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Car Remote Jamming

Published on 2012-06-20

There has recently been an increase in the number of car jamming incidents. Car jamming involves blocking a car’s remote using a standard household remote that operates on the same frequency. This prevents the locking action of the car from being activated and leads motorists to believe their cars are locked when they are not. Thieves then have easy access to the vehicle and your valuables without any forced entry.

While one may believe you can claim from your Insurer under these circumstances, the reality is that unless there are signs of forced or violent entry, most insurance policies won’t pay claims for the theft of valuables from your vehicle. The reason for this is that there is no real way of proving that you didn’t accidentally leave your car unlocked, leaving it a target for thieves.

Car jamming scams have resulted in an increase in fraudulent claims being made to insurance companies which is why the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance has ruled that if clients were to suffer a loss due to the remote jamming scam, their claims would be rejected because the onus is on them to check whether the cars were locked before walking away. The Ombudsman stated that ‘motorists should not assume their cars were locked merely because they pushed a button.’

As a result of the frequency of this occurrence, some Insurers have decided to cover the clients, depending on the merits of, and procedures followed, in each case and to prevent fraudulent claims, some Insurers insist that in order to be paid out, there must be CCTV camera footage, an independent third party must have witnessed the theft and if any of the items stolen in the car were found in someone else’s possession.

Parking areas outside of schools, shopping malls and public parking areas seem to be the criminals’ preferred hunting ground.

Your best defence is to take precautions:

  • Don’t walk away from your car before you engage the remote locking
  • Try to park in secure areas and be aware of suspicious surroundings and persons
  • Make sure you hear the beep of your alarm system and / or sound of the locking mechanism
  • Physically check that your doors and boot are locked to make sure
  • ALWAYS keep your valuables in the boot and out of sight – DO NOT leave handbags and valuables on the seats of your vehicle

The reality is that jamming is being executed by professional gangs, and motorists should remain vigilant to prevent falling victim to this scam. (sourceSASA Newsletter)