Category Archives: CheckMEND

Don’t get hung up with fraud this New Year and check for warning signs when buying a second hand phone

Mobile phone fraud prevention specialist, Recipero, part of the Callcredit Information Group, is urging consumers and retailers to undertake device checks when buying a second hand phone to avoid becoming a victim of fraud during the January sales and beyond.

Recipero’s CheckMEND data* reveals, that the number of device checks made on second hand iPhones has almost doubled in the last four years, highlighting the growth in the size of the second hand phone market and the increased awareness amongst some consumers and retailers of ensuring the legitimacy of second hand phones.

Last January there was a spike in the number of iPhone checks performed via the Recipero CheckMEND service. More than 1.3 million checks took place (more than 400,000 up on the month before) and Callcredit’s analysts are expecting upwards of two million at the start of 2018.

Mark Harman, Managing Director of Recipero, said: “Even though our findings highlight that there has been an increase in second hand iPhone device checks, fraud is prevalent in what is a market for increasingly expensive devices. Latest ONS crime figures, compiled from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, show 401,000 mobile phones were reported as stolen in the 12 month period ending March 2017. It’s important that consumers and retailers take the necessary precautions and check the history of a device.”

The Recipero data also revealed a surge in the number of searches on the CheckMEND database following the introduction of new iPhone models – as it shows the number of device checks being performed increasing by over a third (36.6%)** in the period after a new release.

Mark concluded: “A check on a second hand phone includes a device life history that starts at the point of manufacture, through ownership changes, right up to it being recycled. The device is checked against IMEI, a phone’s unique reference number, loss and theft reports and police crime reports in the US and UK, insurers title information and settled claims.
These checks provide information which will flag up (red) in a CheckMEND report if the device is compromised, helping to protect those purchasing a second hand phone from acquiring a lost or stolen device.”

*Based on CheckMEND UK data of number of checks made on iPhones each month from Jan 2014- Dec 2017 inclusive. Taken from the Recipero database which is part of the Callcredit Information Group.

**Based on the average number of CheckMEND iPhone device checks two months prior to a new iPhone launch and the average for the two months following.

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.

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.

Recipero’s CheckMEND goes mobile to help protect mobile device traders!

CheckMEND Responsive WebsiteRecipero 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

Recipero’s US Cell Phone Crime Statistics in 2016 so far…

2016 has already been a busy year for Recipero resulting in our connected device fraud and theft intelligence solutions producing some very interesting statistics.

A more detailed report will be published at the end of Q1, for now though here are some significant facts you might find interesting.

A print optimized version of these stats is available here.

Recipero-Infographic-2016-p1
Recipero US Cell Phone Crime Statistics in 2016 so far. Page 1
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Recipero US Cell Phone Crime Statistics in 2016 so far. Page 2
  • In the first two months of 2016, Recipero provided intelligence on transactions involving over 10 million devices globally.
  • 31% of devices reported stolen were NOT blocked by operators.
  • The Apple 6, 6s and Samsung S6 were the most stolen phones in the US in the first quarter of this year.
  • Day 48 is the most likely day after taking out a lease or rental contract that a user of a device will decide to sell it for cash and stop the installment payments.
  • 7% of devices that are blocked when an insurance claim is made for loss or theft are unblocked within 30 days.
  • 5% of devices offered for sale or trade-in at retail were reported as lost or stolen.
  • 4% of accidental damage or breakdown warranty claims were actually made on devices that had been reported as lost or stolen.
  • $2,100 is the price that a stolen Apple iPhone 6 sells for in some Eastern European countries.
  • Through our global reach, we have seen US stolen devices turn up in some far-reaching places including; Vietnam, Poland, Denmark, Jamaica, Romania, Spain, Mexico, Italy, South Africa and Colombia.

To keep up to date with future news and releases like this please sign up to our newsletter.

Pawnbrokers step up fight against crime with Recipero’s CheckMEND

npa_logoThe National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) took another step forward in the fight against crime when it agreed to work closely with Recipero to benefit from and contribute to the Recipero Crime Reduction Ecosystem.

The NPA have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Recipero, to help facilitate provision of our CheckMEND history reporting service – enabling pawnbrokers across the UK to check that items being offered to them have not been reported lost or stolen.

National Pawnbrokers Association Chief Executive, Ray Perry, said:

“This is yet another step by pawnbrokers to help the police to crack down on crime”.

“We endorse the ‘Gold Standard’ whereby pawnbrokers check for ID and use UV lights to check for forensic property marking”.

“In London, we endorse the ‘Safe Seller’ scheme where pawnbrokers keep clear records so that criminals are kept away from stores. In Scotland, we are working with the police via regular meetings of our Forum to crack down on crime. Across England and Wales, we are working with the Home Office on measures to stamp out crime”.

“Now – with our agreement with Recipero – NPA members can use CheckMEND to check whether any items that enter their stores have been reported as stolen”.

“All this and more demonstrates clearly that 21st century pawnbroking has a zero tolerance approach towards crime”.

Les Gray, Operations Director from Recipero added:

“We are delighted to be working with the NPA and their members to help them trade safely through use of CheckMEND.”

“CheckMEND, as part of Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem provides risk mitigation to NPA members and by preventing the trade of stolen goods works to reduce the incentive to steal. Integration with the Police National Mobile Property Register ensures that attempts to trade stolen property are alerted to police and insurers in real-time.”

LINKS:

To learn more about the NPA please go to: www.thenpa.com

Recipero Helpdesk becomes mobile friendly

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 15.20.03We 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!

The update is part of our continual development of the services including Immobilise, CheckMEND, ReportMyLoss and the NMPR, which along with our other services make up the Recipero Crime Reduction Ecosystem.

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!

To visit the site now please go to: support.recipero.com