Could thieves use jamming technology to steal your car?
For years science fiction has depicted criminals, governments and security forces being able to block signals with radio jammers. Now criminals in the UK have started to get their hands on jammers and are using them to break into cars.
Next time you come back to your car and find it unlocked it might not be because you forgot to lock it – a thief sitting nearby might have actually stopped you locking your car without you knowing.
Will insurance companies pay out for such thefts?
Victims highlighted a problem - not only were they deprived of their belongings, but there was no evidence they didn't simply forget to lock their car. Most insurance companies will not pay if the car is left unattended and unlocked.
According to the Financial Ombudsman, many insurers exclude cover for theft if the vehicle was left unlocked and unattended.
The only way to prove a car lock was jammed is if a thief is caught red-handed, although patterns of theft can be strong indications.
Many cars that use radio keys no longer have separate key locks for manual operation, so the jammer can stop a driver from either locking or unlocking their car using their key.
As long as the owner doesn’t realise what’s going on, The ever-present warning signs of remote-jamming at shopping malls, petrol stations and roadside stalls is a constant reminder of the very real threat of crime. Perpetrators of car break-ins are rarely caught, making it one of the most common crimes.
That remote-jamming criminals go from one shopping mall to the next, often in luxury vehicles, and wait for their victims to arrive. The jamming device, which looks very similar to a remote control and is usually hidden in a cigarette box, is set to the same frequency as your car remote. Once you exit your vehicle the criminals press the button, effectively blocking your remote control from locking the vehicle.
The perpetrator walks up to the vehicle and removes the valuables from inside. There’s seemingly nothing suspicious about their actions, and we have seen on camera footage how some perpetrators don’t even flee the scene. They get into their vehicle and wait for the next victim.
The jammer was used to prevent victims from locking their cars without their knowledge.
For those worried about jammer gps, the advice is make sure your car is locked before walking away. Watch for the flash of lights and sounds that indicate the car has successfully locked all doors. Manually check that the door is locked and do not leave valuables in view inside the car.
Those concerned that a jammer is being used within range of their car can also report the incident to the police and are advised not to leave their vehicle unattended.