The RealReal’s ‘Faux and Tell’ discloses fakes published on the site

The RealReal’s stock plunged by nearly 11%, shaving off more than $202 million in market value, on the day a CNBC investigation revealed problems in the company’s authentication process. But CNBC found many of the items on the site were being authenticated by copywriters with limited training, leading to mistakes. ‘Faux and Tell’The internal documents, called “Copywriting Faux and Tell,” are “a weekly recap of TRR published and returned counterfeits.” The “GG” is described as a “garish” gold, in


The RealReal’s stock plunged by nearly 11%, shaving off more than $202 million in market value, on the day a CNBC investigation revealed problems in the company’s authentication process.
But CNBC found many of the items on the site were being authenticated by copywriters with limited training, leading to mistakes.
‘Faux and Tell’The internal documents, called “Copywriting Faux and Tell,” are “a weekly recap of TRR published and returned counterfeits.”
The “GG” is described as a “garish” gold, in
The RealReal’s ‘Faux and Tell’ discloses fakes published on the site Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-21  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, waverly colville, caroline skinner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, copywriters, tell, company, published, faux, fakes, documents, realreal, reports, items, authentication, discloses, site, companys, realreals


The RealReal's 'Faux and Tell' discloses fakes published on the site

The RealReal’s stock plunged by nearly 11%, shaving off more than $202 million in market value, on the day a CNBC investigation revealed problems in the company’s authentication process. As of Tuesday’s market close, its stock is down 20.7% since the report on Nov. 5, or a loss of $384.5 million. The company responded by saying its authentication was rigorous and constantly improving.

Julie Wainwright, CEO, The RealReal Scott Mlyn | CNBC

But its own internal documents obtained by CNBC show how deep the problems have been for some time. The RealReal, the world’s largest online consumer marketplace for luxury items, has touted that all its merchandise is “100% authentic” handled by a team of experts. But CNBC found many of the items on the site were being authenticated by copywriters with limited training, leading to mistakes. Two days after the story aired, CEO Julie Wainwright emailed customers saying, “we strive for perfection but we may not be perfect every single time.” She repeated that promise in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money” last week. The company, in a news release, said copywriters receive a minimum of 30 hours of training and review “low risk” brands, while “high risk” merchandise such as an Hermes Birkin bag are sent to expert authenticators. But the internal documents obtained after the CNBC investigation find the company has a long way to go.

‘Faux and Tell’

The internal documents, called “Copywriting Faux and Tell,” are “a weekly recap of TRR published and returned counterfeits.” They were sent to copywriters at the company’s warehouse in Brisbane, California. The company did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment about the documents, other than to say in an email, “We do not share specific details on our proprietary training programs.” A total of 227 pages from the first and third quarters of 2019 show specific examples of what are labeled “TRR fakes.” The items include purported Louis Vuitton slides in a style that was never created. Ugg boots marked with the wrong logo and bow. Moncler track pants tagged with a label that says T-shirt. A separate pair of slides from “The Row” and a Valentino scarf were supposed to be made in Italy but the label on the TRR fakes say they were “made in China.” Here is a look at some of the reports: These fake Ugg boots have an incorrect label, bow and sole. These fake Moncler track pants contain a label that says “T-shirt.” This Valentino scarf should say “Made in Italy,” but the fake says “Made in China.” These fake Jimmy Choo shoes misspell the brand as “Jimmy Ghoo” on the sole. The reports offer a sampling of the types of counterfeit products that slipped through the company’s vetting process. These include mistakes that may appear to be obvious. For example, an employee missed Jimmy Choo flats that misspell the company’s name on the sole. It reads “Jimmy Ghoo.” And a Gucci belt without any branding on the leather. The “GG” is described as a “garish” gold, in one of the company’s documents. The “Faux and Tell” reports are divided into ready to wear, handbags, accessories and shoes. Some describe “inferior screws” and “incorrect hardware on a bag.” Others specify incorrect fonts on labels, sloppy interior stitching and a “strong chemical odor.” The CNBC investigation revealed copywriters were working under a strict quota system, which they said led to obvious errors, similar to what is specified in these sample “Faux and Tell” reports. In her recent comments, Wainwright has not addressed the quota system. In a news release issued on Nov. 13, she said, “we stand behind our business, and importantly, if our customers aren’t happy or if they ever question one of our products, we always make it right.”

While the documents were sent to copywriters at the company’s Brisbane, California warehouse, a former employee at the Secaucus, New Jersey warehouse told CNBC that she saw similar documents during presentations to staff. The RealReal also has a warehouse in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. In a news release, The RealReal said its authentication team processed nearly 490,000 items and caught about 4,000 fakes in October alone. Another 139 products were rejected by the company’s quality control team before being posted. She did not say how many fakes have been sold on The RealReal’s site or in its three retail stores. Publicly available financial reports also do not break down the number of fakes. The company’s site said: “Online and in-store purchases may be returned online (except non-member and cash refund returns which must be made in-store). Online returns must be requested within 14 days of in-store purchase or shipment date and items must be received within 21 days of in-store purchase or shipment date. Items received after 21 days or with the security tag missing or removed cannot be returned.” The company said it has sold more than 11.5 million items since it started eight years ago. The RealReal has advertised on its Facebook page that it “is the leader in authenticated luxury consignment. With an expert behind every item, we ensure everything we sell is 100% real.” The reference to “100% real” was removed from the page on Nov. 5, the day the CNBC investigation aired. Claims of everything “100% authentic” also have been scrubbed from the company’s website. Analysts have said that if customers don’t trust the authentication process, that would likely have a negative impact on the stock. Wainwright has said 82% of its gross merchandise volume is from repeat buyers and 81% is from repeat consignors, indicating there is a high trust in the company. In a research note dated Nov. 4, Cowen Equity Research was upbeat. “Authentication has been an area of investor concern; however, we believe REAL is the only player that can currently authenticate luxury goods across various categories with scale, and REAL continues to invest behind detecting counterfeits,” the Cowen report said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-21  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, waverly colville, caroline skinner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, copywriters, tell, company, published, faux, fakes, documents, realreal, reports, items, authentication, discloses, site, companys, realreals


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The RealReal’s ‘Faux and Tell’ discloses fakes published on the site

The RealReal’s stock plunged by nearly 11%, shaving off more than $202 million in market value, on the day a CNBC investigation revealed problems in the company’s authentication process. But CNBC found many of the items on the site were being authenticated by copywriters with limited training, leading to mistakes. ‘Faux and Tell’The internal documents, called “Copywriting Faux and Tell,” are “a weekly recap of TRR published and returned counterfeits.” The “GG” is described as a “garish” gold, in


The RealReal’s stock plunged by nearly 11%, shaving off more than $202 million in market value, on the day a CNBC investigation revealed problems in the company’s authentication process.
But CNBC found many of the items on the site were being authenticated by copywriters with limited training, leading to mistakes.
‘Faux and Tell’The internal documents, called “Copywriting Faux and Tell,” are “a weekly recap of TRR published and returned counterfeits.”
The “GG” is described as a “garish” gold, in
The RealReal’s ‘Faux and Tell’ discloses fakes published on the site Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-20  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, waverly colville, caroline skinner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, published, documents, copywriters, discloses, site, fakes, tell, companys, items, company, reports, realreal, authentication, faux, realreals


The RealReal's 'Faux and Tell' discloses fakes published on the site

The RealReal’s stock plunged by nearly 11%, shaving off more than $202 million in market value, on the day a CNBC investigation revealed problems in the company’s authentication process. As of Tuesday’s market close, its stock is down 20.7% since the report on Nov. 5, or a loss of $384.5 million. The company responded by saying its authentication was rigorous and constantly improving.

