Category Archives: Fraud

Preparation is the key to staying safe this winter

You will hear this saying a lot in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas. Preparation is not only a great idea help your Christmas planning run smoothly, but it’s worth preparing for those unforeseen circumstances around the festive period.
 

The last thing you want around this time of year is to worry about burglars but according to The Office of National Statistics, police recorded burglary is up by 3% and theft by 7% compared to last year. So, it is imperative we do as much as possible to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our property as safe as possible.

Follow a few simple tips for a safer holiday season:

Staying Safe this Winter

  1. Register on Immobilise: Before you get too busy with Christmas preparations take some time to record your valuable items on Immobilise, so you have a secure list of precious items.
  2. Deter potential criminals by investing in a motion sensor outdoor flood light and some Immobilise window stickers.
  3. Fake it till you make it, with a Fake TV that recreates the same flickering glow that looks like someone is watching TV, and invest in light timers especially if you are going away.
  4. Keep curtains closed, at night especially when it gets darker earlier and ensure Christmas presents are out of site.
  5. Don’t advertise on social media when you plan to go away. Publishing your movements can let burglars know when there is an empty house.
  6. Preparation is key. Be sure to cancel any scheduled deliveries such as newspaper or milk deliveries that might alert someone you aren’t there.
  7. Don’t hide spare keys. Burglars often watch a house for a few days before attempting to break in and leaving them a key makes it that much easier!
  8. Secure the outside of your home with deadlocks on windows and make sure any sheds or garages are secure.

Festival season is upon us, so keep your valuables safe!

It’s that time of year to kick back and relax at a festival and listen to your favourite kind of music but have you thought about how to keep your valuables safe from loss or theft.

Festivals can be an absolute goldmine for thieves, although there is plenty of advice out there about what is in vogue to wear at festivals this year, there isn’t much advice about protecting your property.

Opportunists can present themselves at any time especially in large crowds so whether you are protecting your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or HTC phone, or are worried about your wallet and camera there are a few things that you can do to keep your valuables safe.

  1. Firstly, you need to register any valuables on Immobilise, the national property register which is linked to the police database (NMPR) where if any property is found the police can run a search and return it to the rightful owner. It is a must do for gadgets such as your mobile phone, which you will want to take with you to a festival. You can register any property on Immobilise, so get registering!
  2. Try not to bring too many valuables in the first place, but if you do don’t leave anything unattended or in tent. Sometimes there may be free locker areas if you do have something you want to lock away.
  3. Keep valuables in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night.
  4. Only take as much cash as you think you will need and try separate cash from cards.
  5. Don’t put phones and wallets in your back pocket.
  6. Report any suspicious behaviour or crime to police immediately.

Stay safe this festival season and have a great time doing it!

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.

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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Jack Wraith MBE appointed as Recipero’s UK Government & Regulatory Affairs Adviser

Jack Wraith MBEWe are pleased to welcome Jack Wraith MBE to Recipero as Government and Regulatory Affairs Adviser. As people familiar with the telecoms industry will know, Jack has extensive experience in the area of telecommunications fraud and risk and has held several lead roles most recently as CEO of TUFF (the Telecommunications United Kingdom Fraud Forum).

Jack has also served as Chair of The Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF), and former Executive Secretary to the Communications Crime Strategy Group (CCSG). In tandem with these roles Jack has also acted as Chairman to a number of fraud and crime related committees within the UK, including Joint Chairmanship of the ACPO Telecommunications Data Communications Group.

Jack’s role at Recipero is to lead liaison with Government, regulators, law enforcement and mobile operators to ensure a coordinated and effective approach to mobile device fraud and criminality is adopted and maintained.

Mark Harman, CEO Recipero said:

Our on-going liaison with law enforcement and Government continues to be a fundamental part of our business in the UK, US, and other jurisdictions in which we operate.

Jack’s experience and his joining us in this important role will be integral to those on-going partnerships and reinforces Recipero’s commitment to deliver the best fraud and crime reduction solutions to the industry.

Links:

Telecommunications United Kingdom Fraud Forum (TUFF)

The Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF)