Frequently Asked Questions
- How can TrackMole help me on the spot?
TrackMole is a powerful property tracking and crime prevention tool that helps police departments and others identify owners of lost and stolen properties by using serial numbers. Instead of you having to look for your property, TrackMole allows your property to find you when you lose it or have left it behind at places like airports, airplanes, coffee shops, restaurants, taxi cabs, hotels, buses, trains, schools, parks, amusement parks or anywhere else.
In a nutshell…quickly test it for yourself:
- Create and log in to your TrackMole account (if you have an Amazon, Facebook, or Google+ account, this is as easy as a couple of mouse clicks).
- Add something you own such as a laptop, phone, or tablet to your registered property list.
- Click the "Log out" link at the top of the page.
- Now pretend that you're the finder and run the serial number through TrackMole. Within a couple of minutes, you, as the owner, will receive an e-mail notifying you that your property's serial number has been run through TrackMole.
- Click on the "Report Your Find" button.
- On the next page, select the "No, I turned this item in and wish to remain anonymous" option.
- Type in a message and click the "Submit your find" button. Within minutes you'll receive another e-mail telling you where your property is and where to get it back.
It's that simple!
- Who can use TrackMole?
- Anyone can run a serial number through TrackMole, but they cannot see who you are or where you live. They can only send you a message through TrackMole telling you that they have found your property or have turned it over to a third party. Only Law Enforcement can see whatever optional contact information you have entered into your account and then only when they find property registered to you. TrackMole gives you the control to enter all, or some of your contact information.
- Does TrackMole require me to list my home address and telephone number?
No. The only information needed for your TrackMole account is your name, email address and ZIP code.
TrackMole believes users should be able to control their privacy on any site they use. TrackMole places the power of privacy in your hands. If you want to list only an email and cell phone, it's up to you. If you want to list your full contact information, it's up to you. However, if a theft from your car or burglary to your residence occurs while you're at work or on vacation, the more contact information Law Enforcement has to reach you, the better.
REMEMBER! Only Law Enforcement can see your contact information, and they can only see the one item from the serial number run. No one can see your full property inventory.
- Why would I want to add my contact information?
Suppose that while you're at work, the police make contact with a suspicious character whom they suspect to be in possession of stolen goods (like your smart phone or computer). When they run the serial number of those items through TrackMole, they will see your contact information and will immediately attempt to contact you directly. If your home address is on record, law enforcement can be dispatched directly to your home and secure your residence until you arrive.
If you decide not to enter your home address, TrackMole strongly recommends that you list a mobile number for Law Enforcement to contact you when your property turns up in the wrong hands.
Breath and relax…Law Enforcement cannot see or scroll through your account to see what other property you have. They only see the item of the serial number they run.
- Should I worry about listing my property on TrackMole?
No! You should be more worried about not listing your property on TrackMole!
You might ask yourself, "What if a thief uses this service as a tool to target my home and steal my property?!" That just won't happen and here's why — Most homes in the USA contain much the same items such as flat screen TVs, computers, DVD players, guns, bicycles, cars, motorcycles, appliances, video game consoles, electronics, tools, sporting equipment, musical instruments, phones, and numerous other serial and uniquely identified property. Thieves don't target a property based on what one owns, but instead the thief looks for homes of opportunity. Homes with lots of trees, exterior walls, hedges, and other ways that conceal his entry into your property. Unfortunately, if you do find yourself the victim of burglary, and you're not tracking your property serial numbers, the national chances of law enforcement recovering your property and getting it back to you is only 0%. Also, the chances of getting a 100% payout on your claims through your insurance company is greatly impacted if you can't show proof of ownership to support your claim.
- Who is using TrackMole?
TrackMole is being used by cities, counties, states, law enforcement agencies, universities, airports, hotels, mass transit, schools, taxi companies, resorts, airlines, retailers, event centers, movie theaters, amusement parks, shopping malls, and people like you.
- Why do I need TrackMole?
Cell phones, laptops, iPads, and notebooks are personal electronic lifelines that are a part of you—it's your life on a device. Over a billion serial numbered items go missing every year. To give you a better perspective, every week 12,000 laptops are lost, stolen, or left behind in US airports alone at a cost of about $700 million a year. Thirty billion dollars in cell phones go missing every year. The majority of these devices are password protected preventing finders from identifying the rightful owners. Because of this, most of these devices have their memories and hard drives cleansed and are auctioned off.
Now think about all of your property that have serial numbers: electronics, video, audio, tools, bicycles, musical instruments, sporting equipment, weapons, appliances, watches, and so on. Without the serial number how could any finder know that it belonged to you if it was lost, stolen, or left behind? Law Enforcement use serial numbers to track lost and stolen property that is reported to them, but over 95% of us don't record serial numbers which means over 95% of these items are never returned to their rightful owners. This means without tracking your serial numbered items you have a 100% less chance that you'll ever see your property again. By utilizing TrackMole you have a 100% better chance at getting lost, stolen, and left behind property quickly returned.
- How do I find my serial number?