Julie Wainwright, CEO, The RealReal Scott Mlyn | CNBC

But its own internal documents obtained by CNBC show how deep the problems have been for some time. The RealReal, the world’s largest online consumer marketplace for luxury items, has touted that all its merchandise is “100% authentic” handled by a team of experts. But CNBC found many of the items on the site were being authenticated by copywriters with limited training, leading to mistakes. Two days after the story aired, CEO Julie Wainwright emailed customers saying, “we strive for perfection but we may not be perfect every single time.” She repeated that promise in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money” last week. The company, in a news release, said copywriters receive a minimum of 30 hours of training and review “low risk” brands, while “high risk” merchandise such as an Hermes Birkin bag are sent to expert authenticators. But the internal documents obtained after the CNBC investigation find the company has a long way to go.

‘Faux and Tell’

The internal documents, called “Copywriting Faux and Tell,” are “a weekly recap of TRR published and returned counterfeits.” They were sent to copywriters at the company’s warehouse in Brisbane, California. The company did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment about the documents, other than to say in an email, “We do not share specific details on our proprietary training programs.” A total of 227 pages from the first and third quarters of 2019 show specific examples of what are labeled “TRR fakes.” The items include purported Louis Vuitton slides in a style that was never created. Ugg boots marked with the wrong logo and bow. Moncler track pants tagged with a label that says T-shirt. A separate pair of slides from “The Row” and a Valentino scarf were supposed to be made in Italy but the label on the TRR fakes say they were “Made in China.” Here is a look at some of the reports: These fake Ugg boots have an incorrect label, bow and sole. These fake Moncler track pants contain a label that says “T-shirt.” This Valentino scarf should say “Made in Italy,” but the fake says “Made in China.” These fake Jimmy Choo shoes misspell the brand as “Jimmy Ghoo” on the sole. The reports offer a sampling of the types of counterfeit products that slipped through the company’s vetting process. These include mistakes that may appear to be obvious. For example, an employee missed Jimmy Choo flats that misspell the company’s name on the sole. It reads “Jimmy Ghoo.” And a Gucci belt without any branding on the leather. The “GG” is described as a “garish” gold, in one of the company’s documents. The “Faux and Tell” reports are divided into ready to wear, handbags, accessories and shoes. Some describe “inferior screws” and “incorrect hardware on a bag.” Others specify incorrect fonts on labels, sloppy interior stitching and a “strong chemical odor.” The CNBC investigation revealed copywriters were working under a strict quota system, which they said led to obvious errors, similar to what is specified in these sample “Faux and Tell” reports. In her recent comments, Wainwright has not addressed the quota system. In a news release issued on Nov. 13, she said, “we stand behind our business, and importantly, if our customers aren’t happy or if they ever question one of our products, we always make it right.”

While the documents were sent to copywriters at the company’s Brisbane, California warehouse, a former employee at the Secaucus, New Jersey, warehouse told CNBC that she saw similar documents during presentations to staff. The RealReal also has a warehouse in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. In a news release, The RealReal said its authentication team processed nearly 490,000 items and caught about 4,000 fakes in October alone. Another 139 products were rejected by the company’s quality control team before being posted. She did not say how many fakes have been sold on The RealReal’s site or in its three retail stores. Publicly available financial reports also do not break down the number of fakes. The company’s site said: “Online and in-store purchases may be returned online (except non-member and cash refund returns which must be made in-store). Online returns must be requested within 14 days of in-store purchase or shipment date and items must be received within 21 days of in-store purchase or shipment date. Items received after 21 days or with the security tag missing or removed cannot be returned.” The company said it has sold more than 11.5 million items since it started eight years ago. The RealReal has advertised on its Facebook page that it “is the leader in authenticated luxury consignment. With an expert behind every item, we ensure everything we sell is 100% real.” The reference to “100% real” was removed from the page on Nov. 5, the day the CNBC investigation aired. Claims of everything “100% authentic” also have been scrubbed from the company’s website. Analysts have said that if customers don’t trust the authentication process, that would likely have a negative impact on the stock. Wainwright has said 82% of its gross merchandise volume is from repeat buyers and 81% is from repeat consignors, indicating there is a high trust in the company. In a research note dated Nov. 4, Cowen Equity Research was upbeat. “Authentication has been an area of investor concern; however, we believe REAL is the only player that can currently authenticate luxury goods across various categories with scale, and REAL continues to invest behind detecting counterfeits,” the Cowen report said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-20  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, waverly colville, caroline skinner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, published, documents, copywriters, discloses, site, fakes, tell, companys, items, company, reports, realreal, authentication, faux, realreals


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‘We may not be perfect every single time,’ The RealReal CEO tells customers after CNBC report

The RealReal CEO Julie Wainwright conceded on Wednesday that the luxury consignment marketplace’s claim of not having any fakes on its website may not be correct. “We strive for perfection, but may not be perfect every single time,” Wainwright wrote in an email to customers and consignors. In the email, Wainwright described the coverage as “attempting to discredit the business we have so proudly built.” CNBC reviewed nearly 1,400 reviews of the company online and found fakes, damage and customer


The RealReal CEO Julie Wainwright conceded on Wednesday that the luxury consignment marketplace’s claim of not having any fakes on its website may not be correct.
“We strive for perfection, but may not be perfect every single time,” Wainwright wrote in an email to customers and consignors.
In the email, Wainwright described the coverage as “attempting to discredit the business we have so proudly built.”
CNBC reviewed nearly 1,400 reviews of the company online and found fakes, damage and customer
‘We may not be perfect every single time,’ The RealReal CEO tells customers after CNBC report Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-07  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, single, value, wainwright, customers, ceo, sent, realreal, email, fakes, company, perfect, site, report, items, tells


'We may not be perfect every single time,' The RealReal CEO tells customers after CNBC report

The RealReal CEO Julie Wainwright conceded on Wednesday that the luxury consignment marketplace’s claim of not having any fakes on its website may not be correct.

“We strive for perfection, but may not be perfect every single time,” Wainwright wrote in an email to customers and consignors.

Wainwright’s message was sent one day after CNBC reported that copywriters, who were hired to write descriptions of items, were verifying the authenticity of items without sufficient training. Former employees also said they were operating under strict quotas, in a culture that focused on volume. They said this could lead to fakes or mistakes on the site.

The stock of the company, which went public in June, has dropped more than 20% to trade around $17.50 since the report. It has lost about $380 million in market value, bringing its current capitalization to $1.5 billion.

The RealReal has long tried to differentiate itself from competitors by saying it has a process by which it authenticates ever item on its site to make sure there are no counterfeits.

