Gameboy Break-In: 5 Ways Drivers Can Keep Their Car From Being Stolen
According to new reports, gangs use handheld devices disguised as a Nintendo Game Boy to steal vehicles worth £180,000. Experts at Confused.com are warning EV drivers to stay vigilant, with keyless theft up by 50% following the ease of lockdown restrictions.
Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, warns drivers that are simply locking their electric vehicle is not enough to protect it against professional criminals, therefore offers up five ways drivers can prevent their car from being targeted by criminals.
1. Do Not Keep Your Car Key Fob Too Close to Your Vehicle
“Keyless car theft is where the signal from a key for a so-called “keyless entry” car is captured by somebody standing outside the victim’s house using a relay device.
“While many drivers will typically throw their keys on the side or hook them on the hallway wall as soon as they arrive home, this could make their vehicle more vulnerable to opportunist thieves.
“If you have a ‘keyless entry’ car, then it’s wise to ensure your keys are kept well away from any doors and windows.
“Keep your car key in a screened box or tin so that the signal can’t be ‘grabbed’ from the outside and used to open your car. Don’t forget to do this for any spare sets too.”
2. Switch Your Keyless Fob’s Wireless Signal Off
“Wireless signals on some keyless fobs can be switched off when not in use to help prevent keyless thefts.
“We, therefore, recommend asking your car dealer or manufacturer if the keyless fob can be turned off overnight or if it has an automatic ‘sleep’ function that can be activated for additional security. Alternatively, check the instructions – usually found in your car’s manual – to see if this is possible with your particular model.”
3. Purchase a Faraday Pouch
“A Faraday pouch, also known as a ‘keyless pouch’, is a sensible investment for any motorists with access to a keyless car. These are made from signal-blocking fabric that helps to block out radio interference.
“This small accessory is worth considering, especially if you hang your keys up inside your home against an exterior wall, as this is where car thieves will scan for radio signals from your key fob.”
4. Keep Your Charging Cables Secure
“Leaving charging cables unsecured outside your house can leave electric cars vulnerable to theft.
“Following a 450% rise in catalytic converter thefts from hybrid cars, EV cables are the next hot item for thieves, as they can be sold on eBay for up to £200 each.
“Quite a lot of charging stations rely on EV drivers to use their cables, and although many electric vehicles have systems in place that lock the charger into position, these security measures so sometimes have flaws.
“During the cold winter months, many Tesla owners have noticed that the locking mechanism doesn’t work properly due to freezing. This causes the cables to become detached from their vehicles, making them an easier target for passing thieves.”
5. Act Immediately if Keys Are Lost
“If you lose or misplace your car keys, then it’s important to contact a local auto locksmith, who are experts with vehicle locks and keys and can offer you reassurance regarding the future security of your vehicle.
“The locksmith will ensure that the thief cannot use the lost keys by removing the specific set from your vehicle database. This will stop any stolen keys from being used.
“Some car insurance companies may have cover for replacement keys as part of their policy. Some others might have it as an optional extra. Check your policy documents to see what’s covered.”
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