An estimated £2.6bn worth of stolen mobiles are for sale on the internet in the UK, according to stolen property checking service CheckMEND.
The majority of UK Police forces use the CheckMEND data thousands of times each week to check the legitimacy of property.
The problem is being exacerbated by ‘faceless’ selling on the growing range of online auction and classified sites, and the new phenomenon of ‘Market Places’ on social networks like Facebook.
With the backdrop of the credit crunch having an impact on family purses,
UK consumers are increasingly on the lookout for a bargain, or are clearing out their clutter to sell online.
CheckMEND has carried out 10 million checks since its launch in 2006, and the most common stolen items are mobile phones, followed by cameras, bikes, iPods, laptops, PCs, TVs and gaming consoles.
Adrian Portlock, MD of CheckMEND, said: ‘It is beginning to be understood that this system allows the police to identify stolen consumer goods quickly
and easily, and exposes buyers to possible confiscation of the property and prosecution.’