Shootings & Deaths

Gwinnett County, GA: O;Reilly’s Auto Parts employee shot and killed in attempted robbery
Police say an auto parts store employee was shot and killed during an attempted robbery Wednesday night in Buford. The shooting happened around 7:45 p.m. at the O’Reilly Auto Parts store along Hamilton Mill Road in Buford. Police said the shooter parked their car in the parking lot and watched the employee help a customer in the parking lot. According to investigators, the shooter then followed the woman inside the store and said to open the cash register. Police said another employee heard the commotion and walked in from a back room. That employee was armed. Police said the shooter noticed the man's weapon and shot him. He died at the scene.

College Park, GA: Man shot multiple times, killed outside College Park discount strip mall
A 44-year-old man was killed Wednesday in a shooting outside a College Park discount strip mall. Officers arriving at the Old National Village Discount Mall about 5:20 p.m. found the man lying on a walkway, College Park police Chief Ferman Williford told He appeared to have been shot multiple times to his torso. The victim, identified by police as Xavier Turner, later died at a hospital. Another gunshot victim, identified as Treveon Milan, left the scene after the shooting but returned to be treated by medics, Williford said.

Thailand: Shopping mall bloodbath as gunman kills three, including girl, two, and wounds five others including a tourist during gold store robbery
The masked man shot dead a security guard followed by a young woman working at the gold store before turning his gun on the little girl as she walked hand-in-hand with her mother. At least five others - including one tourist - were seriously injured and rushed to hospital after the bloodbath at the Robinson's store in Lopburi, about 100 miles north of Bangkok at around 9pm local time (2pm UK time). The two staff died at the scene and the girl died later at hospital. Witnesses said the girl's mother was inconsolable as she wept and cradled her child after the shooting. Police Colonel Kritsana Pattanacharoen said the police already knew the gunman's identity and were searching for him.

Houston, TX: Paying $1.2M for Fatal Police Shooting
Houston’s City Council approved a $1.2 million settlement with the family of a black man fatally shot by a police officer, resolving litigation that exposed a pattern of cops absolved by internal affairs investigations for shooting unarmed people, Courthouse News Service reports. Police officer Juventino Castro was moonlighting as a security guard in a strip mall in 2014. There had been eight armed robberies in the area the previous two days by a black man wearing a hoodie and wielding a handgun. Castro saw Jordan Baker, a 26-year-old college student and father of a young son, wearing a hoodie, flip-flops and pajama pants, riding his bike into the parking lot. Baker rode straight towards Castro’s car until he saw the officer sitting in it in uniform. Seemingly startled, he turned around and rode away fast.

Castro tried to detain Baker. Baker balked, leading to a scuffle that left Baker with cuts and scrapes all over his body, Janet Baker said in a lawsuit for her son’s estate. Castro fatally shot Baker in the torso at close range, handcuffed him and called 911. Castro claimed Baker had charged at the officer in a crouch while digging into his waistband before Castro opened fire.

Houston, TX: Disturbance between two groups led to man's shooting inside Houston Walmart store
At least one person was shot Wednesday during a fight at a southwest Houston Walmart, according to police. This happened around 10 p.m. inside the Walmart located in the 9400 block of the W. Sam Houston Parkway near Bissonnet Street. Houston police responded to reports of an "active shooter" inside the store at that time.

Cleveland, OH: Federal Agents take aim at violent crime with new initiative
A new initiative aimed at fighting violent crime is happening in seven of America’s most violent cities, including Cleveland. The nation’s top cop announced the launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit a few weeks ago. Albuquerque, Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, Milwaukee and Cleveland will get part of the $71 million grant. But, it’s not likely each city will get the same amount. The decision is expected to be based on what the city has asked for, what the need is and how the city plans to spend the money, according to authorities.

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Los Angeles, CA: LAPD Asks for Help ID’ing Armed Bandits in Series of Robberies at SoCal Beauty Salons

Elbert County, CO: Two Missouri men accused of stealing lottery tickets in Kiowa, fleeing from deputies at 130 mph

Freeport, IL: Walmart Shoplifter with 2 active warrants struggle with Police during 3rd Shoplifting arrest; tased and pepper sprayed

New Hartford, NY: Macy’s apprehends the same woman twice in one day


Norfolk, VA: Man sentenced for drug trafficking, robbing Sprint store at gunpoint; one of 20 that made up law enforcement's 'Operation High Tide'


Auto Parts – Gwinnett County, GA – Armed Robbery/ Employee shot/ killed
C-Store – Myrtle Beach, SC – Robbery
C-Store – Carter County, TN – Burglary
C-Store – Bristol, VT – Burglary
C-Store – Greenwich, NY – Robbery
C-Store – Colorado Springs, CO – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Elbert County, CO – Armed Robbery
CVS – Fort Wayne, IN – Armed Robbery
Dollar General – Jacksonville, NC – Armed Robbery
Gas Station – Friendswood, TX - Burglary
Grocery – Mesa County, CO – Armed Robbery
Grocery – Boise, ID – Burglary
Guns - Lynchburg, VA – Burglary
Jewelry – Cleveland, OH – Burglary
Jewelry - Muskogee, OK – Armed Robbery
Jewelry – San Bernardino, CA -Robbery
Jewelry – Tampa, FL – Robbery
Jewelry – Concord, NC – Robbery
Jewelry – Portland, OR – Robbery
Jewelry – Albany, NY – Robbery
Jewelry – St Charles, IL – Robbery
Jewelry – St Augustine, FL – Robbery
Pawn Shop - Anderson County, NY – Burglary
Restaurant – Ames, IA – Burglary
Restaurant – Windham, NH – Armed Robbery
Vape – Friendswood, TX - Burglary
7-Eleven – Salt Lake City, UT – Robbery
7-Eleven – Chicago, IL – Robbery/ Assault
7-Eleven – Anderson County, NY – Robbery

Daily Totals:
• 20 robberies
• 9 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map




Kim Hooper named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Amazon
Garret Watson promoted to Area Asset Protection Manager
for Steinmart
Tom Battye named head of Loss Prevention for The
White Company (UK)
Paul Rumsey named District Loss Prevention Manager for Genuine Parts Company
Kathleen Avariano promoted to Senior Regional Asset Protection Manager for Hermès

Caglar Ari, CFI promoted to Senior Manager EMEA, Investigations for Amazon (Germany)

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Being in a slump is an absolutely scary place where your brain does more damage than your actions or lack thereof. More mental than anything else, a slump happens to all of us, and getting out of it can look like the longest darkest tunnel you've ever experienced. But remember there's always light at the end of every tunnel and getting focused on that light is the key. And turning it always begins with getting back to basics. Forcing yourself to find that focus and using the basics to get out of the slump is the only way out. Lean on your basics and trust you know them well enough that the old performance will start showing itself, because once they do, you'll find yourself having fun and out of that slump.

Just a Thought,




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