A New Reality

Confessions of a Forensic Interviewer

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Scott Glenn Named Vice President of Asset Protection at Home Depot

By Loss Prevention Media Staff

Scott Glenn, JD, LPC, has been named vice president of asset protection at The Home Depot. Glenn was formerly the corporate vice president of asset and profit protection and chief security officer with Sears Holdings, where he was responsible for asset and profit protection, safety, business continuity, and crisis response functions, as well as online fraud prevention and payment systems.

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He began his career as an intern analyst with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in 1990 (when it was still part of the US Department of the Treasury pre-9/11) before joining Target’s asset protection team in 1991, where he served as an executive team leader. He then joined TJ Maxx as a regional investigator in 1996, managing organized retail crime and high-level internal investigations.

In 1998, Glenn moved to Kohl’s Department Stores, accepting roles of increasing responsibility and assuming loss prevention leadership as director for the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions. Glenn joined Sears Holdings in 2008 as divisional director of loss prevention and safety, was promoted to senior director of loss prevention operations, finance, and analytics in 2009, divisional vice president for Kmart Corporation in 2011, and then to corporate vice president of asset and profit protection and chief security officer in 2013.

Glenn is active throughout the loss prevention and asset protection community, serving as an executive board member with the Loss Prevention Foundation, editorial board member with LP Magazine, and board member with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and executive juris doctor in law from Concord University School of Law.

The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer with nearly 400,000 orange-blooded associates and more than 2,200 stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The typical store averages 105,000 square feet of indoor retail space, interconnected with an e-commerce business that offers more than one million products for the DIY customer, professional contractors, and the industry’s largest installation business for the do-it-for-me customer.

Industry Pioneer Bill Cone Leaves Behind Admirers

By Barry P. Grant, COO, Photos Unlimited

Bill Cone regrettably passed away at age 75 on Friday, July 20, 2018. The industry has lost another legend and friend. Bill was the vice president of loss prevention for AutoZone where I had the distinct pleasure and honor to work for him as a young LP executive for nearly ten years. Bill was my mentor, my friend, and my inspiration in this business. His ministry to serve others was how he lived his personal life, as well as his professional life.

Bill was a perennial loss prevention committee member and speaker at Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA, formerly the IMRA) and the National Retail Federation. He was the leader that brought many procedural ideas to AutoZone that made us a “best in class” LP organization, not only in our industry segment but also in all of retail. Many of those who worked under Bill went on to lead their own LP departments.

What I learned most from Bill was his love and commitment to his team member’s success and well-being. Bill first hired me as a young rookie, a week out of college. He took a chance on me when few in the industry would hire a 23-year-old to a district LP role. It was also Bill who gave me the confidence and knowledge to persevere and prosper and never give up. It was Bill who always pushed me and gave me encouragement that one day I could achieve anything I wanted in my career. He sent me and some of my colleagues to industry trade shows or encouraged us to submit articles to LP Magazine. He wanted us to get the credit for getting published or for getting a speaking role. He always gave his team credit for shrink reductions or for a great case we closed.

Bill served our country in the Air Force, where an injury eventually led to him being honorably discharged. He was a graduate of the University of Georgia where he earned his bachelor’s in business. He loved motorcycles, Georgia Bulldog football, and his place on Bear Creek on Pickwick Lake in Tennessee. He loved nothing more than his sweetheart of fifty years, Alice, his two kids, Tom and Shannon, and his six grandchildren.

He will be sorely missed not only by this author but also by others who had the good fortune of knowing Bill Cone. Thank you, Bill, for everything you did for me, my family, and the loss prevention industry.

The Battle of the Sexes in the Interview Room

By Stefanie Hoover, CFI

Who’s better at interviewing: men or women? You’re probably thinking that a post written by a woman would contain a clear-cut answer, firmly tilted toward women. This should be a slam dunk, no-brainer, obvious as can be. Even though I do like clear-cut answers to my questions, the answer to this one was a little more slippery than I thought it would be.

I had heard from other practitioners over the years that in their experience, female interrogators do indeed have an advantage. And I went along with this theory, throughout my career, happy to believe this urban legend. Aren’t women indeed more nurturing, more caring, more empathetic, better listeners, more patient, and so forth? Or are these just stereotypes?

So I began a search for scientific studies that would back up my initial thought: women were indeed more effective interrogators. There exists quite a bit of anecdotal evidence but very little hard science. As I searched, I was astounded at the amount of interview and interrogation material out there that made blanket statements about women interrogators with nothing other than some case examples to back up their theories.

