Tuesday September 01 , 2015

LossBusters Blog

Nuggets of wisdom from Libby
Jul 18

Credit Card Skimming – A Business and Customer Nightmare

Posted by: Libby | Comment (0)

“Hey man; how do like your job at that fast food place?”  “It’s alright.  It gives me a bit of cash for some bills, and I get to eat for half price.”  “So, do you work much in the drive-thru?”  “Yeah, I work the drive-thru cash quite a bit. Why do you ask?”  “Well, how would you like to make a LOT of easy money while you’re working the drive-thru?”  “Keep talking; I’m listening.”  “OK, here’s the deal.  I know these guys that will give you a credit card skimmer that fits in your pocket.  All you have to do is run a credit card through it at the same time you swipe a customer’s card as you ring up a sale.  You get to decide when you think it’s safe and won’t get caught.  You get paid $25 for every card you swipe in the skimmer.  What’s beautiful is that it doesn’t matter what kind of credit card it is.  You get paid for all of them.  You meet with me after your shift, give me the skimmer and I pay you for all the information you’ve swiped.  I’ll give you another empty skimmer and we do it all over again.  It’s that simple.  Are you in?”  “Oh yeah, I’m all in. Sounds great; let’s go!”

This conversation could possibly be taking place with your employees.  Credit card “skimming” fraud is epidemic in the QSR and Quick Casual restaurants as employees such as the one above are recruited or planted by organized crime rings.  The primary targets for the collusion are low wage employees that handle customer credit card transactions.  In this case, the fast food, drive thru cashier.  They handle a lot of credit card transactions in relative isolation.  The customer information captured on the portable skimming device is used to make fraudulent credit cards.  Customer identities are stolen to produce other fraudulent documents such as driver’s licenses and credit applications.  The result is often a trail of unhappy customers with credit messes to clean up, large amounts of stolen merchandise, and a public relations nightmare for the company.

Jul 05

Crime Prevention – The Power of a Flower

Posted by: Libby | Comment (1)
Tagged in: Crime Prevention

When walking into a major theme park you naturally bear to the right.  You don’t veer from the main pathways.  Prohibited areas may not be marked but you instinctively know that you can’t go there.  So, why is that?  The principle is “Crime Prevention through Environmental Design”, commonly known as CPTED.  The theme park environment has been cleverly designed with gentle slopes to direct walking traffic.  Landscaping has been designed with symbolic demarcation and subtle barriers that mark transitions between zones such as different colored or textured pathways, flower beds, ground cover, and decorative fencing.  When more substantial barriers are needed, shrubbery and thorny bushes are effective in creating a more formidable obstacle.  The uniqueness and success of CPTED comes from the integration of crime prevention principles and techniques into the architectural design process.  Quick Serve (QSR) and Fast Casual restaurants are vulnerable to robbery because of cash transactions with the public, late at night.  Four overlapping CPTED principles are particularly effective in comprehensive crime prevention programs to help people feel safer and deter crime.  The overall function is to affect behavior and create the impression that activity is monitored and misbehavior will be addressed.

1.  Natural Surveillance – Places physical features in ways to maximize the ability to see what’s going on.  One of the biggest obstacles of natural surveillance in QSR and Fast Casual restaurants is advertizing plastered over the windows.  It prevents police patrols and others from observing activity inside the restaurant, particularly after the sun goes down.  The same is true for overgrown plants and bushes that cover the windows.  Inside, convex mirrors improve the view of blind spots.  A camera system with a monitor in the office provides a view and records activity inside and outside.  An enunciator or strobe light that goes off when the back door is opened presents additional awareness.  A manager wearing a drive-thru headset during evening and late night hours not only provides awareness of drive-thru activity, but additional security and communications when needed.  A window overlooking the kitchen assists in monitoring activity.

2.  Physical Security – Properly located entrances, locks, fencing, landscaping and lighting deter crime.


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