Sims Recycling Solutions, a global leader in electronics reuse and recycling, has announced it that it has expanded its U.S. asset management services to include mobile devices, such as feature phones, smartphones and tablets.
Based on the most recent numbers from International Data Corp., it’s clear that mobile devices, especially smartphones, have continued to erode personal computer sales. Worldwide PC shipments totaled only 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013, while worldwide smartphone shipments totaled 216.2 million units. Sims realises this technology shift is changing asset management practices, so the company has invested in the resources necessary to successfully manage the unique challenges associated with mobile devices.
As an extension of our existing asset management services, we have added new ones that simplify the task of managing mobile devices
stated Steve Skurnac, president, Sims Recycling Solutions, Americas.
By using our established global infrastructure, technical expertise and strategic partnerships, Sims is able to fully support the needs of those customers with broken, end-of-life or surplus devices. Our customers can be confident that the same secure, certified and environmentally sound procedures we use to process other electronics will be used to refurbish, remarket and recycle their mobile devices.
To protect its customers from two problems that plague the used mobile device market—stolen devices and fluctuating prices – Sims has signed an agreement with CheckMEND, the world’s largest source of information about used electronics and developed a proprietary system called Price Base.
Through its partnership with CheckMEND, Sims can perform the due diligence necessary to assure customers that the devices the company offers for resale are legitimate. Sims has integrated the CheckMEND application into its inventory management system to automatically check cellphones and tablets when they arrive at a Sims facility. Items with negative report results will be flagged and dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Price Base system gives Sims the ability to research every available mobile device and know its current value so Sims can competitively price used devices.
For more information please visit:
Sim Recycling Solutions: www.simsrecycling.com
To view the source Sims Recycling press release please go to: http://us.simsrecycling.com/Newsroom/Press-Releases/Mobile-Device-Recycling
CheckMEND the world’s leading due diligence service for used consumer electronics today announced it has secured an agreement with GameStop to deploy its software in all GameStop’s US stores to identify devices that are not eligible for trade.
Developed by UK-based Recipero, CheckMEND is a unique, cutting edge system that allows retailers and recyclers to proactively identify unacceptable devices and stop them from entering the supply chain.
Using data that is aggregated from over 20,000 data sources (including the FBI) CheckMEND provides access to its service to both enterprise and consumers. GameStop is the first major retailer in the US to integrate its application at point of sale. With a data warehouse containing over 150 billion records of information that is relevant to any buyer of used consumer electronics, CheckMEND is fast becoming the “go-to” data provider for this type of information.
Consumers are becoming more aware of the value that exists in their old electronics. That precipitates a need for reliable data and methods to ensure that retailers are protecting consumers. GameStop is leading the way for other retailers to follow suit.
“We are delighted that GameStop has stepped up to the forefront of consumer protection” said Adrian Portlock Founder of CheckMEND. “Our product allows GameStop to protect their customers, their associates in store and their reputable brand by deterring unwanted activity. GameStop has set the bar for other responsible retailers.” “GameStop will continue to invest in technology solutions that offer our customers the best and safest choice to buy, sell or trade video games, consoles and electronics” said Joe Gorman Vice President of Mobile at GameStop. “Working with CheckMEND, we have further enhanced our process, and we are already reaping the benefits of the service in our stores and our state of the art refurbishment center.”
CheckMEND is a service provided by Recipero Limited, a privately owned U.K. company, which has specialized since 2001 in the collection of data relating to the history of used consumer electronics (www.checkmend.com). It has grown into the biggest online provider of this type of information to both the trade and the consumer and is currently focused on expanding its operations in the USA. General information on Recipero can be found on the company’s corporate website at www.recipero.com.
