March 22, 2010

EBay Teams Up To Help Fight Internet Crime

On Monday, Ebay Inc. said they have teamed up with the National Retail Federation, the trade group for the retail industry, to combat organized retail crime.

Reuters reports that the two companies will receive support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The partnership aims to help law enforcement in criminal probes and to prevent crimes in which goods are stolen from brick-and-mortar stores and then resold online.

According to a report released in November from Retail Research and Checkpoint Systems, retail theft reached about $115 billion globally last year.

Although part of the loss comes from shoplifting by the public and theft by employees, the majority of the loss is from organized retail crime.

Ninety-two percent of retailers complained of organized retail crime in the past year, according to a 2009 NRF study.  About 73 percent said the level of these crimes has risen.

EBay has strived to ensure that brands sold on its site are legitimate and that posts from sellers peddling counterfeit goods are removed quickly.

Brands complain that stolen goods easily make their way to the Internet, where their origins are more difficult to track.

EBay and the NRF said representatives from their groups meet regularly to brainstorm the best ways to help prevent organized retail crime, while using technology to help identify and track crime rings.

They said they would team up with the FBI to help identify crime rings responsible for stealing merchandise in bulk.  They also said they plan to work together on legislation to strengthen resources for federal law enforcement and enhance penalties for crimes.


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