Tag Archives: CheckMEND USA

Recipero launches CheckMEND Charter to cut cell phone crime

Recipero, the global experts in device-led data and analytics solutions, today have announced the launch of the CheckMEND Charter.

The CheckMEND Charter was created as a means of establishing an industry-led set of best practices to prevent trading of stolen consumer electronics. In addition to protecting consumers and helping to avoid confusion and frustration, Charter participants pledge to actively help law enforcement agencies combat theft and fraud related to consumer electronics.

Several of the US’s biggest consumer electronics retail, reCommerce and recycling companies are already operating in accordance with its principles, including the leading trade-in site Gazelle.

Gazelle was the first US consumer electronics trade-in site to deploy CheckMEND and continue to demonstrate their commitment to the consumer and industry through their involvement with the Charter and its creation.

Israel Ganot, CEO, Gazelle.

“When we first entered into a partnership with Recipero to leverage the CheckMEND tool, our goal was quite simple: to prevent thieves from benefiting from stolen consumer electronics, the new CheckMEND Charter takes this a step further, not only ensuring that Gazelle will never pay a consumer for a device that has been reported as lost or stolen, but to also ensure law enforcement agencies can more effectively combat consumer electronic device theft. 

The CheckMEND Charter is a voluntary scheme, open to trade users of CheckMEND who agree to abide by its principles. In support of the Charter and its members, Recipero’s experienced CheckMEND team act as a trusted third party to help troubleshoot any issues that consumers may encounter with devices that are rejected.

Mark Harman, CEO of Recipero, commented:

“The adoption of the US Charter is something we have been working toward for several months. Our experience of the implementation of similar schemes in the UK has demonstrated that voluntary codes of practice such as this Charter have a measurable impact on mobile device related crime, results that we believe can be replicated in the US.”

More details on the requirements for Charter members is available online: www.checkmend.com/us/charter.

CheckMEND is delivered online in real-time and is a cutting-edge analytics tool used to more accurately detect lost and stolen consumer electronics. The database is the most complete listing of devices available, comprised of data from major wireless carriers and law enforcement entities globally.

The CheckMEND service assists everyone from eBay users to mega retailers and recyclers like Gazelle to avoid lost, blocked and stolen devices.

 

About Recipero

Recipero (www.recipero.com) is trusted by thousands of clients and data providers to securely aggregate, analyze and interrogate data. Forming part of millions of decision making processes and transactions every month, Recipero’s device-led data and analytics solutions are provided online, in real-time, and are used globally by law enforcement, wireless carriers, insurers, recyclers, retailers and consumers.

About Gazelle

Gazelle is the nation’s leading consumer electronics trade-in site, providing an easy, fast and safe way for consumers to get cash for their unwanted devices. For more information on Gazelle and its participation in the CheckMEND Charter, visit: www.gazelle.com

 

CheckMEND celebrates its 5th Anniversary in the U.S.

checkMEND-logo-color-highresCheckMEND is proud to be celebrating its 5th year of providing North America’s most reputable cell phone and mobile device history checking service.

The past 5 years have seen a great deal of change in global recommerce markets. This incredible growth has being driven by continual consumer demand for the latest and greatest mobile devices, which in turn has led to an ever-increasing number of second-hand devices being traded.

Environmental factors and regulatory issues have also been key drivers in how the market has developed for providers of trade-in and recycling programmes, all of which have resulted in soaring demand for CheckMEND.

CheckMEND’s commitment to the market has earned its reputation as a trusted third party and its service has become an embedded part of millions of transactions each year.

  • For retailers, recyclers, and other businesses handling second-hand devices, use of CheckMEND helps traders avoid lost, blocked and stolen devices, ensures compliance, and has a record of strong ROI.
  • For consumers using eBay, Craigslist or any other re-sale marketplace, a CheckMEND report can not only indicate a device’s current status, it also reports on other factors that can influence its value.
  • For Police and law-enforcement agencies, working with CheckMEND can cut investigation time, reduce costs, and contribute to the reduction of personal property crime.

Gazelle, a leader in consumer electronics trade-in was CheckMEND’s first U.S. customer.  Matt Rowe, VP General Counsel at Gazelle said:

“Gazelle has experienced greater than 100 percent growth in volume for the past several years. With increased volume comes an increase in attempts to trade stolen devices. CheckMEND helps protect our business from that risk and better serve our customers.”

Mark Harman, CEO of Recipero the provider of CheckMEND, commented:

“The U.S. is currently our largest and fastest-growing market. To meet this need 12 months ago we committed investment in all areas of the service particularly in hardware infrastructure, software architecture, and support systems. Our investment ensures CheckMEND is extremely well placed to meet the high-volume, high availability needs of our U.S. clients today and in the future. It is fantastic that this has already been recognised by some of the U.S.’s largest organisations”

Today CheckMEND assists everyone from eBay users to mega retailers and recyclers like GameStop and Gazelle avoid lost, blocked and stolen devices.

GameStop has more than 4,200 U.S. stores, all of which have an active smartphone trade-in program. CheckMEND is a key part of their in-store process where speed and reliability is critical.

Sean Cleland, Director of Recommerce at GameStop said:

“Integrating the Recipero CheckMEND technology with our POS systems and refurbishment facilities was simple and efficient. Their product is an integral part of our efforts to protect our customers and be in full compliance with local regulations.”

Notes for Editors

CheckMEND is provided by Recipero, a company trusted by thousands of data providers to securely aggregate, analyse and interrogate data.  Recipero’s data and analytics are used globally by law enforcement agencies, wireless carriers, insurers, recyclers, retailers and consumers.

Links:

CheckMEND: www.checkmend.com

Recipero: www.recipero.com

GameStop: www.gamestop.com

Gazelle: www.gazelle.com

Sims Recycling Solutions integrates CheckMEND as they expand into Mobile Devices

sims_recyclingLogoSims 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:

CheckMEND: www.checkmend.com

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 and GameStop Partner to Strengthen Electronic Trade-in Program

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.”

About CheckMEND
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 – Leading USA consumer electronics reseller deploys CheckMEND to help identify fraud

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

 

CheckMEND adds finance data to its history report service

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.

 

CheckMEND officially adopted by phone recycling industry and Home Office code of practice

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 Trial the new CheckMEND service in USA

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

The pocket spy: Will your smartphone rat you out? – New Scientist

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“).

Gone phishing

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.

Code cracker

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

Property stolen from luggage and sold on eBay!

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.