IBC Warns Against Key Fobs

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Car thieves are using technology against vehicle owners.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), sophisticated auto thieves are using technology to bypass security systems and electronically gain access to today’s advanced vehicles.

“Electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like keyless entry fobs,” said Bryan Gast, National Director of Investigative Services, IBC. “Regardless of how a vehicle is stolen, auto theft is a serious threat to Public Safety and continues to cost all Canadians.”

The IBC is reporting that auto theft costs Canadians close to $1 billion every year. Some vehicles are stolen to commit another crime, while others are sold to unsuspecting consumers in Canada and abroad, or stripped for parts.

How can Canadian protect themselves? According to the IBC, vehicle owners need to keep these points in mind:

  • Don’t leave a keyless entry fob in a vehicle or unprotected at the front entrance of your home. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal, giving them access to the vehicle. Consider storing fobs in a protective box or bag that blocks the signal.
  • Install an immobilizing device which prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This can include devices that require wireless ignition authentication or starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers.
  • Install a tracking device that emits a signal to police or a monitoring station if a vehicle is stolen.
  • Don’t make your vehicle an easy target:
    • Never leave a vehicle running when unattended.
    • Lock the doors and close all windows when parked.
    • Make sure to park in well-lit areas or in the garage.
    • Use a visible or audible device that shows thieves a vehicle is protected.
    • Consider using a deterrent like a steering wheel or brake pedal lock.
    • Don’t leave personal information, like insurance and ownership documents, in the glove box when parked.
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