Category Archives: eBay

Thieves See Christmas Differently

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!

Another (Important) Christmas Checklist

Many of us will have done much of our Christmas shopping online this year. For those of you intending to visit the high street, busy shopping areas can be magnets for pick-pockets and other criminals this time of year. It’s important to be as vigilant as ever and whilst out shopping: 

  • Put cash and cards away safely and try not to keep your valuables in one place, especially your phone – should your bag be lost or stolen you can still call for help.
  • Shield the keypad when typing in your PIN when making payments or withdrawing cash. 
  • Don’t make it easy for thieves by hanging bags on chairs. If you’re having a well-earned break, keep your bag and shopping in your eye-line and away from passing hands.
  • Avoid overtly wearing expensive jewellery and watches in public places. 
  • Park vigilantly in an open, well-lit area. Visit the website parkmark.co.uk for details of police approved car parks. It sounds simple but If you must store presents in a vehicle, make sure they are out of view and that the car is securely locked. 
  • If you witness a crime report it to shop staff or police dialling 999. For suspicions and non-emergencies call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to provide anonymous information

Cyber Monday Immobilise Crime Reduction & Security Products Offer

If you have recently bagged yourself a bargain or two over the Black Friday weekend don’t forget to register them on Immobilise.com and to help you protect your valuables we’re offering 25% OFF our Immobilise marking products including Bike Tags at shop.immobilise.com. Simply use the promo code CyberMonday25 at the checkout. Discount available until 7th December.

What can I register?

You can register anything on immobilise.com if it has a unique identifier such as a serial or IMEI number which you can find on laptops and phones. If your items do not have these then you can record any distinguishable markings or purchase one of our marking products that the police are familiar with, such as ImmobiTag for your bicycle or our new ImmobiDot for smaller items.

Why should I register?

The property register plays an essential part in crime reduction and repatriation. It enables the police to identify owners of lost or stolen property and return it. In the event of theft, you will have a ready-made list of your property with photographs and identifiers for the police as well as a certificate of ownership which may help speed an insurance claim

How do I register?

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.

Check Up before you level up

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.

Register and protect your business assets and technology with Immobilise

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.

Remote working from home in the kitchen with a company laptop.

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.

Company tech can be registered on immobiise.com – It’s completely FREE.

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.

AssetWatch

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.

AssetWatch Approved Data Partner Logo.

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.

Use cases

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.

Protecting trades’ tools and depriving criminals of cash

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.

Protecting trades’ tools and depriving criminals of cash.

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.

What can you do to minimise your risk of buying a stolen phone?

It was great to read about successful businesses in this article from the BBC about buying second-hand smartphones. 

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. 

A person checking whether a smartphone has a significant used history on CheckMEND.com

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.

1 in 5 Students fall victim to property crime

It may surprise you to learn that according to the National Union of Students as many as one in five students fall victim to property crime whilst at college or university. 

Thieves know that student residences are full of expensive gear; laptops, tablets, phones, bikes and cameras which provide rich pickings. In fact, the average break-in costs £900 to repair the damage and replace belongings.

A lot of theft is opportunistic – a few simple steps can be enough to make thieves think twice and move on. 

  • When you go out, make sure all windows and doors are locked. It’s an obvious one but do double check!
  • Check windows for vulnerabilities. Make sure they’re robust, secure and fitted with locks. If they’re not, speak to your landlord or letting agent. 
  • Don’t advertise your valuables to thieves. Ensure your valuables are not visible through windows. 
  • Register your possessions at Immobilise.com. It’s FREE and provides the simplest way to return your property if found after loss or theft. 
  • Keep your gate shut and bolted at all times. Make sure bins don’t make it easy for burglars to climb over walls or fences. 
  • Simulate occupancy with light timers or products like a FakeTV. 
  • Get insurance. It is tempting to save money, but it’s a false economy. Make sure it covers all your stuff. 
  • Bikes should be kept int he school’s designated areas and kept secured with a D-lock to an immovable object such as a ground-mounted loop. Don’t forget to register the bike at Immobilise.com

Registering your property at Immobilise.com is FREE. You can register property irrespective of any 3rd party labelling used; it’s all accepted!

For 20% off all Immobilise marking products including FakeTV and Bike tags at shop.immobilise.com, use code BACKTOSCHOOL20 at the checkout. Discount valid until 30th September 2020.

Second-hand Trading – Forewarned is Forearmed

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?

If you’re not sure you can answer that question, give us a call. We can help. For contact information: https://www.recipero.com/contact or to learn about due diligence checking of used consumer electronics visit https://www.checkmend.com/uk/trader/checking

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.