We have all experienced doubt when it comes to the security of our cars. How many times have you asked yourself “Did I lock the doors”? Probably, hundreds of times! Well, your car security issues are within good reason; you can never be too safe here in Mzansi.
Since about 2011, a new trend has made the headlines and has given drivers even more reason to panic about the safety of their carriages. It’s called remote jamming – an activity or event on every clever criminal’s calendar.
Long term trends report a 58% increase in carjacking since 2011. A large part of carjacking can be attributed to the use of signal jamming devices, which is becoming more prevalent in leaving motorists vulnerable to theft, says Maruis Steyn an Underwriting Manager at an insurance company.
“If you haven’t been a victim of remote jamming, chances are that you know someone who has,” says Mike Borello, Operations Executive at Netstar”.
How does remote jamming work?
According to Compare Guru, bandits have been using simple garage remotes to jam the signal when you push the button on your car remote / key fob to lock your vehicle. The criminal’s remote operates at the same 433mhz frequency as your remote. This signal effectively interrupts your own signal without even making a single peep.
When you walk away, thinking that you’ve locked your car and that everything inside is relatively safe, it’s not. That’s when the thieves strike and get access to the valuables in your car or worse, drive away with your 4-wheel babe.
How to avoid becoming the victim of remote jamming:
Be safe, not sorry – check again!
Next time you park somewhere, make sure that your door is locked before you walk away. Just because you pressed the lock button on your remote, doesn’t mean that it’s really locked. Pull-on that door handle (even if it looks a little silly).
Once your doors are locked, the remote jammers can’t wrap their long fingers around your valuables.
Avoid the spotlight
Car jammers are always on the move and on the lookout for their next victim. If you leave your valuables laying around for the world to see, they will target you. Hide your valuables and choose your parking spots wisely. It’s always best to park in busier streets or parking lots.
Look out for criminal behaviour
Follow your gut and report suspicious behaviour to the South African Police Service (SAPS). It’s not normal for someone to jab a car door’s lock with a sharp object or screwdriver.
Install a tracker system
If you install a car tracking system in your vehicle, you will easily find your car if it gets stolen. It might also speed up the insurance claims process and put you in a stronger position to submit a successful claim.
Buy a remote jamming detector
A remote jamming detector can alert you to jamming activity. Detectors are affordable and very effective. Their prices range from R500 up to a R1000 or more. The device alerts you when a signal has been transmitted by the flickering of a bright LED light or a beeping sound.