Beware of the Mobile Phone Moped Muggers!

Thieves who steal mobile phones straight out of people’s hands as they zoom by on their, often stolen, mopeds are becoming an increasing problem for the public and police.

It’s completely shocking to the person being attacked. Martin Lewis, the money saving expert, who was one of the latest victims can confirm this from his recent attack near Oxford Circus. He tweets about his incident: ‘About 40 minutes ago two men on a moped just rode up on the pavement and snatched my mobile out of my hands. The speed and accuracy was frightening.’ To read more on this attack click here.

Scotland Yard claims that moped muggers are snatching 20 phones an hour and that thieves mainly go for iPhones. If the phone is still switched on then they reset it and sell it on, if not then they will trade it for parts.

If the owner has been astute enough to register their phone on immobilise.com, the National Property Register, they would immediately be able to change the status of the device flagging it as stolen to traders, as well as report it to the Police*. UK Police officers are the ONLY people with authorisation to access the Immobilise database to check the status and ownership of a mobile phone and repatriate it if it is recovered. The Metropolitan Police advise mobile users to activate their phone’s security features when they receive it and to register valuable possessions with immobilise.com for free, pre-loss or theft.

In this increasingly common crime the phone’s owner is often not the only victim. If you are buying a second hand mobile phone, whether that be an iPhone, Samsung, HTC or any other smartphone, then CheckMEND can help you avoid stolen property. An online check costs as little as £1 and will highlight if a phone is blocked, stolen or compromised in someway.  CheckMEND is the most comprehensive device check available helping consumers, traders, recyclers and retailers buy and sell second-hand goods with confidence.

The moral, however of this post is not to give thieves opportunities to steal your possessions or profit from your loss. Try to avoid using your smart phone in public, be cautious, and to be on the safe side always register new phones or mobile devices on immobilise.com.

* Flagging an item as stolen on Immobilise means that information is immediately available to the Police when they conduct searches for it on the Police only NMPR system. In the event of a crime, a report should also be made directly to Police so they are able to investigate it appropriately and request additional details when relevant.

Beat the Burglars this Summer

 

Summer is such a great time of year… the sun is shining (well some of the time), the evenings are longer and everyone seems to be in a much better mood. Whether you are breaking up from school, university or just looking forward to that long-awaited summer holiday (like me), we will all be preparing for some fun activities this summer.

As part of that preparation be aware that if you’re leaving your home and worldly possessions unattended, for even a short period of time, make sure it is safe and secure. The last thing you want after all the excitement of the summer holidays is to find that your possessions have been stolen in one of the 2.1 million burglaries that occur in Britain every year!

So, what can we do about it?

Deter burglars

Homes are 5 times more likely to be burgled if they have no security measures, so it is really important that we do as much as possible to deter burglars from targeting our homes. Taking just a few steps can make a huge difference in keeping your home safe.

  • Lock your doors properly. It sounds so simple but most burglars get in through windows and doors that aren’t locked properly or have flimsy mechanisms. Be sure to invest in strong, visible locks.
  • Install an alarm. Nothing puts burglars off more than an alarm going off.
  • Put Immobilise stickers in obvious places such as garden sheds so they are visible to burglars who will know you have listed your property on Immobilise which makes it harder for them to sell it
  • Use timers on your light switches and get a Fake TV 

 Lock Down 

Remember to lock everything up and keep anything of worth out of sight

  • Keep expensive jewellery in a locked safe
  • Keep TV’s and tech equipment out of view of windows
  • If there is someone you trust, ask if they can check on your property for you and take in your post
  • Don’t discuss holiday plans on social media. Burglars are more likely to live in your surrounding neighbourhood and may even be part of your social network.

Register on Immobilise

  • Should you be unfortunate enough to have any possessions stolen, having a list of everything on immobilise provides the Police with the information they need to be able to return your belongings when found.
  • Immobilise offer many products to mark your property which means it is much easier to identify. From UV pens to the infamous ImmobiTAG for bicycles. Click to visit the Immobilise shop. 

 

What’s the difference between ‘Locking’ and ‘Blocking’ of a mobile device?

There is a vast difference between blocking and locking of a smart phone or mobile device and it’s important not to confuse the two.

A locked phone is when a phone will only function on a particular mobile network and is in effect locked to that network. This usually occurs when you take out a contract with a network provider on a brand-new phone so that they can subsidise the cost of the phone into your monthly payments and encourage you to stay with that network provider.  It is however, possible to unlock a phone if you do want to change network providers and it isn’t illegal to do. You will often find unlocked phones available for purchase on second hand websites such as ebay or Gumtree.

