Car remote jamming: It is real and you need to be vigilant.
As a South African, the words ‘remote jamming’ have become part of our vocabulary as much as “nou ons braai”. Sadly, crime is a reality in this country – it happens often, everywhere we look.
Remote jamming has been around since early 2011, with car parks all around South Africa affected by this phenomenon. It has become more prevalent than pickpocketing and is a serious concern. Let’s look at how it works and what you can do to avoid being jammed.
How does remote jamming work?
Remote jamming can be done with a basic gate remote. A criminal will be in close proximity to your vehicle and hold down the button on their remote at the same time that you push the remote for your car to lock. The signal from the criminal’s remote then interrupts the signal on your car remote, effectively stopping it from locking the car altogether.
Unaware victims then walk away from their vehicle, completely oblivious to the fact that they have been jammed, leaving their car unlocked and easy prey for criminals. Generally, there is no sign of a break-in, except for the fact that items are missing.
Are you insured in the event of remote jamming?
Since remote jamming became an issue in South Africa, most insurers have not covered stolen contents from motor vehicles as a result of remote jamming. Simply because there is no sign of forced entry and therefore no evidence that the vehicle was locked in the first place. Many people simply walk off forgetting to lock their car, so it is a tricky situation to prove.
However, insurers are more sensitive to the reality of remote jamming and how much it affects motorists around South Africa. It is best to speak with your insurance provider about what you are covered for.
How you can protect yourself from becoming an easy target.
- Try to always park in a public place if possible, with security guards and other people around you.
- Stay vigilant of people around you.
- Do not leave valuables in the car at all if possible, but if not, make sure that you have safely placed them out of sight BEFORE you park so that criminals do not see you doing this.
- Double check your doors after you have pushed the remote, to check that they are definitely locked. Check, double check, triple check if necessary.
- Ensure that all windows, sunroofs, and doors are firmly closed and locked. The slightest opening in a window could be just enough for a criminal to unlock your car and break in.
- If you notice unsightly people around you when you are parking and feel uncomfortable, rather continue driving and find a parking spot in a more secure area.
- Don’t let yourself be distracted by people while you are getting out of or into your car. Talking on your phone while you are in your car makes you an easy target.
- If you have children with you, be even more vigilant while getting in and out of the car and putting them into car seats.
Chat to one of our qualified consultants about your insurance needs and what you are covered for with regards to your motor vehicle.