In the email, Wainwright described the coverage as “attempting to discredit the business we have so proudly built.”

“Counterfeiting is a global issue and those engaged in its practice are egregious and relentless,” Wainwright’s email said. “Therefore, the entire team at The RealReal works diligently seven days a week to ensure the highest standards in our authentication practices.”

She added: “There is no other resale company doing more to remove fakes, and put counterfeiters out of business than The RealReal.”

CNBC reviewed nearly 1,400 reviews of the company online and found fakes, damage and customer service were the top complaints.

The day after the report, two unhappy customers who were interviewed received an email from the company, cancelling their memberships.

“It has come to our attention that The RealReal has been unable to satisfy your needs as a client. Please be advised that your membership with The RealReal has been canceled and you will no longer be able to shop or consign on our site,” the email sent to Cherish Garcia said.

Garcia, who lives in the Philippines, said The RealReal sold her a fake Prada dress in 2017 and has not used the site since.

Wendy Meltzer, who also complained about receiving a designer scarf with the wrong tag attached, which inflated its value, received a similar email on Tuesday from the company cancelling her membership. Meltzer has been a customer and consignor.

“The items you have on consignment with us are being returned along with a check for outstanding commissions,” the email said.

Below is a copy of the full email:


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-07  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger
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Poor training and quotas threaten The RealReal’s pledge of ‘no fakes’ on its site

For example, Prada handbags, wallets and pouches were sent to the authentication team, while shoes and garments were not. Our authentication team receives daily training updates to stay ahead of the latest developments from brands and counterfeiters.” The RealReal’s use of copywriters to authenticate items is not new. Emily Bobb, a former copywriter who worked at the Secaucus warehouse, said she tried her best to authenticate items, with limited training. She said only “high risk” items are sent


For example, Prada handbags, wallets and pouches were sent to the authentication team, while shoes and garments were not.
Our authentication team receives daily training updates to stay ahead of the latest developments from brands and counterfeiters.”
The RealReal’s use of copywriters to authenticate items is not new.
Emily Bobb, a former copywriter who worked at the Secaucus warehouse, said she tried her best to authenticate items, with limited training.
She said only “high risk” items are sent
Poor training and quotas threaten The RealReal’s pledge of ‘no fakes’ on its site Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-05  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger waverly colvill, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, waverly colville, caroline skinner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, threaten, fakes, training, poor, team, copywriters, pledge, realreal, chanel, site, authentication, items, quotas, realreals, company, authenticate


Poor training and quotas threaten The RealReal's pledge of 'no fakes' on its site

Wendy Meltzer prides herself on knowing fashion. “I would say I’m extremely savvy,” she said. “I’m comfortable when I go to buy something, I’m getting a fair deal, if not a steal.” So she found what she thought was a perfect solution to clearing out her closets by selling her clothes and bags to The RealReal, the world’s largest marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment. But after years as a happy customer selling and buying from the company, she says she is now not only unhappy but outraged. “If your name is The RealReal, inexcusable. Don’t say you’re The RealReal with authenticators and not be able to stand behind it,” Meltzer said.

Wendy Meltzer, The RealReal Customer Source: CNBC

She is not alone. Of nearly 1,400 reviews of the company found online, the top complaints are fakes, damage and poor customer service. The complaints include wrong sizes and that the photos online were misleading because they did not match the appearance of the item. The RealReal, launched in 2011, went public this year on June 28. That day, CEO and founder Julie Wainwright said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that “every single item has already been inspected, authenticated before it gets on the site.” And in 2016, she told CNBC, “There’s no fakes on our site.” This promise is key to the brand’s identity: the idea that the company takes an extra step to ensure items are authentic. Several analysts said that its valuation could be hurt if consumers stopped trusting this promise. At the start of November, the company was valued at about $2 billion, but the shares have yet to return to the high set on the day it debuted.

The RealReal exterior Soruce: CNBC

The company’s high profile dovetails with the increasing popularity in luxury online shopping and benefits from a consumer who is more willing to buy secondhand merchandise. A report by Cowen Equity Research estimates $200 billion worth of U.S. luxury goods are available for resale, saying The RealReal is “the only platform currently that offers a vast product offering with 100% authentic luxury items.” On its Facebook page, The RealReal proclaims “with an expert behind every item, we ensure everything we sell is 100 percent real.” A CNBC investigation found real questions about that claim, after interviewing nearly three dozen former employees, speaking to unsatisfied customers around the country and obtaining an internal company document from 2018 that shows copywriters in the Secaucus, New Jersey, warehouse have been tasked with authenticating some of the items that go on The RealReal’s site. Copywriters said they had little training on how to spot fakes and were hired to write descriptions of the items to post on the website. Broadly speaking, there isn’t any formal training or certification for authenticators who handle luxury items in the industry. But those who do this type of work say fakes are becoming more and more difficult to spot. Other internal company documents clearly spell out strict quotas that employees have been expected to meet or face discipline. This means some obvious problems with merchandise can be overlooked.

‘Obviously a major error’

Meltzer said it was inexcusable that The RealReal sold her a scarf that was mislabeled. She showed CNBC the scarf from designer Loro Piana that she bought from The RealReal for $537. She said she thought she was getting a great deal because The RealReal’s listing valued the scarf at $3,325. When the scarf arrived at her home, Meltzer said she discovered the price tag attached to it belonged to a women’s coat from Loro Piana. CNBC sent the scarf to Loro Piana, which confirmed the wrong tag was attached but the scarf was authentic. After Meltzer complained, a RealReal employee admitted in a text message to her that it was “obviously a major error.” CNBC found that this was not an isolated case. In September, celebrity shoe designer Amina Muaddi called out The RealReal on her Instagram page for selling a fake shoe on the site. “I was disappointed to see a website like @therealreal selling an overpriced fake version of the shoe which I never even made in a flat version,” Muaddi wrote on her Instagram page. “I don’t want you to risk purchasing fake product.”

Cherish Garcia The RealReal Customer Soruce: CNBC

Cherish Garcia, who lives in the Philippines, was also a satisfied customer until she bought what was advertised as a Prada dress. “I was pretty excited,” Garcia said. “And then when the dress arrived, it’s like what you hear about when you order on the internet — expectation versus reality. It was a cheap-looking polyester. And the lining was cheap too. I have Prada dresses, so I know the quality.” She said TheRealReal insisted the dress was authentic. But she said she got even more suspicious when she saw a very similar dress from a lower-end brand on the site. That’s when she took her complaint to Diet Prada, a popular Instagram account that calls out fake items. The day after that was published, she said, TheRealReal offered to take back the dress. “I honestly don’t think that dress was thoroughly checked. I think maybe they’ve just gotten too big and are not willing to put the time to really check each item,” Garcia said. CNBC made repeated requests to The RealReal for interviews with Wainwright or a company official, which were declined. After CNBC asked for specific comment about the copywriters and quotas, the company emailed a statement, which did not address those issues. The statement said, in part, “Unlike most resale companies, The RealReal takes possession of all items and physically evaluates every one to authenticate it. All items are put through a thorough, brand-specific authentication process by our trained team of luxury experts before they are accepted for consignment.”