About GameStop Corp.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, is the world’s largest multichannel video game retailer. GameStop’s retail network and family of brands include 6,602 company-operated stores in 15 countries worldwide and online at www.GameStop.com. The network also includes: www.Kongregate.com, a leading browser-based game site; Game Informer® magazine, the leading multi-platform video game publication; Spawn Labs, a streaming technology company; a digital PC game distribution platform available at www.GameStop.com/PC; and an online consumer electronics marketplace available at www.BuyMyTronics.com. General information on GameStop Corp. can be obtained at the company’s corporate website. Follow GameStop on Twitter @www.twitter.com/GameStop and find GameStop on Facebook @www.facebook.com/GameStop.
Gazelle, one of the USA’s leading high-end consumer trade-in sites, today announced it has deployed CheckMEND, a cutting-edge tool, designed to more accurately detect potentially stolen goods, including smart phones, tablets and computers.
Developed by Recipero, CheckMEND is the largest World’s largest consumer electronics background report service, the system compiles data from all major wireless carriers and law enforcement entities across the USA, providing the most complete database of devices available. Gazelle is the first consumer electronics trade-in site to deploy CheckMEND and collaborated with Recipero to tailor the product to help address the growing incidences of consumer electronics theft.
For Gazelle the introduction of CheckMEND comes at a good time with the proliferation of high-end consumer electronics theft. In fact, New York City’s police commissioner recently reported that Apple products now represent more than 40 percent of stolen property in the city and San Francisco police report that nearly half of all robberies in the city in the past year have been cell phone related.
We are dedicated to providing the best customer experience possible, and part of that promise is to protect each customer’s personal data
said Israel Ganot, CEO, Gazelle.
We always take security very seriously. With the CheckMEND deployment, we’re taking this to a new level, committing not only to the protection of a customer’s personal data when we receive the device, but also going the extra mile to ensure that any devices we accept are being sold by the rightful owner and to discourage and prevent theft of consumer electronics.
Recipero’s CheckMEND service makes it possible to do a more thorough screening by checking a vast set of carrier and law enforcement sources for a much broader set of consumer electronics. CheckMEND is capable of comparing each inquiry against more than 150 billion records of information, including more than 50 billion items.
For more information please visit the following websites.
Visit Gazelle: www.gazelle.com
Visit CheckMEND: www.checkmend.com
Visit Recipero: www.recipero.com
As from today CheckMEND will be checking millions of records supplied by finance providers.
This means that if we have a record that the item you are searching has a current finance agreement outstanding on it we will let you know.
We hope this will be a useful addition to the service as many of you have told us this is a major issue and concern for you as you don’t want to buy items where there is outstanding finance.
Posted by: Neil Stewart in CheckMEND, CheckMEND USA, Crime, Immobilise, Immobilize, Lost Property, Mobile Phones, NMPR, Police, Recipero, ReportMyLoss
Today July 23rd it was officially agreed that CheckMEND would be the first approved due diligence service to be used and officially endorsed under a new Home Office/recycling industry code of practice.
The signing of the new code of practice by over 90% of the mobile phone recycling industry means that for the first time there are agreed guidelines for the checking of handsets offered for sale to the industry and this includes using the CheckMEND service to check the National Mobile Phone/Property Register.
Adrian Portlock CEO of Recipero the operator of CheckMEND said:
This is a major step forward for the industry and CheckMEND and we are really pleased the industry has recognised their responsibilities in checking products they are buying, this model needs to be extended to all handlers of used goods and retailers taking trade ins and we will be pushing for this to be the case, but this is an excellent start.
For more information please see the following sites:
Boston Police have today (30th June 2010) agreed to a 30 day trial of the new CheckMEND service in the USA prior to it going live with all pawn and second-hand dealers in their jurisdiction. If the trial is successful Recipero see this as a very exciting opportunity to extend the service to every US law enforcement agency to create a national free transaction submission and Police checking service.
Unlike Europe second hand dealers and pawnbrokers in the US have to supply details of transactions to their local law enforcement agencies so CheckMEND has widened its remit to include this in the process of running a due diligence check. At the same time Recipero, the owner of CheckMEND, has rewritten its US NMPR platform so free of charge US law enforcement will be able to view CheckMEND transaction data via the US NMPR as well as being able to match the data with crime reports provided to the NMPR (via the Trace Checker system) from over 18,000 US law enforcement agencies.
