Car thieves can intercept the signal from your key fob - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC


Car thieves can intercept the signal from your key fob

Overall, vehicle thefts are at their lowest rate in 44 years, but automotive experts say thefts in late models are up. AAA says thieves are using radio transmitters to intercept the signal between a person's remote lock and their car so they can get in.

Many people use keyless entry, so just imagine how many chances thieves have when we're out and about in our cars.

Joe Kelley has been using keyless entry for years. Even though no one has ever attempted to steal his car, he's not surprised to hear about this growing trend.

"It's scary," said Joe Kelley. "Nothing is safe in the modern world."

AAA Spokesperson Martha Meade says thieves are using radio transmitters to steal vehicles. When people push the button on their key chain remote, interceptors can read a signal between that device and the car, giving thieves the information they need to get inside.

"You would think when you walk away from your car, and you've got your fob and you click it as you're going away with all your stuff - you think they're securely locked inside your car. Guess what? Not so much," said Meade.

"It made me a little nervous. I don't even have a key. I just use my fob," said Kristen Wood. "You get in the car and you can start it. If someone steals my signal, could they just hop in my car, and drive off with it?"

Automotive experts say more manufactures are making fobs with a special chip inside. The car won't start unless that specific key is present. It's impossible to make a duplicate key without the encrypted information.

"These are obviously people who are serious about stealing cars, so most likely they're sophisticated enough to figure out how to start it as well," Meade noted.

Meanwhile, drivers will be more aware when they lock up their cars because they don't want to become victims of theft.

To keep your car protected, it's also a good idea to have a kill switch- making it tricky for thieves to get away

As always, lock your doors even if you feel like you're in a safe place. 

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