Law enforcement and retail loss prevention members to be honored during the NRF PROTECT conference

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Three members of the law enforcement and retail loss prevention community will be honored this week during the National Retail Federation’s NRF PROTECT conference in Washington. The founder of The Loss Prevention Foundation will receive the industry’s top award on Tuesday while a New York Police Department lieutenant who launched the New York Metro Organized Retail Crime Alliance and an FBI agent responsible for breaking a multi-state crime ring will be recognized on Wednesday.

“Each one of these honorees has supported the loss prevention community by protecting retailers and their customers and sharing their skills and experience to help develop highly proficient loss prevention professionals,” NRF Vice President for Loss Prevention Bob Moraca said. “Their significant contributions continue to create great impact in the community and deserve to be recognized by these prestigious awards.”

Ring of Excellence Award
This award recognizes pioneers in the retail LP community whose “honor, integrity and character serve as an example for the industry.”

This year’s recipient is Gene Smith, founder of the Loss Prevention Foundation and former president of Downing & Downing, a human resources firm specializing in LP staff development, in recognition of his more than 40 years of experience and his work to develop the industry’s Loss Prevention Qualified and Loss Prevention Certified designations. Smith has provided career counseling to countless LP professionals, university curriculum committees and industry trade association committees.

During Smith’s time at Downing & Downing, he conducted assessment interviews and career counseling with thousands of industry associates and performed industry organizational and consulting reviews designed to maximize resources and deliver value. Smith is recognized as an industry leader and expert on talent assessment and acquisition.

Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Award
This award acknowledges law enforcement officers or agencies that have gone “above and beyond the call of duty” to support the retail industry in combating fraud, protecting assets and reducing losses.

This year’s award will be presented to NYPD Lt. Tarik Sheppard for his efforts to create the New York Metro Organized Retail Crime Alliance in 2014 while head of the Grand Larceny Analytical unit. The unit works to identify pattern crimes and pattern crime offenders, and Sheppard recognized the extent of organized crime in retail thefts while working there.

Loss Prevention Case of the Year Award
This award recognizes investigators whose work has made a significant impact on their companies, communities and the industry.

This year’s recipient is FBI Special Agent Kevin Kohler, who uncovered a multi-state crime ring that placed fraudulent bar codes on high-value products, intentionally lowering prices and inflicting losses exceeding $200,000. Kohler played an integral role in the investigation by securing crucial evidence, and in a matter of two months was able to arrest the head of the group. Going beyond the retail fraud that initiated the case, the investigation also led to charges of child pornography and sexual exploitation of minors, resulting in the rescue of several children from a predator. The ringleader was sentenced to 70 years in prison without parole.

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Over 90 industry leaders as featured speakers at the annual NRF PROTECT conference, June 26-28

WASHINGTON, 2017-Apr-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Over 90 industry leaders will be featured speakers as more than 2,000 retailers, loss prevention executives, cybersecurity experts and law enforcement officers convene in Washington, D.C., June 26-28 at the annual NRF PROTECT conference.

“The level of expertise and insider insights that these industry leaders will bring to the show this year will be very impactful,” NRF Vice President for Loss Prevention Bob Moraca said. “Each of these speakers was handpicked to challenge, inspire and encourage attendees to redefine their companies’ loss prevention plans and embrace changes that can help make their companies safer for their employees and customers.”

The speaker lineup will begin on June 27, when former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator Christopher Voss will deliver in a keynote session titled “Never Split the Difference – Lessons from a Former Hostage Negotiator.” Voss will share secrets on how to be effective in negotiating, with examples from high-stakes criminal situations.

The same day, The Home Depot Senior Manager for Asset Protection Resources and Technology Luis Ninan and Metro One Loss Prevention Services Group Vice President for Business Development Frank Camerino will host a breakout session titled “Looking Beyond the Badge: Partnering With Your Security Provider.” Ninan and Camerino will share insights on how retailers can think outside the “scope of work” and ask loss prevention partners what can they do together.

On the EXPO stage, Dunkin’ Brands Senior Director for Loss Prevention and Corporate Security David Johnston will discuss his partnership with the company’s information technology security team in building a cyber/data security program without slowing down digital initiatives in a session titled “Working Together to Build a Cyber Security Program.”

Alston & Bird law firm partner Kimberly Peretti will close out the day with a session titled “Preparing for Cyber’s Evolution: Collaboration, Cooperation and Risk Mitigation,” where she will discuss how cyber threats have evolved since beginning to draw massive data breach headlines a decade ago.

On June 28, NFL Senior Vice President for Security and former Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier will open the show by discussing Safety and Preparedness in the 21st Century. From implementing new technologies and communication techniques for an intelligence-led police force to empowered communities, Lanier will discuss the importance of risk management, preparedness, policing and leadership.

