Category Archives: Lost Property

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

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/)

To subscribe please update the preferences in your Immobilise account: https://www.immobilise.com/login 

Recipero’s online lost property repatriation service Report My Loss launches across the U.S.

Recipero is pleased to announce the launch of its online Report My Loss service throughout the U.S.

lost-mobile-lres-logoJuly 4th means lots of celebrations, parties and events across the country – it is also a massive day for lost property.

Losing valued possessions is enough of a problem. Reporting it should not add to the inconvenience, cue Report My Loss.

Report My Loss is a simple online tool that does exactly as its name implies, enabling people to easily report all types of lost property including cellphones, jewelry, tools and more.

If you’ve ever lost something, you are all too familiar with the hassle involved in dealing with it – firstly working out when, where and how the loss happened, then trying to find out who you should report it to.

Traditionally, where reports were even possible, they’d be taken locally by police or lost property offices and that’s where they’d stay – locally. If your lost item was recovered in the next town or precinct the chances of a report being matched up with an item was very low.

As a national system, Report My Loss eliminates those historical shortcomings and seeks to join the dots between finding agencies and lost property owners.

Why does it work? The short answer – it’s part of Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem which means many police and other agencies that recover property are already searching Report My Loss records as part of their property investigation processes.

What does it cost? A single report in the U.S. is just $5.95.

Why pay? Good question, there are ways to report losses free but you need to ask yourself some important questions like, how likely are they to help recover my valued possessions? is my data secure? will the report help prevent trade? is the report shared with police?

Report My Loss delivers on all these needs, plus many other benefits that have been well proven in the UK, where it’s used thousands of time each month, dramatically increasing repatriation rates, while delivering considerable time and resource savings for the public and police.

The U.S. loss reporting site is already live at: www.reportmyloss.com/us/

Further information:

Report My Loss corporate information: Recipero Report My Loss information

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 appoint David Dillard to accelerate development and rollout of connected-device intelligence solutions across America

dd-blk-thumb-1Recipero is delighted to announce the appointment of David Dillard as Managing Director – Americas.

David joins Recipero with a reputation for extending mobile technologies across multiple platforms with revolutionary revenue models that cover banking, media, entertainment, real estate, and retail.  Over the past 20 years he has held senior positions at Verizon Wireless, Uni-Mobile, Advertising.com, Point.com, and Sprint PCS.  This experience will assist Recipero’s continued development across enterprise, Government and consumer channels.

Recipero, the connected-device industry’s trusted 3rd party, are device-led data experts delivering critical and timely intelligence to the wireless industry, insurance companies, law enforcement and retailers and recyclers. Solutions focus on with fraud prevention, transaction verification, device due-diligence, crime investigation and device ownership registration.

Providing a “clear title” for buyers and sellers of connected-devices, Recipero solutions work to ensure a smooth carrier re-activation experience. Consumers and enterprises have lost confidence in buying or selling a used cell phone due to the growing issue of a device being blacklisted when it has been lost or stolen or has an outstanding contract/lease against it.

Recipero provide connected-device history reports that reveals if a phone, tablet or other mobile device has been lost, stolen or is associated with an unsatisfied lease or contract.

Recipero has aggregated over over a billion data records over the past 15 years which drives over 5 million inquires per month from law enforcement, consumers and enterprise. Users include Sprint, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Brightstar, Assurant, GameStop, Gazelle and Ingram Micro.

Mark Harman, Group CEO Recipero, said:

“I am delighted to welcome David to our US team. We are excited about continuing our investment into building a carrier-grade team to service many of the US and Americas biggest businesses. David’s understanding of the wireless landscape and experience working in and with carriers will be invaluable as we accelerate US growth.”

David Dillard, Managing Director – Americas, said:

“I’m joining Recipero at a very exciting time as the connected device industry is starting to wake up to the increasing costs of fraud and crime. Recipero have created a powerful platform that I am looking forwarding to rapidly developing and expanding the footprint of users.”

Recipero’s 2014 Mobile Device Crime Facts and Figures

2014 was a busy year for Recipero with our customers checking over $4 Billion worth of devices using our solutions. 

We have pulled a few more more facts and figures from our Crime Reduction Ecosystem that are summarised in the attached infographic “2014 Mobile Device Crime Facts and Figures”.

To learn more about Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem and our solutions that contribute to it, please visit our main website at www.recipero.com

Recipero 2014 Mobile Device Crime Facts and Figures

Over 650 bicycles now registered onto Immobilise by cycle shops in Hull

Humberside Police and cycle shops across Hull are continuing to work together with more than 650 new cycles registered onto www.immobilise.com by stores since the end of May 2014.

Cycle shops across Hull assist customers with registering their newly purchased or repaired cycles for free onto the property registration site at point of purchase. Once they have completed the registration forms with customers in store, Humberside Police Community Safety Volunteers then set up the on-line accounts.
Once registered with an account the owners are then encouraged to add further property onto their personal immobilise account.
www.immobilise.com is a FREE web based property recording system, endorsed and searchable by all UK Police Forces. This is a fantastic tool, used by police across the UK. It allows members of the public to register property details of cycles, mobile phones and other electricals on-line for FREE, which then assists police in returning items to their rightful owners and helps bring offenders to justice.
In addition to Police searching for stolen property, registered second hand dealers and mobile phone recyclers frequently access the data and are assisting in the fight against the market in stolen goods.
If a member of the public was to buy a secondhand item they could also check it for a small cost on www.checkmend.com/uk/, prior to purchase.
To date the following thirteen stores have completed this service for their customers in Hull:
  • Bob’s Bikes, Beverley Road.
  • Cliff Pratt Cycles, Spring Bank.
  • Doug Scott Cycles, Beverley Road.
  • East Coast Bicycles, Princess Avenue.
  • Freetown Sports, Prospect Street.
  • Halfords, St Andrews Quay.
  • Ken Ellerker Cycles, Chanterlands Avenue.
  • Jobes Cycles, Anlaby Road.
  • Jobes Cycles, Holderness Road.
  • Motor World, Hessle Road.
  • Richardson’s Cycles, Marfleet Lane.
  • Star Bikes, Willerby Road.
  • Steve’s Cycles, Chanterlands Avenue.
As part of continued support for tackling cycle crime, East Coast Cycles on Princes Avenue, Hull are holding a cycle marking event for bike owners on Saturday 19 July 2014 between 1000hrs and 1700hrs.
The local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be assisting in cycle marking cycles in a gazebo at the front of the store and with refreshments provided by the store.
Chris Hardy, Hull’s Second Hand Dealers Officer said: “Cycle stores have been quick to embrace the opportunity to support the police in tackling cycle crime. The fact over 650 new cycles have been registered in just over six weeks is an excellent up take. I hope by increasing cycles registered on-line we can reduce cycle thefts in the city, with thieves reluctant to take property which is identifiable and thus can lead to prosecution for stealing or even handling stolen property.
“People really should consider using the website “CheckMEND” to check any second-hand cycle, or indeed any item with a unique serial number, they are looking to purchase. Humberside Police are uploading the serial / frame number of all items reported to us as stolen, onto the database and the use of CheckMEND checks protects members of the public from inadvertently buying stolen goods”.

For more information please visit:

Read the source store in full: www.humberside.police.uk/newsmedia/hull-over-650-cycles-registered-onto-wwwimmobilisecom-by-cycle-shops

The Immobilise Property Register: www.immoblise.com

Consumer electronics background history reports: www.checkMEND.com/uk/

The Humberside Police website: www.humberside.police.uk