This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
I just found out there have been some people going around to nice neighborhoods in the area of my STR using tech to unlock cars that use smart keys. They hit my next-door neighbor last night.
I do advise my guests in the 2nd paragraph of my House Manual in the Security section that “Host is not responsible for theft, damage, or other costs incurred involving vehicle(s) or personal belongings. Don’t leave valuables in vehicles. ALWAYS LOCK HOUSE AND CAR DOORS”
Since this hit so “close to home” I was thinking of providing a Faraday box or pouch for my guests. Do you think this would send the wrong message and make a guest fearful or feel unsafe?
Personally, if I start traveling again I will have my own Faraday travel pouch with me for credit cards and key fobs, but I wonder if that is the norm?
This is an interesting idea, but do the thieves actually need to be near the key fob to the car or do they just use their tech to get into the car regardless of where the key fob is? As a guest, I think I would already get the message in your house manual, but not everyone reads our manuals. Personally I would be a little anxious about needing the box. Don’t underestimate the power of good, motion detection lighting in parking areas if you have off street parking.
I have motion activated spotlights on the driveway and my camera/lights are mounted high up. I have 5 cameras in all and motion activated lights on each side of the house & at the porch, also.
My neighbor had a camera and he said the thieves pointed it away from the driveway (clearly he needs it mounted higher).
The reality is for this kind of theft the police don’t do much to identify the thieves, even when caught on camera (at least not here). They are pretty bold and/or just cover their faces.
How they do it…there are a couple different ways but these thieves are using signal relaying. Relay thieves use wireless transmitters held up to the front door, window or even the handbag or pocket of a car owner, to capture the signal from a genuine digital key and transmit it to the target vehicle. An accomplice standing by the vehicle captures the signal, and the car – thinking the real key is in range – unlocks. The process is then repeated to start the engine, but the folks making rounds here are not taking the vehicles at this point that I know of.
Stops the wireless keys signal from being picked up & then amplified pee the process above. Also used to protest credit cards. I got my husband a wallet for travel for that purpose.
Wow. I’m aware of the special wallets, purses etc., but was not aware of how they relay the key signal for cars. Unfortunately I think it might still creep me out to have a host offer such a box. This is the kind of thing that might eventually become the norm. Everyone will have one where they put their keys, but that is a ways off. The high mount is important for lights and cameras. Some will get smashed but it’s another step that might lead some thieves to an easier car.
Sadly this is becoming more common. The tech for the repeater or copying of the signal has become more available.
Faraday box is a phrase throwing back to Faraday cage (geeky me loves it). Most will recognize the phrase RFID blocking tech.
Many people are already using RFID blocking wallets.
I think if you offer a key box close to the entrance with a note: For added protection for your car & belongings, store your keys in this box. It will help protect your key remote signal from being used to access your car. This is not a regular event, but does happen in this city.
I like your wording too. I approached it from an educational stance so maybe said too much. A surprising number of people don’t realize this is a “thing”.
Also one of the safety recommendations is to have your car remote bedside so you can activate the car alarm if there is an intruder or other problem. It creates noise & calls attention. (My car security service will call the police unless I respond not to). Of course the car must be close enough for the signal to reach. I would want the box bedside but it’s small & movable so all good.
How would a Faraday box/pouch help? This method only works when you are actively using the key to do something, which you can’t do with the key in the box/pouch.
Edit: OK, I guess this might help for cars that have keys that have passive keyless entry and/or passive keyless ignition. Passive meaning you can leave the key fob in your pocket and don’t have to touch a button on the fob.
I think it’s a great amenity to add. Just put it somewhere convenient where guests would put their keys naturally. You don’t need to say why you’re providing it anymore than you need to say why you’re providing any other amenity.
We had one at home when we last lived in Austin, it was a big problem in our neighborhood. I imagine it may happen in my new city too but it would be a huge favour to us if someone stole our car at this point, lol.
edit to add: I suggest you provide a box as it’s less likely to be walked off with than a bag.