Later that day, CVS Health Loss Prevention Director Dave St. Angelo and 3SI Security Systems Eastern U.S. Sales Manager Dan Kopchik will speak at a session titled “Security Where Criminals Least Expect it.” St. Angelo and Kopchik will outline how to stay ahead of crime trends, scale a security system design to protect against a specific crime and establish a toolkit of security options to match  the problems encountered.

At the EXPO stage, “Drone Guy” James Acevedo will discuss how retail security departments can use drone technology to control costs, improve efficiency, prevent loss and track movement inside and outside the store in a session titled “Drones and Asset Protection: The Sky is Not the Limit.”

The last keynote session of the show, “The Goalposts of Leadership are Shifting: Are You?” will feature two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning as he offers insights on leadership qualities in sports that reach across all industries.

Complimentary registration is available to editorial staff members of the news media, accredited retail analysts and bloggers. To register, contact Ana Serafin Smith at smitha@nrf.com.

For more information about NRF PROTECT, visit http://nrfprotect.nrf.com/ .

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. nrf.com

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Former D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier and Five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning among keynote speakers at NRF PROTECT 2017, June 26-28, 2017

WASHINGTON, 2017-Feb-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — A Super Bowl-winning quarterback and the first woman to lead the nation’s capital’s police force will be among keynote speakers as more than 2,000 industry leaders, loss prevention professionals, cybersecurity experts and law enforcement officers convene in Washington, D.C., June 26-28, 2017, at NRF PROTECT 2017.

Cathy Lanier, former chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, will kick off the keynote sessions at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28, in a session titled “Safety and Preparedness in the 21st Century.” The session will cover Lanier’s extensive experience in fighting crime and security threats while protecting people and assets.

On the same day, five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning will speak at 1:00 p.m. in a session titled “The Goalposts of Leadership are shifting: Are You?” Manning will discuss how he has fought many epic battles under intense pressure on the gridiron, earning the respect of the league and players as a game-changing leader.

“We are thrilled to welcome two extraordinary leaders who have great insights to offer from their extensive and inspirational careers,” NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca said. “These experts will give the audience new ways to impact their business while protecting and enhancing the customer experience.”

The conference will also feature top-notch educational sessions and provide a forum for professionals to identify solutions to industry security challenges and explore the latest cutting-edge technologies.

Complimentary registration is available to editorial staff members of the press, as well as accredited retail analysts and bloggers. To register, contact Ana Serafin Smith at smitha@nrf.com.

For more information about NRF PROTECT 2017, visit http://nrfprotect.nrf.com/ .

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF ORC study: Organized retail crime continues to grow

WASHINGTON, 2016-Oct-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Organized retail crime is continuing to grow, with 83 percent of merchants surveyed reporting an increase in the past year, according to the 12th annual ORC study released today (October 18, 2016) by the National Retail Federation.

“Retailers continue to deal with the challenges that come with fighting organized retail crime,” NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca said. “Every day, criminals are getting more creative in the ways they manipulate the retail supply chain. Combating ORC is a full-time job, and it is a constant battle industry-wide for retailers large and small to stay one step ahead of these savvy criminals.”

The survey of 59 senior retail loss prevention executives found that 100 percent said their companies had experienced ORC in the past year, up from 97 percent in 2015 and marking the first time in the survey’s history that all responding companies reported being a victim. In addition, 83 percent said ORC had grown: The average loss was $700,259 per $1 billion in sales, a significant increase from $453,940 last year.

With the problem growing, 71 percent of loss prevention executives said they now believe their top management understands the severity and complexity of the crimes, up from 63 percent last year.

ORC gangs often use storefronts, pawn shops, flea markets and kiosks to fence stolen goods, and 63 percent of those surveyed said they had recovered merchandise from a physical location. But many criminals turn to the Internet for the anonymity it offers — 58 percent of retailers said they had identified stolen merchandise from an e-fencing operation.

Criminals are also finding ways to manipulate store return policies. According to the survey, 68 percent of respondents said they had experienced thieves returning stolen merchandise for store credit, which is often resold to secondary-market buyers.

Four new states — New Mexico, Oregon, New York and Vermont — have enacted ORC laws in the past year, bringing the total nationwide to 34. But the survey found that 56 percent of retailers in states with ORC laws said they had seen no increase in support from law enforcement, the highest in the survey’s history. Retailers continue to support creation of a federal ORC law, which is backed by 79.7 percent of those surveyed.

“Organized retail crime continues to impact retailers at a larger scale now more than ever before,” said NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Custom Policy Jonathan Gold, who heads NRF’s lobbying efforts on ORC. “ORC also poses a threat to unwitting consumers who may purchase stolen merchandise that is not stored properly or may have expired. It is critical for our industry to continue pushing for strong federal legislation that would properly define ORC and make it a federal crime. Until there is a federal ORC law to counter this increasing criminal activity and the ability to transport stolen products across state lines, it will be nearly impossible to put a dent in this $30 billion-a-year problem that threatens retailers, the economy and consumers across the country.”