Former employees speak out

Dozens of former employees — most who were afraid to be quoted by name — said the company’s claim of expert authentication was not accurate. Chanice Parchment said she felt it was important to speak out. “It was almost like a nightmare,” said Parchment, who worked at The RealReal for nearly 3½ years. Parchment, who described her job as a team leader tasked with spotting mistakes, said the explosive growth of the company and demands on employees made it unbearable to work there.

Chanice Parchment, Former Employee Soruce: CNBC

“In the beginning, I loved it. It was awesome,” she said. But, she said, the quotas were unreasonable and led to mistakes. “Everyone is supposed to authenticate everything at the end of the day,” she said. “That should be part of your skill, but there were certain items, like Chanel, Louis (Vuitton), Yeezy, Prada, that would go to our authentication team.” Parchment and other former employees said that copywriters, who often examined the items, did not have sufficient training to spot fakes. “It’s so much product. It’s really hard for someone to properly authenticate something when they’re not probably the best qualified to be even doing that in the first place,” she said. “And they’re being rushed to hit a goal.” An internal chart from 2018 obtained by CNBC shows which products and items were being authenticated by copywriters. For example, Prada handbags, wallets and pouches were sent to the authentication team, while shoes and garments were not. Hermes garments and shoes were being authenticated by copywriters, as were Gucci hats, scarves, belts and shoes. All Chanel went to the authentication team, but for Lady Dior it was only handbags. Some of the most counterfeited brands in the world include Chanel and Gucci, according to a 2015 World Customs Organization Report. The RealReal told CNBC that the company employs more than 100 gemologists, horologists and “brand experts on staff, as well as hundreds of additional trained authenticators. We make every effort to accurately authenticate the items we receive, arming our authenticators with tools and technology as well as authentication guides. Our authentication team receives daily training updates to stay ahead of the latest developments from brands and counterfeiters.” “Authentication is extremely complex. It’s both an art and science. We stand by our authentication process and will always work with our customers to make things right,” the company said in a statement. The RealReal said it will refund the price of an item if there is a question about its authenticity and that it has a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeiting. Asked for additional comment, Erin Santy, head of public relations, said, “What I provided is our final statement.” But Parchment said, in her experience, corrections were frequent. “I don’t think anyone had enough training at the end of the day,” Parchment said. “The fakes are getting really good. And when you have such a high volume that you have to get through and you’re worried about hitting your goal, at the end of the day, I don’t really think they cared whether it was real or not anyway.” Internal documents stated copywriters have been subject to disciplinary action if a minimum of 50% of their daily quota was not met. “It is expected that copywriters will reach their daily quota during their shift,” a document marked “updated Feb. 1, 2019” stated. “Daily quotas are set depending on the category the copywriter is in. Copywriters are expected to consistently reach their daily quotas.” In the ready-to-wear category, the daily quota was 105 items for an eight-hour shift and 131 items for a 10-hour shift. In contemporary ready-to-wear, it was 128 items for an eight-hour shift and 160 items for a 10-hour shift. The RealReal’s use of copywriters to authenticate items is not new. Greta Stehr, a former luxury manager in Los Angeles for The RealReal, said she saw that firsthand during an employee tour of the Secaucus warehouse in 2015. “The first time that I became aware of something like this happening was when we had a company tour of the Secaucus warehouse during one of our annual summits,” Stehr said. What she witnessed shocked her. “So instead of the top-tier authenticators taking a long time, a sufficient amount of time to review each piece, most pieces were being handled by the copywriters, and only very, very high-value items, it seemed, were being authenticated by the actual lead authenticators,” she said. “It was very surprising because I was under the impression, even as an employee, that every item was authenticated by an expert. And it didn’t really seem to be the case when we saw what was actually happening,” she said. Stehr compared the company’s culture to a “rat race.” “Everyone was racing around so intensely and so aggressively that it almost felt unreal,” she said. “I have never been in a corporate environment like that before.” Stehr left the company after three years to work for a competitor. The RealReal sued her, accusing her of

taking its clients, which she denies. The case was eventually settled. A former supervisor in Los Angeles, who oversaw a team of employees, confirmed that “there is a huge amount of pressure to get this stuff on the site.” Another former manager said The RealReal’s authenticity claim should be revised. “In general, I don’t think many companies can say 100%. Maybe they should switch to something else,” the former manager said, adding that copywriters should not be authenticating any items.

The thing about authentication is that there’s no formal training, so it’s kind of like the wild West in a sense. There’s not a roboticism to it. There’s some level of human error and opinion involved. Anthony Velez Owner, Bagriculture

A former senior level manager, who said he could not be identified because of his non-disclosure agreement with the company, described quotas as “benchmarks” that any company would need to set up to achieve success. The company’s goal, he said, was to have “zero fakes.” Emily Bobb, a former copywriter who worked at the Secaucus warehouse, said she tried her best to authenticate items, with limited training. “We had slideshows which helped you authenticate an item,” Bobb said. “So I would use that to kind of help me out. And I sort of had an idea of, you know, how to authenticate a handbag. So I would go in and do it myself, praying that it was authentic.” “We had such a big number to hit every single day, 10 hours a day, four days a week, you know? And it’s overwhelming. And all you focused on is, ‘I have to hit this goal, so I could be good for the month.'” “I had training. I wouldn’t say I had enough because I obviously had some bags that I published on the site that were fake,” said Bobb, who worked at The RealReal for about one year and left in August. She said a manager had alerted her to the fake items she had published. Bobb posted a photo from the CNBC interview on her Instagram account.

Emily Bobb, former employee Soruce: CNBC

Two days after the interview, she received a letter from a law firm representing The RealReal warning her that she was bound by a non-disclosure agreement she signed when she took the job. “We are aware that you have met with reporters from CNBC,” the letter dated Sept. 19 said. “We write this letter to express our concern that in the course of those interviews, you may have used and disclosed The RealReal’s highly sensitive, proprietary information you may have unlawfully taken from The RealReal.”

Chanel files lawsuit

Issues with authentication were also raised in a lawsuit filed last year by Chanel Inc. against The RealReal. In the suit, Chanel claims The RealReal has sold counterfeit Chanel handbags. “Only Chanel itself can know what is genuine Chanel,” the suit said. In a statement to CNBC, a Chanel spokesperson said, “Chanel would like to reassure its clients about the fact that they are, of course, completely free to resell, give or offer any item they have purchased at Chanel. In this precise matter, the House has brought this lawsuit to reaffirm its commitment to protect consumers seeking to purchase Chanel products.” The luxury designer said its goal was that “customers are not deceived or mislead by false marketing or advertising efforts which imply that this platform can guarantee the authenticity of Chanel products whereas several counterfeited items were available among the displayed products.” In response, The RealReal said in court documents that “Chanel’s objective is not to police the market for counterfeit goods, but rather to stifle the legitimate secondary market by harassing (The RealReal) with meritless litigation.” It also said that “bad actors sometimes try to pass off counterfeit products and TRR fights against this reality by employing a team of trained authenticators.” The case is pending in federal court in the Southern District of New York.

