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Breaking News in the Industry: April 6, 2018

Half-Million dollar fencing scheme shut down

One man is facing charges in connection to a half-million dollar fencing scheme police discovered Wednesday afternoon. Authorities said stolen items including tools, weed eaters and fixtures were discovered in a Northwest Side warehouse in the 7100 block of Eckhert Road on Wednesday morning. Investigators were tipped off to the business operating under the name Guero Tools. While registered with the state, the business didn’t pay federal or state taxes, according to San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) spokesman Carlos Ortiz. Detectives from the Repeat Offenders Program said the group operated online through eBay, Facebook and Craigslist for some time. buying stolen items and making money by selling those items. Police said the business sent packages out all over the country. Ortiz said at least four people were detained for questioning, but only 28-year-old Julio Deleon is facing charges as of Wednesday afternoon. Ortiz added that they’re assuming all victims who bought the stolen items online did so in good faith. “They didn’t know the items they were purchasing were stolen and saw the business was online, and people think when they see someone online — they think it is legitimate,” Ortiz said. “I’m sure someone buying in good faith will not be facing any charges.​” Ortiz said DeLeon would be charged with felony organized retail theft. The three others taken in for questioning are still being interviewed, police said. Ortiz said SAPD officers are expected to be at the warehouse until the late hours because of the quantity of items they are tracking.  [Source: KSAT12 News]

Man sentenced for possession of 282 counterfeit credit cards

A New Orleans man was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for possessing 282 counterfeited credit or debit cards. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bruce Daliet, 23, and co-defendant Brittany Sanders, 35, also of New Orleans, were pulled over in St. Martin Parish Jan. 9, 2015, in a rental car they were traveling in. The Louisiana State Police trooper searched the vehicle and found a pink suitcase that contained the cards and $4,000 worth of gift cards, according to the guilty plea entered. The trooper found that 156 of the cards were embossed with Sanders’ name, and 126 were embossed with Daliet’s name. Sanders was sentenced to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $14,010 in restitution. Additionally, Daliet was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $14,010 in restitution. [Source: Daily Advertiser]

Lufthansa is pushing ahead to transform your face into a boarding pass

After a successful trial in Los Angeles, Lufthansa is planning to expand its biometric boarding pass program to airports nationwide, the airline announced Monday. Instead of checking boarding passes and passports at the gate, the airline uses specialized cameras to snap images of passengers’ faces. They’re uploaded to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which checks them against its database within a few seconds. During the trial, Lufthansa reports it was able to board 350 passengers onto an Airbus A380 in about 20 minutes. Other airlines working with Amadeus, the air travel IT firm, are also likely to roll out biometric boarding, the companies said. In the U.S., they’ll be able to connect to the CBP database and won’t have to create their own databases of facial data. In addition to Lufthansa, airlines including JetBlue and Delta have already launched biometric pilots. “We anticipate that in near time, biometric boarding, as well as other aspects of the air travel experience, will be widely utilized across the U.S. and beyond,” said Bjoern Becker, Lufthansa’s senior director, product management ground and digital services. Airlines and officials have long said that using face recognition or other biometric data like fingerprints can be faster and more convenient than showing documents at the airport. But civil libertarians have warned of potential privacy issues if the government doesn’t carefully safeguard biometric data, airlines, and the other companies involved. [Source: Fast Company]

- Digital Partner -

Repeat shoplifter gets jail time

An Eau Claire, Wisconsin, man will spend 90 days in jail for repeatedly shoplifting from an Eau Claire grocery store. Jacob J. Sullivan, 40, 1215 S. Dewey St., pleaded no contest recently in Eau Claire County Court to three misdemeanor counts of retail theft. Five additional counts of the same charge were dismissed. Judge William Gabler fined Sullivan $1,339. According to the criminal complaint, officials at the former Gordy’s Market provided Eau Claire police with surveillance video showing Sullivan shoplifting from the store on eight occasions between April 23 and May 1 in 2017. On each occasion, Sullivan placed items into a plastic shopping bag he put into a shopping basket. Sullivan would abandon the shopping basket in the store at some point and walk out with merchandise in the shopping bag without paying for the item  [Source: Leader-Telegram]

Employee thief interested in bright smiles, clean shaves

A Monticello, Minnesota, man accused of helping make brighter smiles in the online universe is facing up to five years in prison after an alleged theft of hygiene products from a local grocery store. Scott M. Marthaler, 37, of Monticello, is a former Monticello Cub Foods employee is accused of stealing merchandise from the store and selling it on the online commerce site, Ebay. Marthaler is charged in Wright County District court with retail theft. He is accused of taking from the store $1,238.98 worth of Crest White-strips and Gillette razor blades. He was believed to be selling the items on eBay, a fact that was confirmed by a Wright County Sheriff’s Department check of activity on Marthaler’s eBay account. According to court records, Marthaler was first caught stealing from his employer by a member of Cub Foods’ loss prevention team on Sept. 8, 2017. The alleged theft came at the end of Marthaler’s shift. The value of the items he was allegedly stealing that day was $371.41. The theft resulted in an internal investigation that found that Marthaler had allegedly been  stealing from the store for some time and selling the stolen merchandise on eBay, according to a criminal complaint filed in Wright County District Court. Marthaler allegedly admitted to the theft during questioning by a Wright County Deputy. The case was turned over to a Sheriff’s Department detective who examined Cub Foods’ loss prevention reports and store surveillance video between the dates of July 4, 2017 and Sept. 8, 2018. Using this evidence, and the eBay account records, it was determined that the thefts from Cub Foods amounted to $1,238.98. Marthaler is facing one felony count of theft, which, if convicted, is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. His first appearance in court is scheduled for May 4. [Source: Monticello Times]

Shopping apps leading target as mobile fraud escalates

Fraud targeting mobile app marketers increased 30% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period last year, reaching $700 to $800 million worldwide, according to the AppsFlyer State of Mobile App Install Fraud report. Shopping apps were among the hardest hit, the report said. The share of fraudulent installations has increased 15%, affecting 11.5% of all marketing-driven installations. Shopping app fraud was up 35%, the report said. The most popular form of attack is now bots, which have replaced device farms, and are responsible for over 30% of fraudulent installations.

Fraud typically comes in waves, and it’s a continuing cycle, as fraudsters adapt to new protective measures, which leads to new measures, and so on. “Fraud has become a high-stakes arms race as both sides are becoming increasingly sophisticated,” the report said. Shopping apps are the hardest hit. Gaming, financial and travel apps also are attractive targets. The worst financial losses accrue to the apps with high payouts and verticals of scale, the report said. Shopping apps, with their high cost-per-install and huge scale are the most heavily hit sector, with $275 million exposed in 2018’s first quarter. The report also found that the shopping app vertical was number two in the share of apps with a high fraud rate — 30% with at least 10% fraud, 22% with at least 20% and 17% with at least 10%. The shopping apps also had a 35% higher rate of fraud in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.   [Source: RetailDIVE]

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