As Christmas fast approaches, we’d like to share a few crime prevention tips that are known to be effective at this time of year.
Make approaching your home too conspicuous for burglars – Invest in motion sensor lights or even festive lighting.
Be secure, especially with festive lighting – Check for vulnerabilities around the home and garden such as feeding cables through open windows.
Create the illusion of occupancy when you’re away, especially at night. Use inexpensive light timers or a Fake TV to deter would-be thieves.
Create the illusion of occupancy when you’re away, especially at night. Use inexpensive light timers or a Fake TV to deter would-be thieves.
Away over Christmas? Ask a neighbour to park on the driveway, redirect parcels, and be sure to cancel milk or paper deliveries.
Be cyber aware and careful not to advertise your new gifts or trips away on social media!
Don’t hide spare keys and use alarms if you have them.
Protecting your home and family need not be time consuming or expensive; a few simple steps can make all the difference.
Don’t forget to register and protect gifts and valuables on Immobilise – It is completely FREE and helps deter thieves and combat property crime. Visit immobilise.com and click on ‘register’ or if you already have an account, log in using your account details to update your property list.
We are offering 15% OFF all our marking and security products. Visit shop.immobilise.com using coupon code: Christmas15 on checkout. Discount available until Monday 4th January & includes FREE delivery on orders over £30!
Sony’s Playstation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox series X had their big reveals recently selling out immediately. For those who aren’t willing to pay thousands of pounds on eBay in a bidding war, it appears that the next best chance to score a system will be on Black Friday. That’s when a number of big-box retailers will make their latest shipments available.
If you are lucky enough to get one this holiday season and are looking to sell your old gaming system don’t forget to sell with a CheckMEND.com certificate it’s been proven to enhance listings on internet auction and classified sites to get you a much better price. All you need is the serial number to perform a check on CheckMEND to generate a certificate.
If you’re considering buying a second-hand system, on the other hand, you may want to look at a Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS4 Pro, or PS4 Slim, all having plenty of life left, there are bargains to be had. For added peace-of-mind before making a purchase don’t forget to ask the seller or retailer for a copy of a CheckMEND certificate to prove the legitimacy of the system. You may check the certificate’s authenticity free of charge by entering its number at checkmend.com/uk/verify.
Immobilise is not just for individuals. We’re here to support small and medium enterprises too. You should register tools, fixtures and fittings, computers, phones, electronic or electrical components, retail stock – in fact, any item that your business owns.
Of course, each item must be uniquely identifiable. Most electronic devices will have an inherent serial number, but for those that don’t, you can utilise any asset marking methods you prefer – labels, engraving, RFID tags, stamps, punches, embossing – whatever is best suited to your products and processes. Immobilise supports all asset marking methods from all manufacturers; we even have some of our own that you may buy from shop.immobilise.com.
Register a new account at immobilise.com under the name of a business principal or manager; we recommend using a group email address that several people have access to rather than an individual, but it’s up to you. As a business, you’re likely to have more items to register than individuals, so we’ve provided a spreadsheet template, downloadable from your account that helps you register hundreds of things at once. If you’re already using an internal asset register, you may even be able to export your data in the same format before uploading to your account.
If you mark something as lost or stolen on your account, it’s reflected in real-time to national police systems. This unique integration ensures that if police encounter your property, they can return it to you quickly. Of course, if they have someone in possession of property stolen from you, this also provides valuable evidence to detain or even prosecute someone.
While the spreadsheet template makes adding multiple items to your account a breeze, once there, they need managing. It’s no good recording an item as yours once it is legitimately sold. With hundreds, perhaps thousands of items or rapidly changing stock profiles, this can become a chore. For this situation, we have a low-cost service that delivers additional benefits and peace of mind.
Real-time monitoring for mobile devices and technology
This service receives daily files from your existing asset management or stock control systems, recording identifying serial numbers and remaining synchronised with your systems without manual intervention.
