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Signal-Jamming Detection: Cartrack’s Advanced Technology Has Got You Covered

Losing signal while using GPS technology can be incredibly frustrating. Now imagine if someone jams these signals on purpose to steal your car. What can you do?

Signal jamming detection technology can be the difference between finding your car where you left it or reporting it stolen.

Find out exactly how advanced signal jamming technology can help keep you and your vehicle safe from theft and hijackings.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn more about signal jamming and signal jamming detection
  • Become acquainted with how signal jamming works
  • Establish why this technology exists and what it’s used for
  • Find out what you can do to avoid car theft and hijacking and stay safe
  • Discover Cartrack’s advanced jamming detection and anti-theft technology

What is signal jamming detection?

Imagine you're trying to listen to your favourite song on the radio, but suddenly, someone cranks up static at full volume. That's what signal jamming does at a basic level – it disrupts communication by blasting out interference. The effects of signal jamming can be irritating and dangerous, which is why signal jamming detection technology exists as a countermeasure. 

Is it possible to fight back against this silent but powerful disruptive power? Yes, and the solution is signal jamming detection. Signal jamming detection technology monitors targeted frequencies for suspicious noise that indicates interference. 

Ultimately, signal jamming detection picks up when these disruptions happen, acting like a security guard for the radio waves used to lock cars, use smartphones, or track vehicles' movements to prevent or at least pick up sinister activities related to these signals.  

By catching jamming attempts early on, it helps keep everyone connected.

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The definition of signal-jamming technology: What does a signal jammer do?

Have you ever been in that frustrating situation where your phone inexplicably loses signal? It could be more than just bad reception. Signal jammers are devices designed to disrupt wireless communication, and by using one of these, criminals can cause the same signal-blocking effect on smartphones and even vehicle-tracking devices.

In a world where communication happens through frequencies, signal jammers are the ultimate party crashers. Imagine radio signals as voices trying to be heard in a crowded room. A jammer acts like a speaker, blasting loud music on the same frequencies used by cell phones and GPS devices. This interference drowns out the legitimate signals or voices, preventing normal communication.

In 2023, the SAPS recovered stolen vehicles and apprehended several vehicle syndicate thieves as the popularity of using signal-jamming technology to steal and hijack cars increased.

Why does signal-jamming technology exist?

Unfortunately, the reason for signal jammers’ existence is quite sinister, as we strongly suspect they were not created for the greater good of mankind. They have very few uses that are considered legitimate or above board, as their main function is to muddle and disrupt means of communication and the exchange of information.

  • Signal jamming usage is largely based on military activity, including overriding or obscuring a target signal and confusing enemy communications or radar.
  • Signal jammers are also a popular tool used in several different crimes as they are effective prevention techniques for blocking calls and internet access, which can disrupt emergency response and communication with authorities.
  • Criminals also use it to conceal their location by messing up vehicle tracker signals to evade capture.

All in all, signal jammers can cause chaos by disrupting personal and public communication while affecting logistics and business activities, which is why they are illegal and considered dangerous in most parts of the world.

How signal jamming is used in vehicle theft and hijackings

It is when a remote device is used to block or jam the locking device of a motor vehicle. When you press your vehicle's remote, the prospective thief presses a different remote button simultaneously, effectively blocking the signal from your remote to your vehicle.

These devices can be small, hand-held, or large, industrial briefcase-size jamming devices. Certain jamming devices are simply plugged into the vehicle’s cigarette-lighter jack socket, blocking all tracking signals. This results in the control centre losing contact with the vehicle, where the tracking system merely shows the vehicle's last position before the signal is lost.

Examples of common signal-jamming-related theft or hijacking event

Criminals use GSM and GPS signal jammers to get tracking and recovery teams off their scent during and after hijacking operations. Signal jammers can prevent a vehicle's telematics or tracking device from communicating its location to its service provider. 

Cartrack’s jamming detection helps alert the control room of this activity, and in the event of a thief or hijacker using a jamming device to block communication between the tracking system and the cellular network, Cartrack USA can switch to RF frequency, which allows continued communication with the vehicle.

Your most burning questions about signal-jamming technology-related crimes answered

Do you have some questions about signal jamming and signal jamming detection? You’re not alone — here are the most frequently asked questions plus detailed answers to help you understand the concept and how the technology is used.

1. Can a car tracker be jammed?

Yes, a jamming device can block the signal from a vehicle tracking device. GPS jammers produce a white noise radio signal transmitted at around the same frequency as the GPS satellites used by the GPS, blocking out the signals to GPS tracking devices and navigation systems.