Chief authenticator departs

The RealReal’s chief authenticator, Graham Wetzbarger, abruptly left in October. Wetzbarger was the face of the authentication department and appeared in numerous videos on the site that explained the steps of the company’s vetting process, reassuring potential customers that all the items on the site were real. Reached by phone, Wetzbarger said in a brief conversation that his departure was unrelated to any issues with the authentication process. “I won’t discuss why I left the company,” he said. “I am working as an independent appraiser. I’m looking to see what’s next.” He also would not respond to questions about the copywriters’ duties and quotas. However, late Monday during the company’s earnings call, Wainwright acknowledged that copywriters do authenticate certain items. She said only “high risk” items are sent to the expert authentication team. This was the first time she has publicly addressed this issue.

Anthony Velez, Bagriculture Owner Soruce: CNBC


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-05  Authors: scott zamost andrea day jennifer schlesinger waverly colvill, scott zamost, andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, waverly colville, caroline skinner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, threaten, fakes, training, poor, team, copywriters, pledge, realreal, chanel, site, authentication, items, quotas, realreals, company, authenticate


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Surveillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs — and the crime is getting more common

The U.S. Secret Service gave CNBC surveillance video from two incidents that showed people attacking ATMs in broad daylight. These are two alleged criminals that dressed up as ATM workers to attack an ATM, according to the U.S. Secret Service. And there was pedestrian traffic,” said Greg Naranjo, a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. Greg Naranjo is a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. “When that street thug walks away with the mon


The U.S. Secret Service gave CNBC surveillance video from two incidents that showed people attacking ATMs in broad daylight. These are two alleged criminals that dressed up as ATM workers to attack an ATM, according to the U.S. Secret Service. And there was pedestrian traffic,” said Greg Naranjo, a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. Greg Naranjo is a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. “When that street thug walks away with the mon
Surveillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs — and the crime is getting more common Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-01  Authors: jennifer schlesinger andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, andrea day
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, attacking, alleged, atm, theyre, secret, money, ibm, attacks, criminals, videos, common, service, xforce, getting, crime, source, atms, surveillance


Surveillance videos show alleged criminals attacking ATMs — and the crime is getting more common

The recent Capital One breach of more than 100 million customer records has left consumers worrying about banking safety. But the threats extend far beyond customer records, as hackers are increasingly finding ways to attack ATMs. “We know for a fact that ATM crime and fraud does cost the banking industry and financial services industry billions of dollars per year,” said David Tente the executive director for the U.S. and Americas for the ATM Industry Association, ATMIA. The trade group includes financial institutions as well as ATM manufacturers. The U.S. Secret Service gave CNBC surveillance video from two incidents that showed people attacking ATMs in broad daylight.

These are two alleged criminals that dressed up as ATM workers to attack an ATM, according to the U.S. Secret Service. Source: U.S. Secret Service

“I’ve seen surveillance footage of technicians dressed up as actual technicians come up to a department store where the ATM was located right by the front door. And there was pedestrian traffic,” said Greg Naranjo, a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. “And they’re working on this ATM for approximately 30 minutes when they finally install their device and depart and then have the cashing crew come in and cash out the machine,” These attacks and others cost $3.5 million between late 2017 and early 2018, according to the Secret Service, which protects Americans from financial crimes.

Greg Naranjo is a Secret Service special agent in charge from the Miami field office. Source: CNBC

For these physical attacks, one criminal plants a device on the back of the ATM, which is one reason why . Depending on how it’s programmed, the machine could just spit out cash. But most of the time, criminal accomplices walk up and insert a card and enter a PIN to make it look like they’re real customers. To learn how to pull the attacks off, Naranjo says, criminal gangs have set up training facilities in South and Central America. “They have stolen machines from banks. They have training rooms with different types of ATMs,” he said. Physical attacks like these are on the rise. In a recent survey of ATM operators that the ATMIA shared with CNBC, 57 percent of respondents said physical attacks are increasing. The survey also found that stand-alone ATMs not connected to a bank were the most common for fraud. Stores and shopping malls were other common locations for fraud.

David Tente is the executive director for the U.S. and Americas for the ATM Industry Association, ATMIA. Source: CNBC

Physical attacks are not the only threat ATMs need to watch out for. Hackers can remotely access a bank’s servers to get it to allow ATM transactions, according to IBM Security’s X-Force Red, a team that does penetration testing. “We intercept the traffic, the response from the bank and change the ‘deny’ response to an approval,” said David Byrne, the global head of methodology for X-Force Red.

David Byrne is a global hacking methodology expert for IBM Security’s X-Force Red. He demonstrates how to refill an ATM. Source: CNBC

CNBC visited IBM’s ATM testing lab outside Toronto where the team demonstrated how this attack worked. Byrne demonstrated how a CNBC reporter could take out money using a grocery loyalty card and an old student ID. Any card with a magnetic stripe would work.

ATMs inside IBM Security’s ATM testing lab outside Toronto, Canada. Source: CNBC

“The street thug that the hacker mastermind sends out could conceivably sit here and just collect money after money after money until the ATM is empty,” said Charles Henderson, the global managing partner of X-Force Red. “When that street thug walks away with the money from an ATM, they’re gone forever.” IBM has seen a 500 percent increase in ATM testing demand from banks. “They’re seeing the attacks in the wild, and they’re trying to get ahead of the criminals,” Henderson said. “The thing about these machines is they’re very often connected to the internet…That’s a very important vulnerability, and one that we exploit in a lot of our ATM testing.”

Charles Henderson is the global managing partner of IBM Security’s X-Force Red. Source: CNBC


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-01  Authors: jennifer schlesinger andrea day, jennifer schlesinger, andrea day
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, attacking, alleged, atm, theyre, secret, money, ibm, attacks, criminals, videos, common, service, xforce, getting, crime, source, atms, surveillance


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How one entrepreneur’s American dream turned into a copycat nightmare

The copycat straws sell for as little as a dollar when sold at wholesale. Cohen showed CNBC copycat straws that did not pop into position to allow drinking the same way her company’s straws did. A copycat straw purchased by CNBC Beijing. CNBCCNBC Beijing purchased a copycat straw and asked Chinese product designer Bruce Qin to test it. Qin said the cleaning tool in the copycat straw seemed like it would break easily.


