July National Vehicle Theft Protection Month: Watch Out for Connected Car Thieves

hackinwhitecarConnected cars make peoples lives easier connecting them to their home, life and entertainment. However, although there is a decline in the numbers of cars stolen, connected car thieves can create greater problems for owners.  Connected car data such as phone contacts, registration, insurance details, and home addresses, makes further damage possible.

Car security service, LoJack warns that you should watch out for the ‘The Connected Vehicle Thief’   during July, National Vehicle Theft Protection Month and beyond.

Thieves can steal expensive critical assets in the following ways:

  • Thieves can get and copy smart keys, use GPS and manufactured keys to target rental vehicles, use stolen credit reports to make false identities to finance vehicles at dealerships and VIN cloning.
  • Thieves prefer expensive vehicles. ‘The Connected Vehicle Thief’  targets cars that are valuable on the open market. Many of these thieves are taking and filling orders based on black market demands. Thieves know they can get the most value by targeting new, or rare, vehicles that are worth a substantial amount of money when they are exported and shipped overseas. Often new cars are stolen and placed in shipping containers or are part of an elaborate, large international crime operation.
  • According to LoJack’s latest recovery data, the average value of vehicles stolen and recovered is more than $10,000.
  • Vehicle theft impacts rising insurance rates – an added cost to the vehicle owner.
  • Car theft and identity theft can be linked because thieves not only take a person’s vehicle, but their identity when documents containing personal information such as a vehicle registration or even bills are left in a vehicle.  
  • The average value of vehicles stolen does not take into account the great costs associated with theft, including loss in job productivity, critical data, transportation and overall professional impact.

Advancements in technology, have made it more difficult for thieves to gain access to the vehicle without a smart key or key fob. Chris McDonald, former president of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators and executive director with the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, notes that now authorities are seeing an uptick in home burglaries and violent crimes in order to gain access to the vehicle.

LoJack is a device and service installed in vehicles to alert owners of unauthorized access of theft. Owners of OnStar, and some other automaker car services can depending upon their subscriber status locate stolen vehicles or slow them down without LoJack.

Recently, in Los Angeles, there has been a rise in car break-ins using a device that amplifies the smart key, according to Nick Bilton. To prevent amplification of your smart key, you can keep it in a “Farady Bag” or case that blocks signals.

LoJack units must only be installed, serviced or inspected by LoJack technicians or authorized third-parties trained by LoJack.