According to a warning message that is currently circulating via social media, criminals are using a new carjacking method which involves placing a magnet on one of the targeted car’s brake discs.
Supposedly, the magnet will make a “huge noise” when the car is driven so that the driver will stop to investigate. The criminals can then attack the driver and take the car.
The message features an image showing what appears to be a small magnet on a brake disc.
However, at least so far, I can find no credible reports of such crimes occurring. If criminals were really using this technique, then there would almost certainly be police and news reports warning drivers about it. In fact, the only mention of the alleged crimes is in the circulating social media posts.
Moreover, the carjacking method described seems highly implausible.
Such a small magnet would almost certainly either fall off or be scraped off by the calliper within just a few meters. So, any noise would stop almost immediately and many drivers would continue their journey without stopping to investigate.
And, after placing the magnet, the would-be carjackers would need to wait around, possibly for long periods of time until the car owner returned and departed.
Moreover, even if the vehicle did make a loud noise, the driver might not be able to pull over immediately due to traffic or other factors. So, to complete their carjacking, the criminals would probably need to follow in another vehicle and hope that the driver did not pull over in a crowded location such as a service station where the planned attack would not be possible.
Plus, given that the criminals are apparently willing to brazenly attack drivers in open places, and patient enough to wait around for the drivers to return, why would they need to use the magnet method at all? They could simply attack the driver when he or she returned to the vehicle, obtain the car keys and drive off. Job done, no magnet necessary!
Certainly, drivers need to remain vigilant when returning to their vehicles, especially if the vehicles are parked in isolated locations away from other people. And, if it does become necessary to pull over to deal with a problem, drivers should do so in a safe place near other people whenever possible.
But passing on unsubstantiated and implausible “warnings” such as this is unlikely to help keep anyone safe.
The message is reminiscent of the long-running “paper in the rear window” urban legend and other carjack “warnings” that have circulated via the Internet and word of mouth for decades.
An example of the message:
For everbody’s information! This seems to be a new trend to high jack cars. They put a magnet on your brake disk and when driving it makes a huge noise what would seem to be a problem with your car. When you stop get out and check they attack you. Please share this with your friends and family. Stay safe everyone.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!