Criminals are increasingly hacking key fobs to gain access to a vehicle to steal it.
 - Screenshot via CBS News.

Criminals are increasingly hacking key fobs to gain access to a vehicle to steal it.

Screenshot via CBS News.

Auto thefts are on the rise partly because thieves are finding innovative ways to hack key fobs, reports CBS News. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has highlighted the report on its website as a concerning trend.

Fobs only work within a close range. But even if a driver's fob is inside his or her home, criminals can use an amplifying device to grab the signal, send it to another device and ultimately, gain access to a vehicle.

To prevent the problem, NCIB experts suggest that drivers keep their fobs in a metal box or aluminum foil, which blocks the signal from interference.

However, bear in mind that crooks have also uncovered ways to steal a signal even when a driver is actually using the key fob.

Here's how it happens. A driver gets out of his vehicle, uses the fob to lock the door, but simultaneously, a thief in the parking area uses a relay box to intercept the fob's code. The thief then sends the code to an accomplice with a small box that now acts as the vehicle's fob. In a matter of seconds, the thieves have the ability to unlock the car, open the door, and drive away.

Watch the CBS report on key fob-enabled vehicle theft, and use it to educate fleet drivers about this trend.

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