High-tech gadget thieves can steal your car in minutes, so here’s some advice on where best to keep them
If you keep your car keys on a hook close to the front door, or on your bedside table, you might want to change this habit as it could lead to your car being stolen by high-tech gadget thieves.
According to a new survey conducted by Tracker, around 96% of drivers are at risk of becoming a victim of a ‘relay attack’.
The car security company said that these types of car thefts made up for around 66% of all stolen vehicles in 2016. These kind of thefts are carried out by car thieves who use high-tech gadgets to steal a car in just a couple of minutes.
They are known as ‘relay attacks’ and generally involve two thieves working side by side to steal a car by using an electronic signal relay device which infiltrates a keyless entry system.
Only a few weeks ago, West Midlands Police released CCTV showing how easily these criminals can break into a car by using one of these gadgets.
The gadget picks up the signal from the car key inside the home of a victim and transfers the signal to the receiver held close to the car. Basically, the system on the vehicle is tricked into believing that a key has been used which then enables the thieves to unlock the car and drive off in just a matter of a few minutes.
The most alarming revelation is that anybody out there can get their hands on one of these devices on the internet for around £250.
Car owners are being urged to protect themselves from falling foul to one of these ‘relay attacks’ by storing their car keys somewhere safer in their home.
A group of 200 drivers were asked by Tracker where they kept their keys during the night and a quarter said they leave them in the hallway, which for car thieves is somewhere they could easily pick up a signal using their relay device, as they are capable of picking up a signal from up to 30 metres away.
Placing car keys on a special hook or in a pot was the second most popular choice for storage but the problem with this is that most people locate them near the front door.
Drivers also said they put them in a drawer downstairs or in the bedroom but all these areas are easily picked up with a relay device.
These relay devices can pick up a signal through doors, windows and walls so the best place to store your keys is in a metal tin, or even your microwave oven.
According to the experts, putting them in your fridge can also keep your car safe and protected from such attacks and whilst tracking devices don’t prevent a car from being stolen, they could help the police track it down so you get your vehicle back.
Even the old fashioned security barriers such as crook locks and wheel clamps are making a come back and can help to stop thieves from driving off in your vehicle.
You can purchase a metal signal blocking pouch off the internet for very little money that you can store your car keys in. They are designed to block electronic key signals from being picked up by these relay devices.
“Unfortunately, we do see claims from customers who have had their cars stolen due to relay theft and it’s a problem that we would advise motorists with keyless cars to be aware of,” said Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral.
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