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

15 January 2018

Recipero (1)

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.”

CheckMEND is available to any consumer and retailer wanting to check the device history in the UK of a second hand mobile phone.


*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.

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