Being always up to date enables functionality that an Immobilise account cannot deliver. Every AssetWatch record tells us that you still own that item, whether it be the subject of a lease, rental agreement, provided to an employee or merely sitting in unsold stock. In all these cases, you would not want to see the item ‘out in the wild’, cited in an insurance claim or in possession of someone in police custody. All these events indicate that the item is not where it ought to be and so we notify you in real-time of these occurrences. Also, thanks to AssetWatch’s unique integration with CheckMEND, the world’s leading second-hand trade due-diligence service, we even prevent the item from being traded.
Your retail outlet keeps a small stock of valuable consumer electronics. The local manager charged with securing and managing that stock is less than honest and is manipulating the system to their ends. They have the necessary access to stock management, and exceptions so can easily hide misdeeds. However, taking a device that is recorded on AssetWatch round the corner to the nearest second-hand trader results in that trader rejecting the sale when they run their due-diligence check. Not only that but the sale attempt is recorded and you notified of the time, date, place and item. You know that item has not been sold but now you know it’s been stolen! AssetWatch has been instrumental in identifying employee theft and benefits from being outside the normal controls within businesses.
For equipment out on rental, a similar same thing may happen. A bad actor reports to you that the item was stolen from a site or vehicle; perhaps they make a police report too in an attempt to convince you of their plight but when a sale is attempted, the date, time and in many cases, CCTV evidence will expose the crook.
Finally, straight up employee theft. The valuable laptop or phone you have provided them to do their job and an employee in need of fast cash. They try to trade the item, but it’s the trader rejects it and an automated alert is sent to you. Perhaps they succeed at the next less diligent trader, and now they report it stolen expecting the company to replace it and make an insurance claim. The times don’t add up with the first offer before the report of theft and the trader holding identifiable evidence of the seller.
In short, AssetWatch tells us the item should not be seen in trade. We use that to prevent sale among thousands of diligent traders and alert you to any attempts. In many cases, we’re telling you that your business has been a victim of theft before your stock checks or loss prevention manager would otherwise have a clue. AssetWatch achieves this while also delivering all the repatriation opportunities and benefits of an Immobilise registration.
All theft is distressing for the victim and often costly but perhaps none more so than tool theft from tradespeople. You’ve amassed the right tools for every job over several years then one day, they’re all gone in an instant, stolen from a site, your van, or your workshop. Aside from the cost of replacement, some may be irreplaceable. Tools you’ve had since being an apprentice or gifted to you by a respected mentor can be as treasured as family heirlooms.
You already know the well-trodden advice to deter theft;
Bring tools indoors overnight;
Use uprated locks and storage safes;
Always enable your alarm;
But less obvious is the importance of marking your tools.
Power tools, in particular, have serial numbers – record these as belonging to you on a secure register. The police recover thousands of tools every month, but they cannot return most as their owners are unknown. In addition to recording, clearly mark your tools, vehicles, and premises warning would-be thieves that your property is traceable.
Protect your tools with Immobilise
Immobilise – The UK’s national property register, is integrated with police systems, FREE to use, and can record serial numbers or the numbers of marking products and labels from Immobilise or any other marking product. Whatever physical marking method you choose, ensuring it’s registered at immobilise.com is the best way to maximise your chances of return.
Registration on Immobilise enables the return of your property and helps you to expedite insurance claims with accurate information. Also, a simple click, reporting an item as stolen will prevent its trade at thousands of reputable second-hand traders across the UK and mindful buyers from auction sites who make use of the world’s leading property due-diligence service, CheckMEND.com.
In a typical month, CheckMEND is used to protect buyers in over 5 million transactions each month. In a typical month, CheckMEND prevents over £30m of stolen property from being traded, and Immobilise is uniquely integrated with that system.
If you are a victim of theft, your registration and report on Immobilise prevents the thief from profiting, gives the police evidence of a suspect’s wrongdoing and ultimately, helps get your property back. Register now or login to an existing account on Immobilise.
Second-hand smartphones are good for the environment and often represent real bargains. As with any used purchase, though it is essential to take steps to protect yourself and minimise the chances of buying a dud.
Used phones may have been involved in frauds from ID theft involving bogus airtime contracts to fake retailer returns and fraudulent insurance claims. In addition of course to the all-too-common burglary, robbery, and more serious crimes.
