Over the last year there has been a spike in car remote jamming, and consumers have been warned that insurance companies may not pay out claims from victims of this crime.
Car remote jamming is an attack thieves use to prevent drivers from locking their vehicles in parking lots around South Africa.
While it relies on victims not noticing their car didn’t lock, car jamming is easy enough that finding the right target doesn’t cost much.
All criminals need is a gate or garage remote with a sufficiently-powerful transmitter that operates on the same frequency as a car remote.
A gate remote that puts out a powerful signal on the same frequency as your car remote can easily “drown out” the message to lock or unlock the doors.
Many shopping centres are warning customers to be vigilant and to ensure their cars are locked before they leave the parking lot.
Victims and their insurance
A problem for victims of car remote jamming theft is that their insurer may dismiss their claim because there was no forced entry.
Christelle Colman, CEO of MUA Insurance Acceptance, told the City Press that “consumers should take extra care when locking their vehicles, because theft with no sign of forcible entry is often repudiated by insurers”.
“For a claim to be successful, the insurer would likely request some form of proof of the incident from you, which is particularly tricky,” said Colman.
She said video proof can help with an insurance claim, but that will mean the vehicle had to be parked in an area where there was video surveillance.
How car remote jamming works
Fouche Burgers from Business Against Crime SA explained that criminals can block, or jam, the locking signals of remote locking devices on vehicles.
It should be noted that these remote control and jamming devices cannot unlock your vehicle. They can only stop your remote control from working properly.