Home > Manufacturers, Security Management / Operations, TechNews > Retailers Unite – Sort Of – to Combat Fraud

Retailers Unite – Sort Of – to Combat Fraud

Security Director News reports in this month’s edition that the National Retail Federation and the Retail Leaders Industry Association have worked in collaboration with the FBI to form a web-based information sharing network to combat organized retail crime.  The new initiative, with the unfortunate name of LERPnet, will require retailers to pay $1200 per year to participate.

When I’ve interviewed retailers and manufacturers about retail crime, the number one inhibitor is cost – who is going to pay for it.  The retailers complain to their distributors.  Distributors gripe at manufacturers.  And manufacturers are annoyed with the entire supply chain.  Fraud happens at every level, which means there is always someone nearby to whom you may pass the buck. Don’t you think this program needs to enlist support from manufacturers and distributors more than just the retailers?  And where will the funding for anti-counterfeiting and anti-diversion technologies come from?

Let’s hope LERPnet, which stands for Law Enforcement Retail Partnership network doesn’t become another in a long line of Bumbling Unorganized Retail Programs network…

  1. May 21, 2007 at 8:29 am

    I think this is an interesting development and that collaborative investigation tools can be extremely helpful. As you know, 3VR acquired CrimeDex earlier this year. CrimeDex is similar conceptually to LERPnet, but focused on helping financial services organizations share information about fraud crimes and suspects.
    We’ve seen tremendous success from CrimeDex being used to build more enforceable cases, connect dots, and reduce fraud for customers. With the “Know Your Customer” provisions of the Patriot Act, I would expect more and more retailers and banks to start using collaboration tools.
    To some degree, these information sharing networks are the closest thing to the “Web 2.0” of Security vision you described. Organizations can share suspect information, search case and suspect archives, and subscribe to alerts based on content and location.
    Hopefully the commercial sector can take the lead and demonstrate success, and influence our government to consider these models as a means of improving information sharing within homeland security.

  2. May 21, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Right on, Tim. Your CrimeDex effort is a more straightforward approach than BURPnet. I like it.
    LERPnet just seems overengineered and too bureaucratic. I can’t see how it will fly. Unlike yours which makes commercial sense. Thanks.

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