Category Archives: Crime

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.

Back to school… With £3.2 billion worth of tech

Schoolimage1When the school gates opened for the new term, its estimated that under 16s’ bags contained over £3.2 billion worth of tech – a staggering average in excess of £270 per school bag*. Such high values intensify issues associated with loss and theft requiring students to be ever more cautious.

To stay safe and secure we recommend …

  • Students shouldn’t leave their smartphones, cameras, iPods and tablets unattended, and when not in use they should be kept secure in a locked bag or locker.
  • Don’t show off expensive devices, especially in public spaces. Children and young teenagers make easy targets for unscrupulous thieves.
  • Ensure gadgets are registered on Immobilise,  recording the make, model,  and any serial codes but most importantly for smartphones the IMEI number – for mobiles just key in *#06#  on the handset to display the IMEI.
  • Bicycles should be kept in the school’s designated areas and secured with a D-lock to an immovable object such as ground mounted loop. Don’t forget to register the bike on Immobilise and consider enhancing the registration with an ImmobiTag RFID tag.

* Statistics sourced from USwitch Survey: USwitch

This post is an extract from our regular email updates that contain other crime prevention tips and topical news along side special offers and discounts on items in our Immobilise property marking and security products. (Go to: https://shop.immobilise.com/)

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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.

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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.

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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

Christmas is a busy time…for thieves – 10 Crime prevention tips

Christmas brings the busiest shopping weeks of the year and for many retailers often accounts for 70% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, jewellery and must-have accessories is commonplace, unfortunately though it provides thieves with an increased incentive to commit burglaries.

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10 crime prevention tips you shouldn’t ignore…

TIP 1: Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. Also, highlighting the fact your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise using window decals provide a further warning that your goods are traceable and not worth the risk of stealing!

TIP 2: Festive lighting – be secure. A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.

TIP 3: Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Refuse collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to break apart boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!

TIP 4: Be careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media! According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This can let burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as if privacy settings aren’t tied down, it can allow burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.

TIP 5: Check doors and windows for weak spots. Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.

TIP 6: Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night, making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy, you should also consider leaving a radio on or go further and invest in a Fake TV device to emulate the light given of by at television.

TIP 7: Away over Christmas – plan ahead! If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Don’t leave overly descriptive telephone answering machine messages and again make use of light timers, radios and devices like Fake TV’s.

TIP 8: Secure garages and sheds. Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is recorded on immobilise.

TIP 9: Don’t hide keys and use alarms if you have them. Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home when you are away and overnight where possible.

TIP 10: And lastly, don’t forget to register your gifts on Immobilise (www.immobilise.com)! Most gadgets have a unique identification code such as a serial number or for mobile phones an IMEI number – This IMEI number can be found quickly and easily by pressing the following keys on your mobile handset: *#06#. If your gift doesn’t have a unique identifier there are several affordable marking kits available from the Immobilise store allowing the police to easily identify the owners of items they recover and so detect crime.

We hope that you find these tips useful and encourage you to share them with your family, friends and colleagues. As always please remain vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

SaferGems’ members to benefit from partnership with Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem

safergems-montage-w250Recipero is pleased to announce its partnership with SaferGems, a service provided by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).

Focusing initially on jewellery and watch traders, the partnership is set to dramatically improve the benefits of the SaferGems Watch Register service which helps members report and be alerted to lost and stolen items.

The Watch Register is operated by SaferGems, a joint initiative established by the BSIA in partnership with a number of prominent organisations including TH March Insurance Brokers, the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) and the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA).

In 2014 alone, over £9m worth of watches was stolen from individuals and jewellery stores, often inadvertently being sold on through the UK’s wide network of pawnbrokers and second-hand jewellery traders. Intelligence gathered by SaferGems shows that watches are among the items of personal property most targeted by thieves, with jewellery shops also frequently targeted by ‘smash and grab’ opportunists and organised gangs.

SaferGems are now entering into partnership with Recipero to improve the operational capabilities of the Watch Register. SaferGems’ Intelligence Officer, Simon Gardner, comments:

Whilst reviewing the operational needs and costs of providing a fast and easily accessible checking service for Watch Register, it became clear that Recipero’s CheckMEND service already provided a very comprehensive service that is well proven in thousands of retail premises nationwide and with a little cooperation could incorporate the Watch Register data that we already hold.

Les Gray, Recipero’s COO said:

We’re delighted to be able to incorporate Watch Register into Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem. This represents real value to Safer Gems and their members and of course enhances existing cooperation with UK Police.

Steve Jupp Deputy Chief Constable with the Suffolk Police Force adds:

This collaboration is another positive step forward in assisting the Police service to work more effectively with the business industry, to identify and recover stolen property. The register is an easy to use and efficient way for officers to access information; I know it will assist in the conviction of many offenders to come.