My position has now changed to the following: there are so few female interrogators that those who do exist have become successful because they employ those traits aforementioned that make them the most effective. In other words, they are good at what they do because they had to figure out the best way to be successful in a competitive arena, not just because they are women.

In a male-dominated profession, you can be a mediocre male interrogator; you have the numbers on your side. Further, I posit that if we took a company or government agency and suddenly hired equal amounts of female and male interrogators from a pool of inexperienced candidates, and then we gave them the same training, chances are pretty good the perceived effectiveness for both males and females would be similar. Of course, this is only my opinion; maybe someone can conduct this experiment—in my lifetime.

Since I couldn’t find studies on the topic, I conducted a semi-scientific poll and asked a few people I know, men and women, their opinions on this topic. I was especially interested in hearing from the team at Wicklander-Zulawski: what was the word on the street, so to speak? Did they get a lot of questions about the topic during their seminars, or did they themselves observe one population or another to be better or worse at interviewing? Good, straightforward questions, one would think, but the answers were all over the place.

I heard quite a few expected responses that women are more empathetic and better listeners. One interesting point was that “people would rather talk to a woman.” There have been some studies around this point; when shown pictures of men or women and asked who they would rather talk to, the study participants chose women over men the majority of the time. This may give the female interviewer an edge at the beginning of an interrogation, but the skills needed to be successful are learned, not decided with a chromosome split.

Some other comments shared were about difficulties female interrogators have; evidently, it’s not all confessions all the time for us. “They lack confidence when they interview men.” “Women aren’t raised to be confrontational.” “Male suspects will try to take advantage during an interrogation.” But couldn’t all of these observations apply to any individual regardless of their sex?

One thing I’ve noticed during my career is that we all have an Achilles heel that we self-impose. Whether it’s interrogating men, women, minors, elderly, or people of another race, we tend to pick a group and tell ourselves that we have a hard time dealing with them. I had my own early on, and guess what? I overcame it. I believe that this occurs when we have a failure with one interrogation and blame it on the fact that the suspect was A, B or C, instead of looking in the mirror and figuring out what it was that we did wrong. From there, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Countless cultural elements factor into an interrogator’s confidence, too many to count or go into here, plus none of it is backed by scientific research. They are just things that as a society we believe to be true.

Now, before you pound out your letter to the editor, let me finish by saying that, yes, in my experience, female interrogators do have an advantage. But the really interesting question is—why is that? Is it due to their sex, or is it due to necessity?

Credit Card Chip Technology Has Been Effective at Reducing Fraud. But…

By Bill Turner, LPC

We know that the United States was late in adopting widespread use of EMV (chip) credit cards. Finally, in 2015, we began catching up to the rest of the world when it came to the implementation of credit card chip technology. The results have been positive.

According to Visa, counterfeit credit card fraud dollars at US merchants that completed the chip upgrade dropped 76 percent between December 2015 and December 2017. The number of US merchants accepting chip cards jumped from 392,000 in September 2017 to 2.9 million in March 2018. As of March 2018, 97 percent of credit card transactions in the United States were made with chip cards.

BizTech reports that at the end of 2017, there were 7.1 billion EMV-enabled cards in circulation worldwide.

Despite all of these positive numbers, however, the United States is still lagging behind the rest of the world in total EMV saturation.

Drawbacks to Credit Card Chip Technology

So EMV cards have had a dramatic effect on reducing credit card fraud in the United States. But are there any downsides to the adoption of credit card chip technology? As with anything new and revolutionary, the answer is yes. Here are a few.

EMV cards are driving fraudsters to “card-not-present” fraud. Experts say this will be a growing problem for years to come. Javelin reports that card-not-present fraud is now 81 percent more likely than in-person fraud at point-of-sale terminals.

New account fraud has seen more than a 100 percent increase since EMV cards became mainstream. It now accounts for over 20 percent of all fraud losses involving credit cards.

Because EMV cards are hard to duplicate, fraudsters are honing their skills in pure identity theft. According to BizTech, identity fraud victims increased by 8 percent in 2017, affecting 16.7 million consumers.

TechCrunch reports that more and more “shimmers” are being placed inside ATM terminals by fraudsters. The shimmers cannot read chip data but can read magnetic data still present on most cards. Phony magnetic cards can then be produced. Magnetic cards are still widely accepted.

TechTarget reports that on some smart cards not all data is encrypted, which weakens the strength of the card’s protection.
EMV cards have gone a long way to prevent credit card fraud, especially the once common practice of card counterfeiting. But, as we’ve seen, fraudsters are creative and can find numerous ways around chip-implanted cards. So now what?

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