What can you do to minimise your risk of buying a stolen phone?
Always ask the seller for the IMEI and Manufacturer’s serial number of the phone – if they have many units to sell they may not know this until actual despatch. Still, a private or small volume seller should always be able and willing to provide this.
Use the numbers to run a check for yourself at CheckMEND.com. This will let you know if there is any record that the phone is lost, stolen, or the subject of an insurance claim, police report, or corporate ownership that may affect your ability to obtain the legal title.
Better still, ask the seller for a copy of the CheckMEND certificate produced when they first received the phone. The best sellers do this as part of their business routinely and again will be happy to provide it. An advantage here is that you may check the certificate’s authenticity free of charge by entering its number at checkmend.com/uk/verify.
Confirm the IMEI and the serial number of the phone that arrives matches what the seller said they were sending.
In a typical month, traders using CheckMEND avoid buying £35m worth of stolen property. Don’t become the second victim of a phone crime, insist on CheckMEND.
Trading in second-hand property is an admirable but risky business. It encourages re-use to the benefit of the environment, saves manufacturing emissions and prolongs the availability of precious resources. It helps people acquire things they need or want but may not be able to afford new, and it provides a source of cash without driving people into debt.
Though the vast majority of those you buy from are honest people with a genuine need and full legal title to whatever they are selling, the bad actors represent a disproportionate risk of revenue loss and maybe legal exposure to your business. Even the well-intentioned seller may be blissfully ignorant that some contract arrangement means they don’t have legal title to what they’re selling. Unfortunately, the good seller’s ignorance presents the same risk to you as the bad seller’s dishonesty.
To mitigate these risks, first know your seller. Make effective identity checks to confirm their name and address. Ask the right questions–do they own the property? Are they representing someone who owns it? Can you contact the owner? Do they have the original receipt? Obvious questions perhaps, but not asking such questions and obtaining written confirmation of the answers will make it very difficult for you to mount a defence if you should end up buying stolen property.
Intent is a requirement of many criminal offences; some laws though create a number of offences that do not require it. Simply contravening these laws may be sufficient for a court to convict. Such laws though do allow the defence of reasonable precautions or due diligence. While there is no absolute test for sufficient due diligence, one thing is for sure – doing nothing and relying on ignorance is no defence at all.
Some due diligence is better than none but be sure to ask yourself if you could have done better. Are you acting in the best interests of your customers, your shareholders and your staff (all of whom you have some duty of care to)? If you find yourself in court are you confident that you can demonstrate there is nothing more that would have been reasonable for you to do?
Recipero are pleased to announce the global launch their new CheckMEND website. The new mobile friendly design helps CheckMEND users run real-time reports to avoid trading stolen phones and mobile devices, regardless of location or access-device.
Launched simultaneously in the US, UK and EU the new responsive site has been well received by CheckMEND’s extensive footprint of users which include national consumer electronics retailers, international recyclers, traders and the public.
CheckMEND produces real-time history reports based on comprehensive data published into Recipero’s Device Service Bureau by numerous organizations covering mobile networks, retailers, police, insurers, lease providers and the public.
Reports are delivered instantly to aid buying/selling decisions, helping CheckMEND users avoid financial loss, legal implications and hassle that’s often associated with handling devices with questionable backgrounds!
The service doesn’t stop there either; CheckMEND Status Change Alerts are a powerful feature that helps mitigate issues that can occur when a smartphone or other mobile device is reported as lost or stolen after a check is performed!
For more information about CheckMEND’s features, how it creates savings for customers, helps Police provide Safe Trader Schemes, and aids compliance with the Recyclers Code of Practice please visit www.checkmend.com or www.recipero.com
We are pleased to announce that the Recipero Helpdesk website has recently been updated to be fully responsive. Users are now able to access the knowledgebase and submit support queries easily whether they are on a laptop, tablet or phone!
Users continue to be able to email support via the usual addresses published on each of of our product sites if they prefer. However we recommend creating support requests via the support portal, as the solution to many queries may be automatically suggested which in many cases, can answer queries straight away!