Ken Bouche who leads business development for CheckMEND and Trace Checker in the US said:
This is the culmination of over 2 years work to allow traders and pawn brokers to supply for free transaction data to an online database that can be checked also free of charge by the Police. Bolting on the stolen data from Trace Checker which Recipero took over late in 2009 is inspired and provides a whole new service for the trade to ensure they are not buying stolen or dubious goods that have been reported as stolen to their local law enforcement agency. If the service grows to be as popular in the US as it is in Europe this will be a very significant step for forward for everyone involved
For more information please contact us: www.recipero.com/contact
by Linda Geddes (New Scientist)
The pocket spy: Will your smartphone rat you out? – tech – 14 October 2009 – New Scientist.
THERE are certain things you do not want to share with strangers. In my case it was a stream of highly personal text messages from my husband, sent during the early days of our relationship. Etched on my phone’s SIM card – but invisible on my current handset and thus forgotten – here they now are, displayed in all their brazen glory on a stranger’s computer screen.
I’ve just walked into a windowless room on an industrial estate in Tamworth, UK, where three cellphone analysts in blue shirts sit at their terminals, scrutinising the contents of my phone and smirking. “If it’s any consolation, we would have found them even if you had deleted them,” says one.
Worse, it seems embarrassing text messages aren’t the only thing I have to worry about: “Is this a photo of your office?” another asks (the answer is yes). “And did you enjoy your pizza on Monday night? And why did you divert from your normal route to work to visit this address in Camberwell, London, on Saturday?”
I’m at DiskLabs, a company that handles cellphone forensic analysis for UK police forces, but also for private companies and individuals snooping on suspect employees or wayward spouses. Armed with four cellphones, which I have begged, borrowed and bought off friends and strangers, I’m curious to know just how much personal information can be gleaned from our used handsets and SIM cards.
A decade ago, our phones’ memories could just about handle text messages and a contacts book. These days, the latest smartphones incorporate GPS, Wi-Fi connectivity and motion sensors. They automatically download your emails and appointments from your office computer, and come with the ability to track other individuals in your immediate vicinity. And there’s a lot more to come. Among other things, you could be using the next generation of phones to keep tabs on your health, store cash and make small transactions – something that’s already happening in east Asia (see “Future phones“).
These changes could well be exploited in much the same way that email and the internet can be used to “phish” for personal information such as bank details. Indeed, some phone-related scams are already emerging, including one that uses reprogrammed cellphones to intercept passwords for other people’s online bank accounts. “Mobile phones are becoming a bigger part of our lives,” says Andy Jones, head of information security research at British Telecommunications. “We trust and rely on them more. And as we rely on them more, the potential for fraud has got to increase.”
So just how secure is the data we store on our phones? If we are starting to use them as combined diaries and wallets, what happens if we lose them or they are stolen? And what if we simply trade in our phones for recycling?
According to the UK government’s Design and Technology Alliance Against Crime (DTAAC), 80 per cent of us carry information on our handsets that could be used to commit fraud – and about 16 per cent of us keep our bank details on our phones. I thought my Nokia N96 would hold few surprises, though, since I had only been using it for a few weeks when I submitted it to DiskLabs. Yet their analysts proved me wrong.
Aside from the text messages stored on my SIM card, the most detailed personal information that could be gleaned from my handset came from an application called Sports Tracker. It allows users to measure their athletic performance over time and I had been using it to measure how fast I could cycle to work across London. It records distance travelled, fastest speed at different points along the route, changes in altitude, and roughly how many calories I burn off. But when DiskLabs uploaded this data to their computer and ran it through Google Maps and Street View, they were able to pull up images of the front of my office and my home – with the house number clearly displayed. Sports Tracker also recorded what time I normally leave the house in the morning and when I return from work. “If I wanted more information, then I could just stalk you,” says Neil Buck, a senior analyst at DiskLabs.
