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eBay director hired to solve £30bn retail problem

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eBay Director John Mearls has been elected vice chair of the Online and Mail Order Loss Prevention Forum to help tackle a £30billion UK cybercrime problem.

Mearls, who has extensive experience in loss prevention, will vice chair The Forum which comprises both online and traditional high street names – the so-called ‘clicks v bricks and mortar.’

It is estimated that nearly one in eight UK surfers became victims of online fraud in the last year, with personal losses averaging £875. Of the 29 million UK adults who use the internet, 1.7 million suffered some kind of online shopping fraud and 1.2 million were a victim of banking or credit card fraud on the net.

He will be based at eBay’s offices in Dublin, will work with chair Alison Parkinson of Next to help expand the influence of the forum.

Mearls, a former retailer in the physical world, began his career as a regional loss prevention director for Bloomingdales in New York in 1990 and has held a number of key senior LP roles with US retailers including Kmart Corporation, Lowes and Hollywood Entertainment before making the move to eBay in January 2010.

He described the move as a “fantastic opportunity to work with some of the UK’s biggest brands to collaboratively share information on illegal and fraudulent practices that impact all of our businesses.”

The Met Police now have a seat on the Forum along with other brands including Next, Shop Direct, John Lewis, Peacocks, Office Depot, JD Sport, Tesco and JD Williams, all of whom are now using the Forum to target internet fraud. The issue is understood to be getting worse as more stores are seeking an online presence, according to the National Fraud Authority, part of the Attorney General’s office.

Published on Thursday 04 July by Editorial Assistant

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