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You click and walk. That’s how it works when you use a remote to lock and alarm your car. Right? Wrong.

The problem is, there are criminals who know how to fiddle the system and stop your remote from activating the lock so that they can steal your stuff, or worse, your car. For them, it’s the work of minutes with a big payoff. For you, it’s 1,000s of Rands in value, and the inconvenience and frustration of being without your own transport.

Unfortunately, remote jamming is real. But these tips will help you prevent it from happening.

How car jamming works

Car jamming used to be a shopping mall thing but now… It’s everywhere.

When it looks like you’re leaving your car, the criminal pushes a similar remote to the 1 you use to lock it. Their device sends out a signal which blocks your remote. You walk away, thinking that your car is locked when, really, it’s not.

And that’s all there is to it.

Prevent car jamming in 4 steps

Don’t click and walk
Push the remote to arm your car while you’re standing there, and then try the door and boot to make sure that they’re locked.

If not, then either a jammer is active or your remote battery is failing. You should move your car to a different spot and try again. If your car locks then it was either a remote glitch or you successfully evaded a remote jammer.

Be aware and report suspicious behaviour
It pays to be aware of your surroundings and note suspicious people or activities, then head straight to security or centre management and report them.

Keep your belongings out of sight

Don’t leave your handbag, cellphone, shopping bags, or any other enticing items lying visibly in your car. It’s certainly not your fault if your car is broken into and a bag of groceries is stolen… But popping the bag into the boot could reduce the likelihood of a thief taking a chance.

Invest in a remote jamming detector

A remote jamming detector can alert you to jamming activity. These devices range in price from around R500 to over R1,000. Generally speaking, the device will determine if a signal has been transmitted for a specific length of time and alert you to potential remote jamming. Some devices will warn you visually (usually LEDs) and some with a beeping alarm.

The solution that gives and gives

If the worst happens and your car is broken into or stolen, the best solution is insurance. You’ll need comprehensive cover for your car and portable possessions cover for everything that leaves home with you, whether you leave it in your car or not.