ALERT! New car theft scam

Unfortunately, as vehicle security technology improves, car thieves get smarter too. In fact, even if you have all the latest security tech fitted to your car, it is still at risk. Often thieves use a combination of methods to steal a car, and these methods are always evolving. Continue reading to find out about the latest car theft scam.

Vehicle-tracker company, Tracker, recently released a statement saying its customers are being contacted by phone or email by scamsters who are pretending to work for the company. The thieves tell the customer that there is something wrong with their tracking device and that they need to come out to repair or replace the device. Customers allow them to inspect the vehicle, and after pretending to inspect the vehicle the perpetrators say they need to take the car for a test drive or to a fitment centre for repairs.

Tracker advises consumers that a technician would never take the vehicle off your property. In the statement, Tracker shared the following: If you are contacted about repairs to your tracking device by someone claiming to be from Tracker, please ask them to take you through the Tracker security verification questions associated with your account in order to verify the legitimacy of the call. If they are unable to do so, advise them that you will need to contact someone at Tracker to verify their claim. If you are still unsure or find the call suspicious, please contact the call centre on 0860 60 50 40.

Knowledge is power, and when you’re aware of how car thieves target individuals, you might be able to protect yourself. Most car theft nowadays requires sophisticated planning. Below is a list of the most common methods thieves use to steal cars:

  • They steal your car keys
  • Hot wiring – mostly used for older vehicles
  • Using a jamming device to prevent you from locking your car
  • Compromising onboard diagnostics and accessing the unique key code to create a duplicate key
  • Using turbo decoders to manually open the doors. It works like a skeleton key
  • Intercepting keyless technology
  • Hijacking

  • Store your keys in a safe place. If you have a car with a keyless entry system, store the keys out of range of your vehicle. Keeping the key in an aluminum box or tin foil would make it impossible for thieves to access the key code.
  • Go old school. Fit a wheel lock to your steering wheel, use wheel locks, install a post in your driveway, etc.
  • Park in a well-lit, secure area when in public.
  • Have a tracker device installed in your car to increase the chance of recovering your vehicle if it is stolen.

With car theft so prolific in South Africa, it’s important to ensure your insurance will cover you if your vehicle is stolen. If you’re not insured and your car is stolen, while you’re still paying it off, you would still be responsible for the monthly instalments. Below we breakdown the different types of insurance that will cover you if your car is stolen:

  • Comprehensive insurance

If you're financing your car, it's likely that the financial institution will require you to purchase a Comprehensive Insurance Policy before you take possession of your car.

  • Third party, fire and theft insurance

If you drive an older model car, you might not need the full protection offered by Comprehensive Insurance and you could consider Third Party, Theft, and Fire Car Insurance, which is usually more affordable. It will pay for a third-party claim against the insured in addition to theft and damage caused by fire.

Selecting the right insurance provider is an important, complicated decision. MotorHappy is dedicated to making the process smoother by sourcing quotes from some of South Africa’s leading insurance providers. Contact us today so we can start shopping around for you.

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