A blocked phone, often referred to as blacklisted phone is an entirely different matter. This is when a phone has been compromised (stolen or lost) and has had a block put in place, usually by the rightful owners’ network operator. When a block is put in place, it is put on the phones IMEI (the number to individually identify each phone). This means that when someone inserts a SIM card in the phone and attempts to use it, the phone will not be able to join a network and therefore won’t work. It’s also useful to point out that countries such as the UK operate cross-network blocking which means a blocked / blacklisted phone will not operate on any network in that country!

To help avoid purchasing a blocked phone you can use CheckMEND to do a check on the device before you purchase it. All you need is the IMEI number of the device (which you can ask the seller for) and you can then get an instant check on the device which can inform any buying decisions www.checkmend.com

How to buy and sell phones and mobile devices online safely

Online shopping has rapidly become the easiest way to buy goods. With only a click of a button or tap of a screen between us and our next purchase, it’s no wonder that 95% of British people buy goods via the internet. According to The Daily Mail, 1 in 4 British people now shop online at least once a week, although this way of shopping is more convenient it does increase our exposure to fraudulent activity.

By this, I mean that although you may feel ‘safe as houses’, sitting at home on your laptop browsing your favourite sites, you can’t be quite as confident that what your buying is completely legitimate. There are more and more scams to be aware of and avoid especially when buying or selling any mobile devices in the second-hand market.

Many great bargains can be found in online auction and classified ad sites, and in turn you can, as a seller, make some money on the items you no longer need. It’s true what they say ‘one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure‘.  However without knowing the seller is reputable, it is very hard to be confident that a device is genuine or compromised. One well established way to put your mind at rest is to purchase a CheckMEND report.

A CheckMEND mobile device check costs as little as £0.99p per device and can help inform your buying decision by reporting on a devices current status and history including if it is blocked, marked as lost or stolen, plus many other important data checks. It’s like getting a clean bill of health when your device comes back clear, a green flag to proceed!

If you are selling an item, it is a great idea to sell it with a CheckMEND history report to build trust with your customers, achieving faster sales and higher prices in the process.

Trade with confidence when buying or selling second-hand goods, run a CheckMEND device check now.

The first Immobilise ‘Registration Station’ is here to prevent bicycle crime

South Wales Police and ‘The bike Shed’ in Pontacanna have teamed up for a new initiative to reduce crime in the Cardiff area using The UK National Property Register ‘Immobilise’ to its full potential.

The very first ‘Registration Station’ is now in operation for anyone who purchases a bike or takes it in for repairs or servicing. There is a conveniently set up station in the store where you can register your bike there and then. It’s quick and easy and a perfect solution to encourage people to protect their property.

Registering your bike on immobilise means you are more likely to get your stolen property returned to you. The Police have a direct link via the NMPR to be able to quickly and easily trace the rightful owner of the property and if found stolen can make convictions much faster. According to Cycling UK, a bike is stolen every 90 seconds in Britain. Despite this, only two percent of bike owners bother to register their bike to aid its recovery.

Richard Landsdown, from The Bike Shed, said:

We are delighted and very keen to be kick-starting the initiative in Cardiff and truly believe that this is the most positive anti-bike theft initiative that we have found. Thousands of bikes will be registered with us this year and the Immobilise station is accessible to everybody in store. The more people who register, the harder it will be for bike thieves.

Les Gray, Commercial Director for Immobilise, said:

We are pleased to support this initiative that benefits bike owners and reduces crime. It’s a great example of responsible retailing and pro-active policing – ownership registration within the shop will ensure the quick and easy process is made even more convenient and captured at point of sale or service.

To update your account or register on Immobilise now please go to: www.immobilise.com

Crime free Christmas shopping checklist

christmas-shopping-london-600Christmas is an exciting and hectic time especially when it comes to shopping. Unfortunately, the festive season is also a time of increased crime particularly in busy shopping areas providing rich-pickings for pick pockets and other criminals!