SaferGems members will further benefit through discounted use of Recipero’s CheckMEND service. CheckMEND, which forms part of many Police “Safe Seller Scheme” initiatives, enables traders of second-hand items to perform history checks to help mitigate the inherent risks of handling second-hand property.

Simon Gardner concludes:

In the long-term, the Watch Register will help to reduce crimes against the jewellery industry by making it more difficult for thieves to resell stolen watches without getting caught.

Further information

Recipero is the leading data aggregator and innovator in personal possession fraud and theft prevention worldwide.  The “Recipero Crime Reduction Ecosystem” works to protect consumers and businesses through provision of intelligence services. Forming part of millions of decision-making processes and transactions every month, Recipero’s data and intelligence solutions are provided online, in real-time, and are used globally by law enforcement, insurers, recyclers, retailers and consumers. Learn more at: www.recipero.com

The British Security Industry Association is the trade association covering all aspects of the professional security industry in the UK. Its members provide over 70% of UK security products and services and adhere to strict quality standards. For more information see www.bsia.co.uk, email info@bsia.co.uk or telephone 0845 389 3889/020 7484 8728.

The SaferGems team, which has links to all the UK police forces; Co-ordinates data from the trade on incidents and suspicious events; Sends alerts to members of the NAG, the BJA and those insured via T H March; Co-ordinates data across police forces to improve identification and conviction of criminals. Learn more at:  www.safergems.org.uk

Police warn public on risk of shed burglaries

The Sunderland Echo have reported that Police in the area are offering vital ‘sheducation’ to the public – in a bid to keep opportunistic burglars locked out.

Crime-fighting cops in South Tyneside and Sunderland are reminding householders of the importance of shed security – after a recent surge in the number of sheds being broken into, with bikes being stored inside being the main target for crooks.

Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Young said:

People often don’t realise the value of the items they are storing inside their shed but if they’ve got expensive tools and bikes in there it all adds up and unfortunately, burglars are wise to this.

Home security is vitally important and most people install security measures to protect their home however, they then don’t have adequate security on sheds and outbuildings leaving these types of buildings vulnerable to being targeted by thieves.

A good quality lock could make all the difference over whether or not a burglar chooses to break-in to a particular building.

Officers also say registering items that are stored inside the shed on national property register immobilise.com can help ensure it is returned to the owner if it is stolen. It also helps identify those involved in burglary.

Insp Young added:

When we recover property we suspect has been stolen we will search immobilise to see if the property has been registered – if it has not only can we return the property but we can clearly identify the person in possession of the property as not being the owner and arrest them for handling stolen goods.

To register property visit: www.immobilise.com

Property marking warning for building site burglars

York Police are fighting back against building site burglars – by making valuable tools and plant kit ‘too hot to handle’ with Immobilise.

Following a spate of recent burglaries targeting building sites York Police are taking proactive steps to deter criminals and ensure property is easy to identify.

Officers are attending a building site in Clifford Street, York, today (Tuesday 27 October) to security mark and log all equipment there, ensuring would-be thieves would find it impossible to sell on. The site was recently targeted by burglars, and police are now inviting other building firms in York to get their equipment marked too.

Property on the site will be security marked using dot peen marking, in conjunction with the Hermes recording system to log it on Immobilise, the UK national property register database.

Property marking sessions at other sites are also taking place, and officers are now inviting firms in York to get in touch so their equipment can also be security marked and registered.

PCSO Chris Shearing, of York Police, said:

Getting your property marked – whether it’s plant kit, power tools, bikes or gadgets – is one of the most effective ways to protect it from criminals.

The permanent marking will deter thieves, as it makes it far harder to sell on. It will also be much easier for us to return it to its rightful owner if it is lost or stolen, and could provide vital evidence to secure a prosecution.

Plant kit and power tools on building sites can be worth thousands of pounds, which is why it’s so important to get it security marked and registered. We want the message to go out to would-be burglars that targeting sites in York is simply not worth the risk.

Dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number. The unique number is entered onto the national Immobilise property register database. The dot peen machines in York were funded by North Yorkshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, and Safer York Partnership.

For more information, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/whatisdotpeen. Drop-in sessions for members of the public are promoted in the local press and on Twitter with the hashtag #whatisdotpeen, via the local team accounts @snayorkcityeast, @snayorknorth and @snayorkwest.

Any businesses or organisations in York interested in getting their property marked should contact their local police team by dialling 101 and selecting option 2.

CheckMEND featured on BBC One programme – Cashing In

Cashing InThe Recipero CheckMEND solution was featured yesterday (22/07/2015) in BBC One programme “Cashing In” helping Cash Converters trade safely.

It is a great example of CheckMEND in use helping traders and police tackle phone crime. Watch it from 35 minutes on BBC iPlayer (available until 21/08/2015)

Link: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05n92sg/cashing-in-episode-1