Beware of remote jamming

2018-12-25 06:00

REMOTE jamming, a trend that has been around for quite some time, is on the rise again and motorists are urged to be cautious this festive season.

According to shopping centre management departments across KwaZulu-Natal, they are doing everything in their power to stop this scourge, however they need the cooperation from the public.

Hillcrest CPF chairman Steven King explained that remote jamming is the process of interfering with a frequency so that the signal doesn’t get through.

“What this means is that, despite properly pressing the button on your remote giving the ‘order’ to lock the car, the signal never reaches the vehicle and the car does not lock because someone else is actively jamming the signal,” said King.

Adding to the issue, King said there are “professional” jamming devices available that function on a range of frequencies and that have much higher signal power, saying: “These devices can influence a vehicle’s remote control from a much greater distance and can even interfere with remote controls that use different frequencies and technologies.”

King further said this modus operandi is by no means a new phenomenon and is not limited to shopping centres; it occurs wherever a person may park their car.

“Shopping centre management across the KwaZulu-Natal are doing everything they can to stop this. Some of the centres have remote jamming detection which can either be monitored by the centre management or security officers,” said King.

Upon detection, an alarm will sound, informing security of the threat of remote jamming. Centres that make use of this technology include Kloof Village Mall, Hillcrest Corner, Link Hills Shopping Centre, and Watercrest­ Mall.

King also noted that it should be pointed out that remote control and jamming devices cannot unlock your vehicle, but they can only stop your remote control from working properly. Due to this, car insurance theft policy often does not cover remote jamming incidents.

“Typically, insurance policies explicitly state that pay-out is conditional on the presence of forced entry but, if there is no forced entry, the assumption is that the owner negligently failed to lock their car, cancelling the right to any possible claim,” he explained.

He added that some insurance companies will consider security camera video evidence that the policy holder made a good faith attempt to lock the doors, but the insurer may be under no legal obligation to do so.


KING SHARED SOME TIPS TO HELP PREVENT REMOTE JAMMING INCIDENTS

1. Physically pull your door handle to confirm it’s locked (even though this is a bit of a pain).

2. Make sure your remote activates an audible and visual signal — flashing lights and/or a beep. If your car doesn’t already do this, ask your mechanic to rewire the opener so it does.

3. Don’t leave valuables inside your car. If you have no choice, hide them well and preferably in the boot.

4. Park within range of a security camera. If you do get robbed, this might help to convince the insurance company that a crime occurred.

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