Denver, CO. – January 28, 2015 – Today, Recipero announced a strategic partnership with Competitive Carriers Association to help prevent the trade and sale of stolen consumer electronics, including smartphones.
Recipero CheckMEND is the most complete international listing of lost and stolen mobile devices available, comprised of data from major wireless carriers and law-enforcement entities globally. Using the CheckMEND tool, CCA members will have the ability to identify lost or stolen devices and prevent these devices from entering the carrier’s buyback programs.
In addition, CCA can help eliminate trafficking in stolen mobile devices in the U.S. and abroad by submitting the respective identification numbers of all devices that have been reported as lost or stolen into Recipero’s CheckMEND database. The CheckMEND database can also be used by consumers and law-enforcement agencies to verify that a pre-owned CCA member smartphone has not been reported lost or stolen
Consumer safety is a priority for our members, and I am delighted that CCA and Recipero have formed a strategic partnership to help preserve the safety of our members’ customers
said CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry.
Giving carriers the tools they need to identify stolen or lost devices will certainly help protect their customers and build loyalty, while at the same time proactively reduce mobile-device theft and the sale of stolen smartphones in the U.S. and abroad. The CCA/Recipero effort is a practical, common-sense business solution to solve a real problem for consumers.
Mark Harman, CEO of Recipero said:
CCA’s collaboration with Recipero marks a significant step in helping the industry address cellphone crime. The availability of CCA members lost and stolen device data alongside our existing datasets reinforces Recipero’s reputation for delivering solutions that aim to help socially whilst providing clear commercial benefits.
Ensure that the lock/erase/restore functionalities built into many phones today is enabled by default.
This is important progress for consumers, many of whom choose not to enable such mechanisms. In future it is hoped they will have to actively choose to disable them. Consumer choice will not be restricted – but they will be protected by default. In the area of theft from consumers, such functionality is having an effect already. Changing the default configuration will ensure more consumers are protected.
Secure the unique device identifiers by ensuring they cannot be changed.
This is absolutely crucial to both the good operation of cellular networks and in the fight against crime. The practice of reprogramming is already outlawed in several countries but enforcement is virtually impossible. Making identifiers immutable at a hardware level will make circumvention uneconomical for criminals. At the same time it will ensure that existing tools such as cross-operator blocking continue to effectively contribute to the fight against device crime.
Improve use of data to stop the resale of stolen devices.
This request has three components and is the most significant recommendation. Data sharing is already used to reduce wider crimes involving corporate theft and contract fraud that blocking or ‘kill switch’ functions do not address but there are gaps that need to be addressed.
Some existing databases are slow and cumbersome
Industry needs to use the “best of breed” databases to share information.
Industry must support law enforcement agencies in its actions
The Chairman sets the challenge “There must be an app for that!” Well, there is, of course, and it can be accessed by law enforcement officers from any smartphone, tablet or web browser at www.nmpr.com. This web application brings together databases old and new in one place that officers can use very simply. The global NMPR is used by over 80,000 police officers and staff in the UK and 75 agencies in the US are currently trialing its use. We anticipate that the FCC’s attention in this area will encourage all law enforcement agencies to explore this powerful tool.
Industry must take steps to verify that a device is not stolen when it is offered to them in trade
Some industry leaders including Sprint, Gamestop and Gazelle adopted such practices up to two years ago. They recognized that simply checking whether a phone is blocked by another network is not enough. Less than 50% ¹ of phones that are not in the hands of the rightful owner are reported to networks. Those subject to insurance claims, corporate theft, supply chain leakage, contract and rental fraud account for a massive amount of thefts that do not result in network blocking or kill switch activation. These can only be addressed by both data sharing from industry and appropriate due-diligence at the point of trade.
The Chairman’s requests to industry are clear, focused and actionable. The solutions to each challenge are available and cost effective. The wireless industry and law enforcement would do well to look closely at those solutions.
¹ As at 8th Dec 2014 US blocked phones accounts for 48.9% of the total US stolen phones that Recipero holds records of.