All posts by Kelly Fowler

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