Criminals using radios unlock connected cars

keyfogradioCriminals using electronic devices have been alarming car owners by breaking the code to keyless entry on vehicles, however the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) offers ways to prevent car break-ins.

NICB recommends that drivers lock cars whenever you leave it, close windows/sun roofs and hide tempting items (navigation system, phone, electronic device adapters and power plugs)  They also advise drivers to keep shopping bags in the trunk and conceal packages or valuables.

The keyless entry feature on new model cars that lets owners unlock cars with a click of a button on a key fob use radio frequency transmission.

Thieves use electronic handheld “scanner boxes that can open some electronic locks in seconds, then take items from the car. Thieves stay by the cars and watch for people going into malls, restaurants and rest rooms.  Sometimes you can hear the door unlock sound after you lock the car.

Law enforcement agencies are seeing scanner unlocking and have recovered some of the illegal devices that are available on the internet.

The GM OnStar RemoteLink apps requires a PIN (Personal-Identification-Number) for remote unlock features of GM cars from smartphones to insure that criminals can’t break into GM cars using the remote unlock or start features.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422),