The copycat straws sell for as little as a dollar when sold at wholesale. Cohen showed CNBC copycat straws that did not pop into position to allow drinking the same way her company’s straws did. A copycat straw purchased by CNBC Beijing. CNBCCNBC Beijing purchased a copycat straw and asked Chinese product designer Bruce Qin to test it. Qin said the cleaning tool in the copycat straw seemed like it would break easily.
How one entrepreneur’s American dream turned into a copycat nightmare Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: jennifer schlesinger andrea day bianca fortis euni, jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, bianca fortis, eunice yoon, lilian wu
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, company, entrepreneurs, nightmare, american, finalstraw, straw, straws, turned, cohen, kickstarter, copycat, dream, influencers, product


How one entrepreneur's American dream turned into a copycat nightmare

The business started out beyond Emma Cohen’s wildest dreams, but soon she discovered a threat to the brand she was building. Her company, FinalStraw, makes an environmentally friendly reusable straw. It took off on crowdfunding website Kickstarter about year ago. And then a few months later, in October, it got to pitch its product on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” But soon after launching, Cohen realized she had an unexpected problem — loads of counterfeits were coming to market from across the globe. “The whole point of the company is to reduce single-use plastic waste. And when people get one of these [knockoff straws], and they open it up, and it doesn’t work, and it only cost $5, guess where it’s going? It’s going in the trash,” said Cohen, FinalStraw’s CEO. “The entire mission of what we’re trying to do as a company has been defeated by these fake FinalStraws.” By comparison, FinalStraw sells its collapsible straw for $25. It comes in a carrying case with a cleaning brush. In 2018, the brand made $5 million in revenue, according to Cohen. FinalStraw’s problem isn’t unique. Copycatters are monitoring crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and watching for trendy products to go viral, according to Amedeo Ferraro, an intellectual property attorney. The situation is an example of U.S. complaints about China’s theft of intellectual property. That’s one issue in the trade war between Washington and Beijing. “We were just hoping and praying to sell enough straws that we wouldn’t have to make them ourselves,” said Cohen, who co-founded FinalStraw with Miles Pepper, reflecting on the decision to use Kickstarter. “And within 48 hours of launching the Kickstarter, we’d raised over $200,000,” she said. “We went from zero to 60 real fast.” FinalStraw was hoping for just $12,500 but quickly surpassed that goal. The company ultimately raised nearly $1.9 million on Kickstarter, but within weeks Cohen said she began seeing copies coming from China. On “Shark Tank,” Cohen and her partner received two offers but did not make a deal. One of the Sharks asked about counterfeiting.

FinalStraw founders Emma Rose Cohen and Miles Pepper pitch on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Eric McCandless | Getty Images

“It took us about nine months to create the tooling, get the product ready to manufacture. They were able to do it a matter of weeks,” she said. FinalStraw launched on Kickstarter with a provisional U.S. patent. After raising funds, the company applied for and was granted a utility patent. Still, it’s an ongoing battle. “A patent is only as good as its enforcement,” Cohen said. “It’s essentially a nice, shiny, expensive piece of paper that we then need to go out and enforce.” On Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba and other major retail websites, CNBC found many listings for what appear to be knockoff FinalStraws. One was even using images from the brand’s Kickstarter campaign. One company located in Shenzhen, China, responded to an email from CNBC and said that it could make the straws and emailed pictures that look similar to FinalStraw. CNBC called the contact listed on Alibaba to visit the factory and get more information but the spokeswoman declined to comment.

A building in Shenzhen, China, the city where many companies making copycat FinalStraws are listed as being located in. CNBC

CNBC sent a team to Shenzhen to find other companies selling similar straws online. At least one of companies was not at the address listed online. Chinese laws allow different companies to register under one address, depending on the business scope. The team also visited a factory that produces similar straws but could not enter. A contact from another company that sells similar straws online, told CNBC by phone that the idea for the straw came from a crowdfunding internet company. The contact who only gave his last name Wu also said the straw is mainly sold in Europe and America. The copycat straws sell for as little as a dollar when sold at wholesale. Cohen says the price different comes down to quality. “We get angry emails all the time from customers who are confused as to why the quality of the product that they ordered is terrible,” Cohen said. “The scariest thing is that there is no regulation on the materials that they’re using. There’s no quality control.” Cohen showed CNBC copycat straws that did not pop into position to allow drinking the same way her company’s straws did.

A copycat straw purchased by CNBC Beijing. CNBC

CNBC Beijing purchased a copycat straw and asked Chinese product designer Bruce Qin to test it. “It’s not a good product,” he said. The real FinalStraw comes with a cleaning tool and a drying case so it can reused over and over. Qin said the cleaning tool in the copycat straw seemed like it would break easily. Alibaba originally agreed to an interview with CNBC but then declined hours before it was scheduled. “Protecting the IP of rights holders around the world is critical to our business. … We remove any IP infringing listings, period. Rights holders can enforce their IP rights outside China, e.g. U.S. patent rights, on our cross-border platform,” an Alibaba spokesperson said in part in a statement sent by email. “The fact that 180,000 brands and millions of SMBs [small and midsize businesses] operate on Alibaba’s platforms demonstrates the trust they place in us, and we will continue to work tirelessly to protect brands of all sizes and consumers.” After CNBC contacted Alibaba, the company began helping FinalStraw. “Once we understood the nature of their IP, we worked quickly and collaboratively with FinalStraw to remove suspected infringing listings, and continue to closely partner with them on the removal of the few that require additional analysis,” the spokesperson said. The battle with the copycats has cost the company millions, according to Cohen. FinalStraw has 16 contractors working for the company, three of whom work to fight fraud. Cohen says she is also paying two attorneys. “It’s also very burdensome on our resources, because this is time that my staff could be spending doing way more productive things, versus just fighting off these knockoffs,” Cohen said.

Some of the impostors set up fake websites that look like the real one. Cohen showed CNBC one website that showed the same bio and images of the company’s team that the real website does. The copycats even copied the picture of Cohen’s dog. Cohen and her team are working to take down the impostors. “Most of them were offshore. And it was, first of all, very difficult to find a person. They have good ways of hiding,” said Ferraro, who works with FinalStraw. “Once we finally got to them, wrote to them, some of them were taken down. But then they started popping up again.” Ads for the fake straws also can be found on social media.

Emma Cohen the CEO and co-founder of FinalStraw with her straw (left) and a copycat (right). CNBC

“We were seeing advertisements. And they were all using our own materials. But they were directing to different websites,” Cohen said. “Social media is a weapon for these impostors. They can use it at their discretion however they want. And there’s nobody out there that’s really enforcing it.” Some of the posts were by people known as influencers, people who are paid by companies to make posts promoting companies. Many of these influencers have meme accounts where they post funny images or videos and often stay anonymous. Use of influencers is a growing part of marketing. Eight-six percent of marketers used influencers in 2017, the latest numbers available, according to Linqia, a marketing agency that connects brands with influencers. It can be difficult for influencers working with small businesses to tell which ad requests are legitimate. One influencer, Emily, who posted a fake FinalStraw ad, said she had no idea the ad was fake until CNBC contacted her. The influencer asked CNBC not to use her last name because her account is anonymous. She has over 1 million followers. CNBC is not naming her account since it contains adult content. Emily said she was approached by a company to post the straw on her account. She said originally she did not respond, but when they contacted her again a few months later and had customer reviews, she agreed to post the ad and received a payment for an undisclosed amount. Emily said that while she does try to determine whether a product is legitimate, digging to find that information can be hard work. “I don’t know if it’s me, but I’m a trusting person,” she said in a phone interview. “Why would someone spend this money on an ad that’s not legitimate?” Another account, Funny.window, posted a video with Cohen and the straw in it, but linked to a different seller. “I can’t know who the real legitimate of a product is [sic],” Eugene, who runs the account, said in an email. Funny.window has 1.2 million followers. Other influencers take a different approach. Joey Hickson, who has about 17 million followers across three accounts — including his popular meme account @lmao — has a team of people helping to manage his business, which makes it easier to weed out bad actors. He said both Instagram, as well as influencers, need to work to stop the proliferation of ads for fake products. “We can’t just put all the blame on Instagram, because that’s not fair,” he said. “I think we have our own social compass that we should look at.” Justin Keller, Hickson’s manager, said there is very little regulation of these types of transactions. “It’s the Wild West,” he said. “It’s like a gold rush.”

