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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When the school gates open for the new term, it’s estimated that students bags will contain over three billion pounds worth of their favourite gadgets. A staggering average of over £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 phones, cameras, tablets, and other gear unattended, and when not in use, keep them securely locked away.
Don’t show off expensive devices, especially in public spaces. Children and young adults make easy targets for unscrupulous thieves.
Ensure gadgets are registered on Immobilise.com, recording the make, model and any serial numbers. Most importantly for phones, key in *#06# on the dialer to obtain the IMEI number and record that.
Bikes should be kept in the 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.
Consider additional marking of bikes and other items with ImmobiTAG or high visibility warning labels – particularly important if the item doesn’t have its own serial number.
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 at shop.immobilise.com, use code BACKTOSCHOOL20 at the checkout. Discount valid until 30th September 2020.
Recipero are delighted to announce the availability of the AssetWatch Checkmark. Millions of articles are already protected by AssetWatch and the new Checkmark provides a clear, consistent signal to fraudsters that our clients’ property is being actively prevented from unauthorised sale. Full integration of AssetWatch with police systems, responsible second-hand traders and public due-diligence services ensures the widest possible picture of an article’s movements.
Use cases include stock leakage detection, rental or finance default potential, forward and reverse logistics losses, fraudulent claims for non-delivery and even employee theft. Overt messaging with the Checkmark lets potential bad actors know that stealing an AssetWatch customer’s property is no easy way to make money.
AssetWatch can deliver benefits for all businesses who manufacture or sell serial numbered articles or supply goods to employees such as laptops and phones. No obligation AssetWatch trials are available so you can see the ROI before you commit.
If you’re an existing AssetWatch customer and would like to use the Checkmark please contact us or your service representative directly. To read more about the AssetWatch service or Checkmark please visit our AssetWatch page.
As a result of the pandemic, the impact on the economy has been severe but there are some positives to be found – the realisation by many businesses that remote working is both feasible and productive for parts of their workforce being one and a massive albeit temporary reduction in property crime being another. It’s much riskier to burgle a property when it’s occupied. Sadly, as we all venture out, so will the thieves and property crime of all kinds will rise quickly once more.
It’s difficult as individuals to think that we can impact crime, just as it’s hard to imagine individuals fighting with a pandemic. What we have seen though is that acting as one, working together to face a problem that affects us all is effective and does make a difference.
So it is with addressing crime. We can each take small actions to achieve big results. The key to success is ensuring that our actions are joined up.
The simple act of recording the identifying numbers, appearance and marks of your property in the right place takes a few minutes but it becomes very powerful when linked with police and second-hand property traders.
With a suspect in custody or the subject of stop & search powers, being able to attribute the property in their possession to an owner such as yourself may lead to arrest in addition to the obvious potential of your property being returned to you.
Indicating that your property is stolen on Immobilise will help the second-hand trade avoid buying your property from a thief. There are many thousands of responsible traders diligently checking every item they are offered. Turning away the seller of stolen property may not get your property back of course but it will devalue it to the thief, making the theft unrewarding and ultimately deterring the behaviour. Every check creates a footprint that puts a person at a specific place and time in possession of your property. Valuable intelligence for the police and a valuable deterrent.
If you are the victim of theft and need to make an insurance claim of course having those details readily recorded will help to expedite claims. Indeed, those same records of registration and trade also help insurers to deter fraudulent claims and less insurance fraud keeps your premiums down.
Finally, when buying second-hand, do ask the trader for evidence of them having checked their purchase. If they can’t provide that evidence – that you should be able to verify independently as being valid – find another trader who will. This simple action encourages responsible trading and reduces crime.
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?
Phone thieves have a variety of techniques to separate you from your mobile phone. Pickpocketing and ”snatch” theft incidents are quite common. As is accidentally leaving it somewhere only to discover that it had gone upon your return. It’s also risky to leave your phone on display in your car or anywhere else in public unattended.
Immobilise recommends the following advice to give your device the best protection it can get;
Always use a keypad lock Use the keypad lock so that thieves cannot immediately access your phone or use the biometric authentication if your phone has it (fingerprint or facial recognition).
Install a tracking/anti-theft app These can be an effective way of seeing exactly where your phone has been taken to and the police trace your phone – which is very useful when catching the thieves who took it.
Register it on Immobilise.com Register your phone FREE on immobilise.com to help police recover it and combat the sale of stolen goods. UK network operators can also stop a stolen phone from working across their networks with its IMEI – Find your number by dialing *#06# and make sure you log it.
Be cautious When you’re talking on your phone in public, be aware of your surroundings. When storing your phone, don’t just slip it into your jeans pocket or leave it on view in a public place where it may get unwanted attention.
Get insured. Replacing a mobile phone can be a costly business and only a third of phone owners have insurance. It’s a sensible idea and a small price to pay for better peace of mind.
“It’s been widely publicised that criminals have exploited the vulnerable during the pandemic and will continue to do so. When lockdown restrictions ease and we all begin adapting to the new normal, their activities will continue to exploit consumer behaviour. Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem provides accurate, efficient data to minimise and prevent theft, loss and dishonesty. We prevented criminals from a gain of £35m before lockdown and will prevent even more going forwards.”
–Andrew Kewley, Head of Policing Solutions at Recipero
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