2. Can a GPS tracker signal be blocked?

Yes. A tracker’s GPS signals can be blocked by a variety of objects, including aluminium foil, plastic containers, and even wet trees. These are examples of more cost-effective options, but criminals use signal-jamming devices because they are more effective than aluminium and plastic and, as you can imagine, are easier to come by and transport than wet trees.

3. How do you prevent signal jamming?

In most cases here in South Africa, we’re looking at signal jamming incidents related to preventing you from locking your car, leaving it vulnerable to theft, or criminals jamming your tracker’s signal in the event of hijacking to deter recovery teams from tracking and recovering your vehicle.

4. Is signal-jamming prevention expensive?

Purchasing a signal-jamming detector can be pricey depending on your budget and how you plan on using the device. However, some companies like Cartrack offer jamming detection as a value add-on or product feature, making it more affordable and convenient for that unforeseen day when you may end up needing it.

Apart from using a jamming detector, you can also do some things to ensure criminals don’t just get away with car theft and other crimes scot-free, and proper preparedness is the first step towards prevention.

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5 Top tips that help you avoid falling victim to vehicle theft

There’s a lot you can do when it comes to preventive measures, so we’ve chosen some of the smartest options that help you deter vehicle theft and track down those involved.

  • Use a steering wheel or gearbox lock

    Sounds so last century, doesn’t it? However, criminals’ hacking skills are never too far behind the invention of the latest technology. Returning to physical barriers like steering wheel and gearbox locks will make it incredibly inconvenient for criminals to steal your car quickly.
  • Stash it, don’t flash it

    A campaign launched by the CCID or Cape Town Central City during the 2018 festive season urged holiday-goers to keep their valuables out of sight to avoid theft and robbery. In a country with a high crime rate that includes vehicle theft and smash-and-grab incidents, this remains valuable advice. Always ensure your wallet, phone, and other valuables are safely stashed away and not visible to passers-by.
  • Vigilance is key

    Assessing your surroundings while parking and before leaving your vehicle behind can give you a good idea of whether the environment you’re leaving your car in is generally safe. Trust your gut, and don’t think twice about your safety. If it doesn’t look or feel right or if there are suspicious-looking individuals on the scene, the best option will always be to get back into your car and drive to a location where you feel more secure.
  • Show us your vehicle’s VIN

    Etching your vehicle’s VIN on all your major car parts is like putting a unique identifying tattoo on each of your limbs. While your dismemberment is highly unlikely, it’s terrifyingly likely that your car might be after a theft or hijacking event. Putting a tracking component on your vehicle parts is an invaluable tool for following the tracks of criminals in car theft syndicates long after incidents of theft, providing invaluable leads for law enforcement and helping stop multiple incidents of vehicle theft.

How Cartrack’s safety-first technology keeps you in control of your car’s location

Cartrack USA offers state-of-the-art signal jamming detection technology to ensure our control room agents can keep tabs on your tracker despite signal jamming attempts. On top of that, we provide other features that add extra layers of protection against vehicle theft and hijacking for your vehicle or fleet: 

Stolen Vehicle Recovery: With dedicated air and ground recovery operations, the Cartrack Stolen Vehicle Recovery team leaps into action the moment your vehicle is reported stolen. With advanced signal jamming detection technology, we have the tools to access your vehicle’s location even when car thieves attempt signal jamming.   

CarWatch: Keep an eye on your car even when you’re not there. CarWatch is an early warning system conveniently located on the Cartrack app. With the push of a button, you’ll know the moment your vehicle moves without your consent and alert our stolen vehicle recovery team. 

Protector: Have complete peace of mind in case of an emergency with Cartrack’s Protector feature. Get instant access to premium medical, roadside, and legal assistance to ensure your safety fears of ever being left stranded and vulnerable are a thing of the past. 

Driver ID and Start Prevent: Control who can drive your fleet vehicles by assigning Driver ID Tags. Combined with our Start Prevent feature, assigned drivers can only start fleet vehicles with your authorisation, ensuring optimised security and a decreased risk of vehicle theft.  

Limited Stolen Vehicle Recovery Warranty: In the unlikely event that your vehicle has been stolen and cannot be recovered by Cartrack’s dedicated recovery team, you can claim R150 000 cash back with Cartrack’s Limited Stolen Vehicle Recovery Warranty. *Cartrack’s Recovery Warranty Terms and Conditions apply.

Combat signal jammers and maximise vehicle safety with Cartrack USA

With Cartrack USA on your side, there’s nothing to lose except the risk of vehicle theft. Contact us today to find out more about different Cartrack USA packages and how they can help you increase vehicle safety. 

Discover Cartrack’s signal jamming detection to increase vehicle safety against theft and hijacking. Signal-jamming is real; our solution is reliable.