Joey Hickson, an Instagram influencer, and his manager, Justin Keller. CNBC

“We review every IP report we receive and take action to protect rights holders when someone has used their IP without permission,” an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement sent by email. “When it comes to partnering with brands, we encourage creators to act responsibly and with integrity.” The FBI said the agency has seen similar incidents. “One of the prime examples of that is the hoverboards that came onto the scene a couple Christmases ago, where the counterfeiters — actually the hazardous devices that are being marketed as genuine products — got to market before the actual genuine product did, and obviously those products were dangerous and could catch fire,” said Steven Shapiro, unit chief for the FBI’s intellectual property rights unit. To protect their business, companies may want to consider other methods of funding besides crowdfunding or make sure its intellectual property is secure before launching. “If there is another alternative source of funding like private venture capital or any other way of funding, I would suggest doing that first. But that isn’t something that’s available to everyone,” Ferraro said. FinalStraw is still working on getting a patent and trademark in China. Not having them makes it more difficult for it to fight copycats there. It’s a problem Chinese product designer Qin knows very well. He said his own designs have been knocked off by local factories. “Without a Chinese patent, you probably would be copycatted,” Qin said. Kickstarter said it is aware of copycats that have happened to other entrepreneurs who launched on its site. “It depends on the product. But if you’re coming to Kickstarter to raise funding, you probably want to have all of your protection in place before you launch. That is very important,” said Clarissa Redwine, Kickstarter’s senior design and technology outreach lead. “Once you launch your product is out there in the world.”

Emma Cohen the CEO and co-founder of FinalStraw with her dog. CNBC


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-30  Authors: jennifer schlesinger andrea day bianca fortis euni, jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, bianca fortis, eunice yoon, lilian wu
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, company, entrepreneurs, nightmare, american, finalstraw, straw, straws, turned, cohen, kickstarter, copycat, dream, influencers, product


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Here’s how the trade war could lead to a boom in counterfeit goods

As the trade war between the U.S. and China has continued to heat up, Chinese nationals potentially could turn to a surprising way around tariffs: increasing the number of counterfeit goods, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Trade groups have warned Congress that tariffs could increase costs and drain resources available to fight illicit counterfeits. They also caution that consumers may knowingly or unknowingly seek counterfeit goods as legitimate goods become more expensive. Si


As the trade war between the U.S. and China has continued to heat up, Chinese nationals potentially could turn to a surprising way around tariffs: increasing the number of counterfeit goods, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Trade groups have warned Congress that tariffs could increase costs and drain resources available to fight illicit counterfeits. They also caution that consumers may knowingly or unknowingly seek counterfeit goods as legitimate goods become more expensive. Si
Here’s how the trade war could lead to a boom in counterfeit goods Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, goods, according, product, trade, heres, tariffs, shapiro, products, lead, counterfeit, boom, ways, war, unit


Here's how the trade war could lead to a boom in counterfeit goods

As the trade war between the U.S. and China has continued to heat up, Chinese nationals potentially could turn to a surprising way around tariffs: increasing the number of counterfeit goods, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Trade groups have warned Congress that tariffs could increase costs and drain resources available to fight illicit counterfeits. They also caution that consumers may knowingly or unknowingly seek counterfeit goods as legitimate goods become more expensive. Six trade groups sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee with the warning in June, according to World Trademark Review.

Counterfeit goods cost the U.S. economy an estimated $600 billion a year, or 3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, according to Steve Shapiro, the unit chief for the FBI’s intellectual property rights unit. Twenty-four federal and international law enforcement agencies work together to stop the illegal products. But booming e-commerce sales are adding to the flood of products agencies must monitor, and counterfeiters are increasingly learning how to make harder-to-spot fakes or finding new ways around the systems that were put in place to prevent fraudulent products.

“Every day I come into the office and I see new product categories that criminals are manufacturing fraudulently,” Shapiro said.

Shipments from China are including an ever-increasing number of counterfeit items, according to Frank Russo, the port director for Customs and Border Protection at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, goods, according, product, trade, heres, tariffs, shapiro, products, lead, counterfeit, boom, ways, war, unit


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Privacy policies give companies lots of room to collect, share data

“What really terrified me about this was that in the Sonicare privacy policy, they tell you they’re going to share this information,” he said. “The Sonicare app provides personalized advice to users on how to improve their brushing and oral hygiene habits based on their personal data… Based on the personal data, the user will be able to receive personalized services, e.g. As for the third parties, Philips told CNBC, “This section of our Sonicare app Privacy Notice describes the option for our us


“What really terrified me about this was that in the Sonicare privacy policy, they tell you they’re going to share this information,” he said. “The Sonicare app provides personalized advice to users on how to improve their brushing and oral hygiene habits based on their personal data… Based on the personal data, the user will be able to receive personalized services, e.g. As for the third parties, Philips told CNBC, “This section of our Sonicare app Privacy Notice describes the option for our us
Privacy policies give companies lots of room to collect, share data Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-07  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, getty images, future publishing, future, zhang peng
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sonicare, policies, privacy, room, users, philips, companies, share, personal, parties, app, user, collect, lots, data


Privacy policies give companies lots of room to collect, share data

Urbelis is concerned about the sharing of information. “What really terrified me about this was that in the Sonicare privacy policy, they tell you they’re going to share this information,” he said.

A Philips spokesperson said the data collected is used for personalization.

“The Sonicare app provides personalized advice to users on how to improve their brushing and oral hygiene habits based on their personal data… Based on the personal data, the user will be able to receive personalized services, e.g. set personal goals, follow progress and receive oral care recommendations,” said Philips spokeswoman Natasha Best in an email. “The Privacy Notice is aimed at transparency on this point, as it describes in detail which data will be received by Philips… For clarity, we wish to underline that some of the data fields to create a MyPhilips account (such as gender, age) are optional, so a user can decide to provide those data, or choose not to.”

As for the third parties, Philips told CNBC, “This section of our Sonicare app Privacy Notice describes the option for our users to indicate their wish to share their personal data with other parties (i.e. independent third parties), who will then process the user’s personal data for their own purposes and provide their own services to the user. The Privacy Notice describes who these parties are and informs the app users that Philips will only share their data with these independent third parties at the users’ request. In these cases, the app will ask for the user’s consent before sharing any data.”

