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Phone recycling companies to check for stolen handsets

August 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Recycling your mobile phone when you want to get your hands on the latest model is a great idea. However, it’s now become so easy to benefit financially from the practice that mobile-phone recycling firms have had to admit to the problem of mobile-phone thieves taking advantage of the service.

About 100,000 stolen handsets are sent to recycling firms every year according to estimates, worth a combined value of £4 million.

The problem is that even if mobile handsets are blocked from UK networks after they have been reported as stolen, they can still be used overseas where many of the recycled handsets end up.

It seems the ability to get easy money with no questions asked has proved too easy for thieves: until now, that is.

Mobile-phone recycling companies have just signed up to a new code of conduct to reduce the number of stolen mobile phones being recycled.

From now on companies will check the phones they receive against the National Mobile Phone Register. If they find any stolen phones they will report them to police. The register is formed of three separate databases which should provide a good level of protection.

Over 15 firms have signed up to the code of conduct at the time of writing, making up 90% of the industry.

Charlo Carabott, the managing director of Mazuma Mobile, is quoted by the BBC, admitting that the high prices it was offering for old mobiles “could encourage people to go out and steal handsets,” and although the company had taken its own precautions from the beginning, this was an important milestone as the first “industry-wide standard”.

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One response to “Phone recycling companies to check for stolen handsets”

  1. alvi says:

    I agree with charlo carabott that high prices will make vulnerable people steal mobile phones to make extra cash. but then companies like mazuma and other top brand do there regular checkmends for stolen phone and I assume they do catch the robbed ones.

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