I had deliberately chosen to turn Sports Tracker on, and many people might not stop to consider how such programs could be used against them. In February, Google launched Latitude, networking software for smartphones that shares your location with friends. It can be turned off, but campaign group Privacy International is concerned by Latitude’s complex settings and says it is possible the program could broadcast your location to others without your knowledge. “Latitude could be a gift to stalkers, prying employers, jealous partners and obsessive friends,” the organisation warns.
It is possible your phone could broadcast your location to others without your knowledge
A phone-based calendar could also leave you vulnerable. Police in the UK have already identified burglaries that were committed after the thief stole a phone and then targeted the individual’s home because their calendar said they were away on holiday, says Joe McGeehan, head of Toshiba’s research lab in Europe and leader of DTAAC’s Design Out Crime project, which recently set UK designers the challenge of trying to make cellphones less attractive to people like hackers and identity thieves. “It’s largely opportunistic, but if you’ve got all your personal information on there, like bank details, social security details and credit card information, then you’re really asking for someone to ‘become’ you, or rob you, or invade your corporate life,” McGeehan says.
When Buck looked at my colleague’s iPhone, he found two 4-digit numbers stored in his address book under the names “M” and “V”. A search through his text messages revealed a few from Virgin informing him that a new credit card, ending in a specific number, had just been mailed to him. Buck guessed that “M” and “V” were PIN codes for the Virgin credit card and a Mastercard – and he proved to be correct on both counts.
“Out of context, an individual piece of information such as an SMS is almost meaningless,” says Jones. “But when you have a large volume of information – a person’s diary for the year, his emails, the plans he’s building – and you start to put them together, you can make some interesting discoveries.”
In this way the DiskLabs team also identified my colleague’s wife’s name, her passport number and its expiry date, and that she banks with Barclays. Ironically, Barclays had contacted her regarding fraud on her card and she had texted this to her husband. Buck’s team also discovered my colleague’s email address, his Facebook contacts, and their email addresses.
This kind of personal data is valuable and can fetch a high price online. It’s ideal for so-called 419 scams, for instance, in which you receive an email asking for help in exporting cash from a foreign country via your bank account, in exchange for a share of the profits. “What they need to launch a successful 419 scam is personal information,” says Jones.
A growing awareness of identity theft means that many people now destroy or wipe computer hard drives before throwing them away, but the same thing isn’t yet happening with cellphones, says Jones. At the same time, we are recycling ever greater numbers of handsets. According to market analysts ABI Research, by 2012 over 100 million cellphones will be recycled for reuse each year.
As part of a study to find better ways to protect cellphone data, Jones recently acquired 135 cellphones and 26 BlackBerry devices from volunteers, cellphone recycling companies and online auctioneers eBay. Around half of the devices couldn’t be accessed because they were faulty. In our own smartphone experiment, we were unable to retrieve any data from a BlackBerry, or the Samsung E590.
However, Jones’s team found 10 phones that contained enough personal data to identify previous users, and 12 had enough information for their owner’s employer to be identified – even though just three of the phones contained SIM cards.
Of the 26 BlackBerrys, four contained information from which the owner could be identified and seven contained enough to identify the owner’s employer. “The big surprise was the amount we got off the BlackBerry devices, which we had expected to be much more secure,” says Jones. While BlackBerry users have the option of encrypting their data or sending a message to purge data from their phones should it be sold or stolen, many had not done this. “Security is only any good if you turn the damned thing on,” says Jones.
Security is only any good if you turn the damned thing on
His team managed to trace one BlackBerry back to a senior sales director of a Japanese corporation. They recovered his call history, 249 address book entries, his diary, 90 email addresses and 291 emails. This enabled them to determine the structure of his organisation and responsibilities of individuals working within it; the organisation’s business plans for the next period; its main customers and the state of its relationships with them; travel and accommodation arrangements of the individual; his family details – including children, their occupations and movements, marital status, addresses, domestic arrangements, appointments and addresses for medical and dental care; his bank account numbers and sort codes, and his car registration index. Two further BlackBerrys “contained details of a personal nature about the owner and other individuals that would have caused embarrassment or distress if it had become publicly known”, says Jones.