Kasdan flagged Starbucks’ app and website for collecting much information that has nothing to do with serving coffee.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-07  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, getty images, future publishing, future, zhang peng
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sonicare, policies, privacy, room, users, philips, companies, share, personal, parties, app, user, collect, lots, data


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Robocallers tried to cash in on the federal government shutdown

Robocallers were trying to cash in on the recent partial federal government shutdown. “I have an important update regarding your IRS tax debt. The recent government shutdown is affecting your standing with the IRS and although some IRS operations are down, billing and collections remain active. “I was actually calling because in lieu of the government shutdown, backed federal taxes are now being dismissed at just an unstoppable rate. If the government shuts down again, Quilici expects the same t


Robocallers were trying to cash in on the recent partial federal government shutdown. “I have an important update regarding your IRS tax debt. The recent government shutdown is affecting your standing with the IRS and although some IRS operations are down, billing and collections remain active. “I was actually calling because in lieu of the government shutdown, backed federal taxes are now being dismissed at just an unstoppable rate. If the government shuts down again, Quilici expects the same t
Robocallers tried to cash in on the federal government shutdown Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-29  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, chip somodevilla, getty images, joe raedle, sarinyapinngam, istock
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, robocallers, irs, scammers, shutdown, cash, calls, robocalls, tried, taxes, quilici, tax, shut, federal


Robocallers tried to cash in on the federal government shutdown

The phone rings and you run to pick it up, only to hear an automated recording. You are not alone.

There are approximately 5 billion robocalls made every month, according to robocall blocking app, YouMail. That number has been consistent, but the context of those calls changes. The most recent scam? Robocallers were trying to cash in on the recent partial federal government shutdown.

“The robocallers are marketers. You can think of them as marketers in the wrong business,” said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail. “They are always testing different ways to get people to respond to their calls.”

Days after the shutdown, two robocalls began about taxes.

“I have an important update regarding your IRS tax debt. The recent government shutdown is affecting your standing with the IRS and although some IRS operations are down, billing and collections remain active. So give me a call back at this number,” said one recording given to CNBC by YouMail.

The second call was also about taxes.

“I was actually calling because in lieu of the government shutdown, backed federal taxes are now being dismissed at just an unstoppable rate. We can take advantage of the situation and help you clear out not just your federal back taxes but also some state tax issues you might be facing. When you get this message please give me a call back,” said another recording given to CNBC by YouMail.

YouMail estimates more than 1 million people got the call with many people receiving it more than once. Quilici says with these type of calls, 3 to 5 percent of receivers call back.

“Some fraction of those people are going to get scammed and it’s going to be for real money,” Quilici said.

During the shutdown, if consumers tried to add their number to the Do Not Call Registry, a list of people who do not want to be called by telemarketers maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, they found the website shutdown. The websites to file complaints with the FTC or the Federal Communication Commission, which also has oversight of robocalls, were also shut. The websites quickly came back once the government reopened.

This message appeared when trying to file a robocall complaint on the FCC’s website.

If the government were shutdown longer, Quilici expects there could have been greater effects.

“The real impact for all of this is the long-term enforcement. So had the government shut down for a long time, the FCC isn’t chasing the bad guys,” he said.

“These two examples make clear robocallers read the news and leverage events to dupe people and get their money. They are very similar to the IRS scam calls that scare people into thinking they owe back taxes, when they do not. Because of the government shutdown, the FTC was not funded and could not receive complaints from consumers. But, we are open and very much want people to report [such calls] to the FTC at donotcall.gov. These complaints are critical to our law enforcement work,” said Lois Greisman, associate director of the FTC’s division of marketing practices.

The FCC directed CNBC to its website.

The FCC is working to, as Chairman Ajit Pai said, “stop the scourge of illegal robocalls.” He has made combating unlawful robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing his “top consumer protection priority,” the website reads. “Chairman Pai has launched several important public policy initiatives to help combat unlawful robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing. The Commission under his leadership has also taken unprecedented enforcement actions to punish those who flout consumer protection laws.”

Robocallers also take advantage of other news.

“The last election we saw the student loan scammers talk about how President [Donald] Trump was going to force people to pay back their money right away,” Quilici said. “We’ve seen with Obamacare when there’s the deadline December 15 the scam calls pick up rapidly.”

The scammers can also take advantage of the government being open. “I actually expect to see more about the government being back open and we can now help you than we saw about the government being shut down,” Quilici said.

If the government shuts down again, Quilici expects the same tax calls to start up.

The scammers behind the calls can be from anywhere, even the U.S., but Quilici says they most commonly come from India. To make the calls sound more professional, he says they sometimes hire voiceover talent from the U.S. online.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-29  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day, chip somodevilla, getty images, joe raedle, sarinyapinngam, istock
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, robocallers, irs, scammers, shutdown, cash, calls, robocalls, tried, taxes, quilici, tax, shut, federal


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2-factor authentication may be hackable, expert says

Mitnick showed CNBC that he was able to enter that code into his browser. Mitnick used LinkedIn to demo the attack for CNBC, but said many other websites are also vulnerable. The email he clicked on looked like a real LinkedIn connection request — but actually came from a fake domain, lnked.com. It’s the actual user… It’s a security flaw with the human,” Mitnick said. Another way to protect yourself is to pay close attention to email you get, even if you use two-factor authentication.


Mitnick showed CNBC that he was able to enter that code into his browser. Mitnick used LinkedIn to demo the attack for CNBC, but said many other websites are also vulnerable. The email he clicked on looked like a real LinkedIn connection request — but actually came from a fake domain, lnked.com. It’s the actual user… It’s a security flaw with the human,” Mitnick said. Another way to protect yourself is to pay close attention to email you get, even if you use two-factor authentication.
2-factor authentication may be hackable, expert says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-04  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, used, linkedin, vulnerable, authentication, expert, mitnick, human, members, protect, engineering, 2factor, hackable, security


2-factor authentication may be hackable, expert says

Mitnick showed CNBC that he was able to enter that code into his browser. “When I hit refresh I’m going to be magically logged into the victims account,” he said.

Mitnick used LinkedIn to demo the attack for CNBC, but said many other websites are also vulnerable. The email he clicked on looked like a real LinkedIn connection request — but actually came from a fake domain, lnked.com. He said most people may not realize the difference.

“It’s not LinkedIn that’s vulnerable. It’s the actual user… It’s a security flaw with the human,” Mitnick said.

In a statement, Mary-Katharine Juric, a LinkedIn spokesperson, told CNBC that the professional network took Mitnick’s demonstration “very seriously,” and that LinkedIn has “a number of technical measures in place to protect our members from fraudulent activity including phishing scams.”

She added: “When we detect this type of activity, we work to quickly remove it and prevent future re-occurrences. We strongly encourage members to report any messages or postings they believe are scams, and utilize our member help center as a resource to educate and protect themselves from frauds online.”

This attack is part of what is known as social engineering, when hackers take advantage of human behavior to get you to do something, like click on a link. Another way to protect yourself is to pay close attention to email you get, even if you use two-factor authentication.

“Social engineering if you do it right can be used to get into almost anything,” said Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4’S CEO.

To protect from attacks like this one, some companies are making tools called security keys.

Instead of sending a code to your cell phone, security keys — which look like a keychain — contain a hardware chip, and use Bluetooth or USB to be the additional factor needed to log into your account. Recently, Google released its own version of the device, which it calls the Titan Security Key.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-04  Authors: jennifer schlesinger, andrea day
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, used, linkedin, vulnerable, authentication, expert, mitnick, human, members, protect, engineering, 2factor, hackable, security


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