Best practice whilst out shopping

  • Put cash and cards away safely (not in your back pocket) before leaving the till or cash machine. Try not to keep all your valuables in one place, especially your phone – Should your bag be lost/stolen at least you can still call for help!
  • Use debit or credit cards where possible in place of cash, only withdraw what you need so you avoid carrying large amounts.
  • Shield the keypad when typing your PIN when making payments or withdrawing cash. If you see anything suspicious alert the bank or call the police on 101.
  • Don’t make it easy for thieves by hanging bags on chairs. If you’re having a well-earned break keep your bag and shopping in sight.
  • Keep an eye on your phone, be wary of leaving it behind at tills, coffee shops or dropping it. Make sure the IMEI is registered on Immobilise! Simply dial *#06# to get its unique number.
  • Avoid openly wearing expensive jewellery and watches in crowded/public places. Registering them with photographs and descriptions, plus details of any engraving will help identify them as yours.
  • Park vigilantly in an open, well-lit area. Visit parkmark.co.uk for details of approved carparks (Park Mark is a Police Crime Prevention Initiative).
  • If you must store presents in a car make sure they are out of view and that the car is securely locked. Receipts should be stored separately.
  • Be vigilant – As always please remain alert and report suspicious activity to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Continue reading Crime free Christmas shopping checklist

CheckMEND adds new data to help avoid contract blocked phones

Do you trade phones?
If so we’ve great news for CheckMEND users…

do-they-have-legal-title-41The problem is all too familiar. A seller assures a trader that they have legal title when in fact they are selling a phone recently acquired on a contract and the network still owns the phone.

The seller defaults on the contract at some point after selling the phone to you and because ownership of the phone is actually with the network they block it, completely legitimately.

The phone is not being blocked because someone didn’t pay the bill, it’s being blocked to prevent it from being sold while it still belongs to the network.

Depending on the defaulter’s behaviour this process can take several weeks to manifest as a block. By that time you may well have invested in refurbishment or even resold the phone which creates problems for your customer as well.

New data helps you avoid the cost of contract-bound phones

Recipero, the providers of CheckMEND are now adding hundreds of thousands of records each month for phones that are owned by UK network operators meaning subscribers cannot sell them. This data means that a very large portion of phones sold to you which later become blocked can now be avoided.

Nationwide in the UK, this data set will save CheckMEND users millions of pounds each year!

This data set protects you and your onward customer from this risk.

Will the cost of checks increase? 

If you’re buying checks via the website, this data has been included in the price since 2 Nov 2016.

If your use of CheckMEND is via a central contract such as a franchise or group purchasing scheme, your managers will be contacted separately as there may be a small additional charge to access this data depending on your contract conditions.

If you have any queries about CheckMEND or require help please visit the support page for contact and knowledge base options.

Callcredit Information Group Acquires Recipero to Accelerate the Execution of Its Fraud and Identity Protection Strategy

recipero-callcredit-borderRecipero is pleased to announce that is has been acquired by Callcredit Information Group in a deal designed to accelerate the growth of the company’s fraud and identity protection strategy.

Recipero has built one of the world’s largest proprietary databases containing detailed information of the history and ownership of mobile devices. The business delivers over 5 million reports each month that enable retailers, recyclers, insurers, traders, the public and law enforcement to make informed decisions.

Mark Harman, Recipero CEO, said:

Becoming part of Callcredit Information Group is a perfect fit for our business and provides a unique opportunity for Recipero to build on its UK success.  This also signifies a step change in our ambitions allowing us to accelerate our plans to expand our capabilities and scale the US business where we have already established a strong base.

Recipero’s technology is used to detect and prevent mobile device theft and fraud; comply with legislation around the handling of secondary-market mobile device transactions; and assess whether a device can be activated on a particular mobile network.

Mike Gordon, CEO, Callcredit Information Group, said:

The acquisition demonstrates our commitment to expanding our fraud and identity protection capabilities and will accelerate growth, provide the opportunity to develop unique, new offerings for our customers and support overseas expansion through Recipero’s US footprint.

Chris Green, Chief Commercial Officer, Callcredit Information Group, said:

The explosion in use of mobile devices for financial transactions, means mobile devices present the biggest, single point of failure for identity theft and fraud.  If your phone is stolen, a criminal has everything they need to access your digital identity, including personal, sensitive and financial information.

Recipero offers a natural extension to our existing fraud and identity protection solutions and has a number of products that will be embedded into many future solutions.

Recipero will be combined into Callcredit’s existing fraud and identity protection solutions business, where the integration of products and solutions will enable Callcredit to bring differentiated solutions to its customers. Recipero and Callcredit operate in sectors which are complementary to each other, including, mobile network operators, retailers, mobile electronics recyclers, insurers, logistics and finance companies, device repair shops, warranty providers and law enforcement agencies.

