The concept of making everyone register their handset in the UK is greatly misunderstood and is being hyped up by the press. Did you know that any contract mobile phone owner’s information can already be accessed by the Police using either a request under the RIPA or DPA procedures? So why should be people using PAYG phones not be subject to the same system? this is all this is about and it closes a loophole used by criminals that make it harder for the Police to identify stolen handsets or handsets used in connection with dubious activities. The only argument surely is whether the owner’s information is subject to the safeguards afforded by RIPA. If you use the DVLA registration of cars as a proof of concept, the Police can tap in your registration number and see the owner’s details in a heartbeat without having to make any formal requests so why not do the same with mobile phones?
I have just been watching BBC News and one of their features was ‘Why shopping online could reward’.
The feature really focused on the fact that shoppers who like to spend their money online could also be earning at the same time and used an example from a woman who would only purchase items once she had sold a few on eBay and made a small profit. Great example of how online shopping can really work well with the current credit crunch. However, I do wish the BBC had highlighted some of the risks involved in online shopping, like CNBC have done.
Yesterday we launched in the US and have already seen some coverage including from the Denver Post and it states we aim to curb the cybercrime of selling suspect second-hand goods. Hopefully there will be more to follow.
Anyway, hopefully the USA launch will be just as successful as the UK. According to the US Census Bureau the population of USA currently stands at 304,381,960 with:
• One birth every 7 seconds
• One death every 13 seconds
• One international migrant (net) every 29 seconds
• Net gain of one person every… 10 seconds
From the global population of internet users 27% are in the US and having read a lot of online articles and blogs e-fencing is proving to be a problem which the US are struggling to control. E-fencing laws have been discussed as being essential to combat organised retail crime. However, CheckMEND should now be an answer to their prayers, so let’s see how it goes.
This is what we do best and we have had plenty of stories from people who didn’t discover CheckMEND in time…
For example; Andrew Gudelajtis, from Mansfield, bought a Vodafone Nokia mobile phone from eBay for his wife. The phone arrived in a sealed box and was sold as being brand new, but after using it for six weeks the mobile phone stopped working.
He decided that he should use CheckMEND to check the IMEI number on its database. The search came back and identified the phone as being stolen or blocked. Unfortunately Andrew was then unable to re-trace the eBay seller and is left with a phone that doesn’t work and at the moment he is pursuing Vodafone to see if they can help – either by unblocking the phone or chasing the seller.
Hopefully he will have some luck at some point, but it is a great example of why you should use ‘CheckMEND before you buy’ or insist on sellers having a CheckMEND report. Or as I mentioned within my last post we should push for eBay to insist all sellers conduct a CheckMEND report!
Any questions – please fire them this way!
Following our last post on £5 billion stolen goods for sale online, it seems that online auction sites are taking the heat, but as Identity Resolution Daily points out, if they reduce, what is termed as e-fencing – selling stolen goods online – they will lose most of their revenue.
However, if these auction sites ignore the statistics, and continue to allow themselves to be marketplaces for selling ‘stolen goods’ will mean that they will soon become high profile case studies for us. Beware – You will get caught
There has been much discussion within the mobile tech community on whether CheckMEND is a good deal which our very own bat phone cleared up:
Hi, just to let you know CheckMEND ‘trade’ account is such only because that’s who they think would be interested in it. In fact the vat number and co number are optional at registration and they only thing ‘trade’ about it is a minimum £25 worth of checks purchased at registration. At the moment though you get 50 checks for this so paying only £0.50 instead of £2.99 for your first fifty checks and only £1 per check after that.
Of course reselling checks is against the terms and all your certificates will have the account holders details on so giving them away becomes awkward too but if you may check several phones in future (the credits never expire) it’s a good deal.
Declaration: I work for the parent company but this isn’t an advert, I just want to put right the misunderstanding about trade accounts. I’ll pass on the confusion and perhaps the web guys will modify the website.
We have some hard hitting facts for you, collated from our CheckMEND database.