Cargo theft continued to impact retailers, cited by 44 percent of those surveyed, up from 38 percent last year. The most common place for cargo theft to occur is when merchandise is en route from the manufacturer to a retailer’s warehouse or from the warehouse to a store, followed by on-site at the warehouse.

Los Angeles continued to be the hardest hit area for ORC in the nation, a position it has held since 2012. Following in order were New York City, Chicago, Miami, Houston, San Francisco/Oakland, Arlington/Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Orange County, Calif.

The survey of 59 executives representing department, big-box, discount, drug, grocery and specialty retailers was conducted July 20th to August 19th, 2016.

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s  This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF’s 2014 Return Fraud Survey: the industry will lose an estimated $10.9 billion to return fraud this year

WASHINGTON, 2014-12-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Techniques and processes put in place to thwart criminal activity around retailers’ return policies continue to be put to the test, and with steadily improving retail sales, even more is on the line when it comes to losses from return fraud.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Return Fraud Survey* completed by loss prevention executives at 60 retail companies representing grocery, department, discount, specialty and small retailers, the industry will lose an estimated $10.9 billion to return fraud this year. Additionally, of those surveyed, retailers estimate $3.8 billion will be lost to return fraud this holiday season alone, up slightly from last year’s $3.4 billion. Overall, retailers polled estimate 5.5 percent of holiday returns are fraudulent, similar to last year’s 5.8 percent.

“Today’s sophisticated technology does well keeping criminals at arm’s length but often isn’t enough to completely stop the unethical practices of organized and individual retail fraud occurrences,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca. “Return fraud has become an unfortunate trend in retail thanks to thieves taking advantage of retailers’ return policies to benefit from the cash or store credit they don’t deserve. Additionally, many of these return fraud instances are a direct result of larger, more experienced crime rings that continue to pose serious threats to retailers’ operations and their bottom lines.”

According to the survey, nearly all (92.7%) of the retailers polled say they have experienced the return of stolen merchandise in the last year, similar to last year’s 94.8 percent. In a troubling sign that organized retail crime continues to present significant challenges for retailers, more than three-quarters of those polled (78.2%) say they have experienced return fraud through returns by organized retail crime groups, up from 60.3 percent last year.

As more shoppers look to digital receipts for ease and convenience, retailers are noticing increasing return fraud instances with e-receipts: the survey found more retailers this year said they have experienced return fraud with the use of e-receipts (18.2% versus 15.5 % last year).

The survey also found a significant jump in the number of retailers who say they have experienced the return of merchandise purchased with fraudulent or stolen payment methods (81.8% versus 69% last year).

Additionally, one-quarter (25.5%) of the retailers surveyed said they have witnessed fraudulent returns using counterfeit receipts, down slightly from 29.3 percent last year; eight in 10 (81.8%) retailers surveyed report that they’ve dealt with employee return fraud or collusion with external sources, down from 93.1 percent last year.

One of the biggest issues for retailers is the practice of “wardrobing,” or the return of used, non-defective merchandise such as special occasion apparel and certain electronics. Though many companies have employed specific tactics to curb this unethical practice, nearly three-quarters (72.7%) of retailers polled say they have experienced wardrobing in the past year, up from 62.1 percent last year.

The problem of return fraud has forced many retailers to adopt policies that require customers who are returning merchandise to show identification. Retailers estimate that 14.1 percent of the returns made throughout the year without a receipt are fraudulent and as a result, 70.9 percent now require customers returning items without a receipt to show identification. Even when a receipt is present, more retailers polled this year say they ask for identification (25.5% versus 12.3% last year.)

Overall, retailers report a small percentage of online purchases returned to their stores to be fraudulent (3.5%).

When asked about return fraud and the various types of payment methods, 72.7 percent of those polled said they have witnessed an increase in gift cards/store merchandise credit fraud in the past year. Nearly four in 10 (38.2%) surveyed said they have witnessed an increase in return fraud with the use of credit cards, although 45.5 percent report no change in fraudulent credit card usage from last year. Additionally, three in 10 (30.9%) said they’ve witnessed an increase in debit card fraud.

Eighty-seven percent of those polled said they allow customers to return merchandise bought online to their brick-and-mortar stores, up from 82.5 percent last year.

About the survey
NRF’s 2014 Return Fraud Survey polled senior loss prevention executives at 60 retail companies in October and November, 2014. Executives from discount stores, department stores, drug stores, supermarkets, apparel, home furnishings, auto parts and other specialty stores completed the survey.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

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