STORES Magazine - April 2015 - (Page 55)

n ONLINE FRAUD A New Way to Steal Micro Center found an online promotion spurred fraud by DAVID P. SCHULZ T he popularity of e-commerce is only growing, with convenience and price the most prevalent reasons people buy online. The issue is that a significant number of online shoppers rarely visit bricks-and-mortar locations - and vice versa. That's where the concept of buy online, pick up instore comes in: The idea is that retailers could integrate their e-commerce operations with physical stores. Online shoppers expect greater selection, lower prices and free shipping - all features that chip away at margins already thinned by pricematching strategies. The good news is that shoppers will change their behavior, says Rodney Mason, CMO of Blackhawk Engagement Solutions: All they need are the right incentives. A 2014 study from Blackhawk found that 64 percent of consumers already buy online and pick up in store. As many as 82 percent of consumers would consider buying online and picking up products in-store if they received a $10 rebate on a $50 item. Retailers are listening: Merchants from Walmart to Whole Foods Market are offering the option. The convenience has a dark side for retailers, NRF.COM/STORES however: The option to buy online and pick up purchases in bricks-andmortar locations has opened a whole new avenue for identity thieves to cash in. SOMETHING AMISS Computer and electronics retailer Micro Center recently ran a special promotion to bring traffic into stores: Customers could make purchases online, and then pick up their orders in a store in as little as 18 minutes. The option to buy online and pick up purchases in bricks-and-mortar locations has opened a whole new avenue for identity thieves to cash in. "The promotion gave us a competitive advantage," says Skip Myers, Micro Center's director of loss prevention and risk strategy. "People were buying things and picking them up on their lunch hour." During all this activity, Myers and his staff were monitoring transactions. They noticed multiple orders for several Apple products such as MacPro notebooks and iPads, which were running into the thousands of dollars. Suspecting that something might be amiss, Myers checked the credit cards used in the transactions. They all had the same name but the credit card numbers were different. In addition, he noticed that the name was somewhat unusual. The first thing he did was run the name through a search engine. "Up popped this stuff from Oklahoma, from the Department of Corrections with her name, her picture and all the information on her conviction for credit card fraud," Myers says. The website even provided the name of her probation officer. "The probation officer was very interested in her, since she had not reported for a while." The thief wasn't being shy about her activities, either. Myers checked her Facebook page and found that "she was bragging about what she was doing, ripping off stores with phony credit cards," he says. "She even talked about where she had been and where she might be headed. "We matched her picture with surveillance footage from our stores in STORES April 2015 55 http://www.NRF.COM/STORES

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - April 2015

A Most Complex Game
It's All Connected
Retail People
Selling Satisfaction
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
Business Operations
Online Fraud

STORES Magazine - April 2015