IT IS CRITICAL THAT THE NUMBER YOU ENTER IS THE ONE THAT IS ACCESSIBLE ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE DEVICE BECAUSE THE FINDER OR LAW ENFORCEMENT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS A PASSWORD PROTECTED DEVICE.
Most serial numbers are located on the back or side of items such as notepads, notebooks, laptops, DVD players, game consoles and other electronic items like these. It will be marked as "Serial Number" or "SN". This is the number you want to enter as the unique identifier.
Cell Phone Unique Identifiers Differ Based On Manufacturer
- Cell phones generally have the identifier where the battery is stored. Lift the battery out and the DEC or HEX number should be visible. There are exceptions with some products such as Apple. In the case of Apple phones, it's strongly recommended that you look for the digits on the lower back portion of the phone that are labeled "IMEI."
If your device does not have any of these identifiers displayed then the information can only be obtained by accessing the information through "setting" and "about" where the identifier located. We suggest you create a label and place it on the back of your phone. Generally you will only run into this if you have an older cell phone.
- What if my property does not have a serial number?
Though this is not common with the types of items you will lose or have stolen, if you want to apply a unique number you can. Construction companies face this issue with their expensive equipment that may not have serial numbers so they create their own unique number which they weld or engrave onto their property.
Law Enforcement recommends property owners place unique identifiers on all their high cost or sentimental items. The most common unique identifiers used are driver's license numbers, email addresses, or made up identifiers that are unique to you that no one else would use. Your unique number can be applied by using an electric engraver which can be purchased for less than a $20.00 investment to track thousands of dollars of your personal property. You can purchase an engraver at a local store or online. Follow the directions from the engraver to ensure you don't damage your property.
- What should I do if I find someone's property?
Run the serial number through TrackMole to see if there's a match indicating the item has been activated as lost or stolen. If there is a match, you will be able to send a message to the rightful owner so they can retrieve their property. They will also be notified that the serial number to the item was run and for them to verify possession of it.
If there is no match, that means the owner may not even know it's missing or the property has not yet been registered through TrackMole. Create a Find and follow the process on entering found property information. Once the property owner registers the property with TrackMole, they will instantly be notified that their property was found. As the finder you'll be able to communicate with the property owner, letting them know if you still have possession of it, turned it in to a business, or decided to turn it in to local law enforcement. Either way you're awesome because they'll get their property back!
- What is the recommended way to get my property back from the finder?
Law Enforcement recommends that you never provide your home address to individuals, or go to the finder's residence, and TrackMole agrees. If the finder is local, its recommended you set the meet location at a local police station parking lot during business hours, or meet inside (not in the parking lot) of a busy location such as a grocery store, shopping mall etc. If possible have someone go with you or send a quick text or email to a family member or friend letting them know the meet location. Though the majority of people truly have great intentions and just want to get your property back to you, there are those who might try to scam or victimize for their own benefit. TrackMole understands how important your property is to you, but we care more about you than property. Please don't risk your safety!
If the finder is a business then contact the business to retrieve your property. If you left your property in another state during travel you can make arraignments with the business to have it mailed to your residence.
- How long should I hold found property?
This is difficult to answer due to the various outcomes. If you run the serial number and don't get a match from TrackMole there are two options available to you after creating a Find on TrackMole:
- Leave the item with the management of the business where you found it.
If you find property at a restaurant, mall, store, or any other business you can run the serial number through TrackMole. If you don't find a match, you can create a Find so that when the owner registers with TrackMole, and in the future begins to track their property (even months down the road), they will instantly be notified that their property was found as well as the whereabouts that you detailed in the Find. After creating the Find we suggest you then turn the property into the management of that location and let them know you registered it with TrackMole.
- Hold onto the item for no more than 36 hours, then turn it in to the local police.
If you find property on the street or at a park, or other public venue and you think the owner may not know where they lost it, or that a thief may have discarded it there, we suggest the following: Search for the serial number on TrackMole. If there is no match returned, create a Find. This will allow us to notify the owner when he tries to register his lost or stolen item with TrackMole. In this case, we recommend you don't hold the property for more than 36 hours before contacting law enforcement and turning it over to them.
- What should I do if the finder won't return my property unless I pay them?
Call the police and file a report. In most states it's a violation of the law to keep found property and not return it to the rightful owner. To deprive the rightful owner of their property unless they pay money is also a violation of the law in most states. We encourage you to take caution when meeting with anyone who demands payment. In fact, we strongly recommend that when you meet with anyone you do so in a very public setting like inside a store, coffee house, or at a local police station. Do not go to anyone's residence or parking lot. Your safety is not worth any piece of property that can be replaced, so don't take the chance. Anyone who finds property that is generally concerned with returning it to the rightful owner will fully understand your concern and meeting venue.
- I want to help TrackMole grow. How can I help?
You're awesome! Word of mouth is the best way you can help us grow and benefit others. You can share us on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and other social outlets. If you're really bold and see the true value of TrackMole, you can also mention it to anyone you see with a mobile device, tablet, or laptop. Trust us—they'll thank you!
- I have a different question that I need answered. How can I contact you?
At the bottom of every page there's a link just like this one: Contact us. Mobile users can find this link in the menu at the top of every page.