- Of the £5bn Stolen goods for sale online, it is estimated that £2.6bn of that can be attributed to mobile phones
- Of all the checks carried out on CheckMEND over the last 18 months 67% were made on mobile phones. Which equates to 6,700,000 checks made through CheckMEND, were to check the IMEI number of a mobile phone
- Out of every town in the UK you are most likely to be sold a stolen mobile phone in Leicester
CheckMEND has identified 3,522 stolen handsets in the last 23 days, that’s 153 a day and from these checks, it indicates the place you are most likely to be offered a stolen phone in order of likelihood are:
Greater London – Finsbury Park, North London –600 policemen arrested 70 people!
The Nokia N95 is the most checked phone as it is the top end of the price range for second hand phones, so watch out n95 users…
After registering your property stolen your information will be fed to our CheckMEND database and we can stop all e-fencing criminals from re-selling your property.
Today we released a report stating ‘£5 billion worth of stolen goods are on sale online over the internet at any one time in the UK’. Even more shocking, every minute two items are identified as being stolen
We know this because we are the UK’s online stolen property checking service that identifies over 1 million stolen items every year.
Our CheckMEND blog will aim to keep you updated and up to speed on any online shopping crime, crime prevention topics and stolen goods statistics. We shall let you know what’s going on in the world of ‘hot goods’ and any relevant breaking news…
So that we are clear from the start, here are a few notes about us:
- CheckMEND is a brand from Recipero Limited www.recipero.com, a company founded by entrepreneur Adrian Portlock and two other non-executive directors that had it’s official launch in July 2006
- CheckMEND searches the UK’s largest database of stolen goods and blocked mobile phones with nearly 30 million records which can be checked by a perspective purchaser prior to purchasing an item. We can refer to it as a super database, but NOT a government run ‘stupid’ database
- Since it’s launch CheckMEND has carried out over 10 million checks online
- The majority of UK Police forces use the CheckMEND data to check the legitimacy of property many thousands of times a week.
- In the UK CheckMEND is already recommended by ebay for the checking of mobile phones before purchase
To find out more about what we do watch our video online http://www.checkmend.com
Why are there so many stolen goods online?
The problem is being exacerbated by “faceless” selling on the growing range of online auction and classified sites and the new phenomenon of “Market Places” on social networks, like Facebook, eBay and specific online mobile phone shopping sites.
Plus with the backdrop of the credit crunch impacting on family purses, UK consumers are increasingly on the lookout for a bargain or are clearing out their clutter to sell online or at the local car boot sale.
For any of you bargain hunters out there always check with CheckMEND if what you are about to buy is stolen or you could find yourselves in a pickle!
The Bigger Picture
Not only can you protect yourself from the hassle of purchasing stolen goods and from the risk of prosecution for handling them… if we reduce the opportunities for thieves to sell stolen property, then surely the demand will reduce as well. Only last week the Design Council released a study that found that one in eight children aged 11 to 16 has been the victim of a “hot product” theft, in the past three years
Plus, think about it if you are selling your laptop on eBay and can prove, with a free to view certificate, that what you’re selling is legit then people would be more likely to buy from you, rather than the next person who can prove the background of the laptop they’re selling!
Stewert Mitchell from the Times wrote an interesting feature which named online auctions as ‘Unscrupulous thieves who con innocent buyers’ but authorities seem powerless. We agree but with help of checkMEND authorities are becoming increasingly powerful with more arrest being made each year.
Warning – what we have found:
We have found that on average one in ten items of second hand goods checked through CheckMEND is being identified as being reported as stolen. Since its launch in 2006, CheckMEND has recently carried out 10 million checks on items valuing over £1 billion.
The value of the goods identified as being stolen is around £100 million.
Here are some fast facts we have for you:
- There are over £1 billion worth of insurance claims made in the UK every year from items being stolen
- There are over 30 million items of stolen property listed on CheckMEND from the UK with an estimated value of £3 billion
- 10% of all items of second hand goods checked through CheckMEND is identified as having been reported stolen
- Over 10 million checks have been made through CheckMEND over the last 18 months
- Over 600,000 checks are now made through CheckMEND every month
- The total value of items checked over the last 18 months is over £1 billion
- The value of the stolen goods identified as stolen is over £100 million