About Recipero
www.recipero.com
Recipero is the leading data aggregator and innovator in personal possession fraud and theft prevention worldwide.  The “Recipero Crime Reduction Ecosystem” works to protect consumers and business through provision trade intelligence services. Forming part of millions of decision-making processes and transactions every month, Recipero’s data and intelligence solutions are provided online, in real-time, and are used globally by law enforcement, insurers, recyclers, retailers and consumers.

About Callcredit Information Group
www.callcredit.co.uk
Callcredit Information Group specialises in database marketing solutions, credit referencing and software analytics and fraud, and is an expert in managing consumer data for businesses across every sector.  The Group is structured into four divisions, Credit Solutions, Marketing Solutions, Software, Analytics and Fraud, and Consumer Markets. Callcredit focuses on developing innovative products and services across these divisions to help businesses make smarter and informed decisions throughout the customer lifecycle.

Founded in 2000, the Group includes the UK’s second largest credit reference agency (CRA) and employs approximately 1,000 professionals across Leeds, Kent, Bath, London, Warrington and Stockport, and also has offices in Japan, China, Dubai and Lithuania and agents working across international markets. In 2014 Callcredit was acquired by private equity business, GTCR.  In a first for UK consumers, in 2011 Callcredit launched Noddle (www.noddle.co.uk), the free-for-life credit reporting and scoring service with no hidden fees or 30-day trial periods, which now has more than two million customers. This service helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against fraud and identity theft.

Back to school… With £3.2 billion worth of tech

Schoolimage1When the school gates opened for the new term, its estimated that under 16s’ bags contained over £3.2 billion worth of tech – a staggering average in excess of £270 per school bag*. Such high values intensify issues associated with loss and theft requiring students to be ever more cautious.

To stay safe and secure we recommend …

  • Students shouldn’t leave their smartphones, cameras, iPods and tablets unattended, and when not in use they should be kept secure in a locked bag or locker.
  • Don’t show off expensive devices, especially in public spaces. Children and young teenagers make easy targets for unscrupulous thieves.
  • Ensure gadgets are registered on Immobilise,  recording the make, model,  and any serial codes but most importantly for smartphones the IMEI number – for mobiles just key in *#06#  on the handset to display the IMEI.
  • Bicycles should be kept in the school’s designated areas and secured with a D-lock to an immovable object such as ground mounted loop. Don’t forget to register the bike on Immobilise and consider enhancing the registration with an ImmobiTag RFID tag.

* Statistics sourced from USwitch Survey: USwitch

This post is an extract from our regular email updates that contain other crime prevention tips and topical news along side special offers and discounts on items in our Immobilise property marking and security products. (Go to: https://shop.immobilise.com/)

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Recipero’s online lost property repatriation service Report My Loss launches across the U.S.

Recipero is pleased to announce the launch of its online Report My Loss service throughout the U.S.

lost-mobile-lres-logoJuly 4th means lots of celebrations, parties and events across the country – it is also a massive day for lost property.

Losing valued possessions is enough of a problem. Reporting it should not add to the inconvenience, cue Report My Loss.

Report My Loss is a simple online tool that does exactly as its name implies, enabling people to easily report all types of lost property including cellphones, jewelry, tools and more.

If you’ve ever lost something, you are all too familiar with the hassle involved in dealing with it – firstly working out when, where and how the loss happened, then trying to find out who you should report it to.

Traditionally, where reports were even possible, they’d be taken locally by police or lost property offices and that’s where they’d stay – locally. If your lost item was recovered in the next town or precinct the chances of a report being matched up with an item was very low.

As a national system, Report My Loss eliminates those historical shortcomings and seeks to join the dots between finding agencies and lost property owners.

Why does it work? The short answer – it’s part of Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem which means many police and other agencies that recover property are already searching Report My Loss records as part of their property investigation processes.

What does it cost? A single report in the U.S. is just $5.95.

Why pay? Good question, there are ways to report losses free but you need to ask yourself some important questions like, how likely are they to help recover my valued possessions? is my data secure? will the report help prevent trade? is the report shared with police?

Report My Loss delivers on all these needs, plus many other benefits that have been well proven in the UK, where it’s used thousands of time each month, dramatically increasing repatriation rates, while delivering considerable time and resource savings for the public and police.

The U.S. loss reporting site is already live at: www.reportmyloss.com/us/

Further information:

Report My Loss corporate information: Recipero Report My Loss information