Category Archives: Mobile Phones

Back to School with £3.5 billion worth of technology

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. 

Schoolgirls using iPad during a lesson at a comprehensive secondary school Wales UK

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. 

New AssetWatch Checkmark Provides a Clear Message to Fraudsters!

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.

You Can Impact Crime

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.

Individuals can impact crime by simply registering their valuables and then alerting police and traders if they’re ever stolen or lost via Immobilise.com

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.

User registering an IMEI on their Immobilise account. Simply dial *#06# to reveal the 15 digit number.

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.

You can read more about Recipero’s connected ecosystem for reducing crime here https://www.recipero.com/crime-reduction-ecosystem and you can register your property FREE of charge at https://www.immobilise.com

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

Mobile Phone Security Advice

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.

Recipero prevents Criminals from a gain of £35m

“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

Don’t get hung up with fraud this New Year and check for warning signs when buying a second hand phone

Mobile phone fraud prevention specialist, Recipero, part of the Callcredit Information Group, is urging consumers and retailers to undertake device checks when buying a second hand phone to avoid becoming a victim of fraud during the January sales and beyond.

Recipero’s CheckMEND data* reveals, that the number of device checks made on second hand iPhones has almost doubled in the last four years, highlighting the growth in the size of the second hand phone market and the increased awareness amongst some consumers and retailers of ensuring the legitimacy of second hand phones.

Last January there was a spike in the number of iPhone checks performed via the Recipero CheckMEND service. More than 1.3 million checks took place (more than 400,000 up on the month before) and Callcredit’s analysts are expecting upwards of two million at the start of 2018.

Mark Harman, Managing Director of Recipero, said: “Even though our findings highlight that there has been an increase in second hand iPhone device checks, fraud is prevalent in what is a market for increasingly expensive devices. Latest ONS crime figures, compiled from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, show 401,000 mobile phones were reported as stolen in the 12 month period ending March 2017. It’s important that consumers and retailers take the necessary precautions and check the history of a device.”

The Recipero data also revealed a surge in the number of searches on the CheckMEND database following the introduction of new iPhone models – as it shows the number of device checks being performed increasing by over a third (36.6%)** in the period after a new release.

Mark concluded: “A check on a second hand phone includes a device life history that starts at the point of manufacture, through ownership changes, right up to it being recycled. The device is checked against IMEI, a phone’s unique reference number, loss and theft reports and police crime reports in the US and UK, insurers title information and settled claims.
These checks provide information which will flag up (red) in a CheckMEND report if the device is compromised, helping to protect those purchasing a second hand phone from acquiring a lost or stolen device.”

*Based on CheckMEND UK data of number of checks made on iPhones each month from Jan 2014- Dec 2017 inclusive. Taken from the Recipero database which is part of the Callcredit Information Group.

**Based on the average number of CheckMEND iPhone device checks two months prior to a new iPhone launch and the average for the two months following.

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.