Although his team used specialist forensic software to retrieve data from the phones, much of it could be obtained directly from the handsets themselves, or by using simple software of the kind that is sold with a phone. “This was not designed to be a sophisticated attack, it used simple techniques that anyone would have access to,” Jones says.
That’s bad news, considering that around 20 millions handsets were lost or stolen worldwide in 2008, according to UK data-security specialists Recipero. So how can people go about making their phones more secure? Turning on the security settings is an important first step, says McGeehan, as this may dissuade potential thieves from going to the effort of trying to crack the codes. Then make sure you delete anything you want to keep secret, while bearing in mind that it is often possible to recover it (see “Phone security Q & A“). “I work on the basis that anything I put on there I’ve got to be prepared for people to see,” says McGeehan.
As for me, I’ve taken to deleting potentially incriminating messages as soon as they arrive in my inbox – and reproving the sender in return. I have also passed my old handset to my husband for safekeeping. If those brazen messages must fall into someone else’s hands, I’d rather they were the hands of the Don Juan who composed them than a smirking IT geek in a distant windowless room.
To read the rest of this article please go to: New Scientist
With the recent incident highlighted in an article on the register website regarding the theft of consumer electronic from people luggage and their subsequent sale on eBay once again the use of CheckMEND could have saved a lot of people buying this stuff a lot of hassle. Remember if it looks too good to be true it probably is, always check what you are buying with CheckMEND.
I have just been watching BBC News and one of their features was ‘Why shopping online could reward’.
The feature really focused on the fact that shoppers who like to spend their money online could also be earning at the same time and used an example from a woman who would only purchase items once she had sold a few on eBay and made a small profit. Great example of how online shopping can really work well with the current credit crunch. However, I do wish the BBC had highlighted some of the risks involved in online shopping, like CNBC have done.
Yesterday we launched in the US and have already seen some coverage including from the Denver Post and it states we aim to curb the cybercrime of selling suspect second-hand goods. Hopefully there will be more to follow.
Anyway, hopefully the USA launch will be just as successful as the UK. According to the US Census Bureau the population of USA currently stands at 304,381,960 with:
• One birth every 7 seconds
• One death every 13 seconds
• One international migrant (net) every 29 seconds
• Net gain of one person every… 10 seconds
From the global population of internet users 27% are in the US and having read a lot of online articles and blogs e-fencing is proving to be a problem which the US are struggling to control. E-fencing laws have been discussed as being essential to combat organised retail crime. However, CheckMEND should now be an answer to their prayers, so let’s see how it goes.
This is what we do best and we have had plenty of stories from people who didn’t discover CheckMEND in time…
For example; Andrew Gudelajtis, from Mansfield, bought a Vodafone Nokia mobile phone from eBay for his wife. The phone arrived in a sealed box and was sold as being brand new, but after using it for six weeks the mobile phone stopped working.
He decided that he should use CheckMEND to check the IMEI number on its database. The search came back and identified the phone as being stolen or blocked. Unfortunately Andrew was then unable to re-trace the eBay seller and is left with a phone that doesn’t work and at the moment he is pursuing Vodafone to see if they can help – either by unblocking the phone or chasing the seller.
Hopefully he will have some luck at some point, but it is a great example of why you should use ‘CheckMEND before you buy’ or insist on sellers having a CheckMEND report. Or as I mentioned within my last post we should push for eBay to insist all sellers conduct a CheckMEND report!
Any questions – please fire them this way!
E-fencing – it’s an easy way to make fast cash and there are no regulations to stop you. BUT we can change this.
E-fencing is increasing everyday, according to CNBC , with the help of faceless online auction sites such as eBay and we need to really start looking into ways to overcome these issues. Well CheckMEND already have.
