26/07/2010

Don't try and recycle that stolen phone anymore!

In the UK each of the mobile operators maintain a list of stolen phones and that's shared between all the operators and is disseminated within 48 hours of the phone being reported stolen.

That has worked pretty well within the UK and has stopped a lot of stolen phones being reused and caused difficulties for a few people who've had their IMEI blocked by mistake as the only recourse is to complain to their operator as users have no direct access to the block list. However there's been a massive loophole and that's selling phones to a recycling company as they tend to sell them on to operators abroad and up until now, there's been no checks to see whether the phone is on any stolen phone list. It's believed that this has led to around 100,000 stolen phones going abroad a year.

That's now changing and Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire has stated "By joining forces with the police, the mobile phone industry is closing a multi-million pound loophole that has been exploited by criminals and the industry should be congratulated. Alongside the impressive work on blocking stolen phones, this code will make mobile phone theft an even less profitable crime."

The Telecommunications Fraud Forum known as TUFF has drawn up a code of practice alongside the Government and Police and TUFF will administer it. So far 20 mobile phone recyclers have joined the scheme which represent 90% of the industry and the others are expected to follow suit.

Now if anyone tries to sell a stolen phone, the phone will will not be accepted and they will be reported to the Police.

Now the Government just needs a way to somehow track gold items and regulate the on-line/postal gold services who will also buy pretty much any gold item and immediately melt it down before anyone can complain.
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