CNBC news in the USA have been really pushing the dangers consumers are facing in order to make e-fencing a more recognized problem.
The US-based National Retail Federation even went as far as to predict health problems caused by e-fencers re-selling stolen beauty products online, listing Cover Girl, Olay and RoC as the most common targets of e-fencing.
New York based Tiffany & Co has previously filed a lawsuit against eBay, and a host of other major retailers have all tried to persuade eBay and other online auction companies to combat e-fencing, but little has moved forward.
I have noticed a few online discussions by a number of cyber-crime bloggers about who is to blame and who’s responsibility it is. One I would like to highlight is, Investor Trip’s They point out the fact that eBay seem to be passing the buck. Quoting eBay’s Vice President of Trust & Safety Rob Chesnut: ‘increase theft protection at the retail level. It’s the job of these major retailers to prevent criminals from lifting their products.’
Although eBay is right, I still believe it is also the responsibility of eBay, and other online action sites, to protect their users. One simple way of doing this is to CHECKMEND IT. From our perspectives, asking all sellers to carry out a compulsory CheckMEND check would solve a lot of e-fencing problems.
Currently, there is an option to carry out a checkMEND report on eBay but it’s not compulsory. If we can persuade eBay to enforce then at least consumers will know they are shopping safely with eBay! Reassurance is all they need.
Anyway, here are some interesting snapshots of the top 10 eBay selling markets last year by rank, published on 14.05.2008 by Harris Interactive:
- Los Angeles-Long Beach, California
- 196,089 Los Angeles residents sold 24,051,645 items for a total of $1,396,037,518.
- Best-selling categories for Los Angeles sellers were cell phones and their accessories as well as clothing and accessories.
- Los Angeles sellers were also the most charitable eBay sellers last year, donating the most of any city via eBay Giving Works, eBay’s program that helps people buy and sell for a cause, turning e-commerce into a force for good.
- 158,859 New York City residents sold 12,621,651 items for a total of $1,045,503,913.
- Best-selling categories for New York sellers were jewelry, gems, watches and clothing and accessories.
172,972 Chicago residents sold 10,229,844 items for a total of $908,708,440.
Best-selling categories for Chicago sellers included toys and sports memorabilia.
120,900 Philadelphia residents sold 7,069,212 items for a total of $584,383,915. Best-selling categories for Philadelphia sellers included collectibles and toys.
85,484 Dallas residents sold 5,003,292 items for a total of $754,493,210. Best-selling categories for Dallas sellers included jewelry, gems and watches, and clothing and accessories. Dallas sellers also made more money on sales of cars and trucks than did sellers in any other top-10 U.S. seller market.
Orange County, California
75,486 Orange County residents sold 6,945,490 items for a total of $636,654,084.
Best-selling categories for Orange County sellers were auto parts and cell phones and accessories.
112,462 D.C. residents sold 5,024,888 items for a total of $393,720,726. Best-selling categories for D.C. sellers included books and toys.
76,450 Houston residents sold 4,297,389 items for a total of $528,872,858. Best-selling categories for Houston sellers included health and beauty and collectibles.
Nassau-Suffolk, New York -
70,714 Nassau-Suffolk residents sold 5,396,880 for a total of $400,253,200. Sports memorabilia and health and beauty were best-selling categories here.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida -
39,623 Fort Lauderdale residents sold 2,838,954 items for a total of $631,845,063.
Best-selling categories for Fort Lauderdale sellers included home furnishings and auto parts.
was carried out by Harris Interactive. They also revealed that one in 10 US adults (that’s 11percent) is currently selling personal household items to generate extra cash, with the majority (59 percent) doing so via online sales
or auction sites like eBay. Additionally, 30 percent of all adults say they are likely to sell their personal or household items over the next three months to earn extra cash. Great, but are you sure they are not stolen!!!
So, lets all jump o
n the band wagon and make sure a CheckMEND check is enforced with all sales on eBay.