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  #1  
Old 26 August 2008, 04:37 PM
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Icon18 Keyring-tracking thieves

Comment: Please be advised that there are people handing out keyrings at
intersections and stop streets... These keyrings have tracking devices in
them.... Kindly refuse them as you would be able to be followed if you
accept it....

Please pass this on....

--------------------------------------

Comment: WARNING: this happened to Andre yesterday.

He put petrol in his car and the petrol attendant gave him a key holder -
Free!

Back at work he noticed something funny - a copper plate standing out.

It had a sticker on the key holder, he pulled it off. With the key ring
being transparent, he noticed a type of SIM card inside.

He opened the key holder just to find a miniature transmitter which works
with sun power.

He took it to the Police Station and the Police said that they were aware
of it - it is used to follow you home and hijack your car/break into your
home.
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  #2  
Old 26 August 2008, 04:37 PM
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Icon05

I don't get what the utility of this scheme is supposed to be. How does
knowing where random strangers live make it any easier to steal their
cars or break into their homes? How is this any better or different than
simply following/robbing victims wherever the crooks happen
to encounter them or just randomly targeting houses?
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  #3  
Old 26 August 2008, 05:10 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Icon27

Maybe it is not really thieves, but the government. Or big business.

Fortunately, the reference to the petrol station suggests that this phenomenon has not invaded the U.S.A...yet.
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  #4  
Old 26 August 2008, 05:17 PM
KirkMcD KirkMcD is offline
 
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Default

It sounds a lot like those key fobs that allow you to "pay at the pump" by just putting the fob next to a pad on the pump.
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  #5  
Old 26 August 2008, 07:52 PM
Griffin2020
 
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Definitely sounds like someone trying to incite panic based on an RFID tag.

These are exactly like the cards that you get at various places (grocery, bookseller, liquor store) that is read for "loyalty" programs.
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  #6  
Old 26 August 2008, 08:25 PM
Alchemy Alchemy is offline
 
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Default On the tech side . . .

RFID tags are so small because they have no internal power source - the power is induced by an EM field at the base station.

While GPS devices can be very small and operate on very low power, to transmit their location they need to send a signal a significant distance - i.e. to the nearest cellphone tower - and that means it needs to have a relatively bulky battery. The smallest GPS tracking devices today are the size of small cell phones (since that's exactly what they are) and at best can send a location fix every hour for the better part of a day.

Such a device would not be confused with a small non-electronic device.
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  #7  
Old 28 August 2008, 05:53 PM
Lee Orac
 
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I thought this bit was odd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
He opened the key holder just to find a miniature transmitter which works with sun power.
Don't most people carry their keys in their pockets or purse?
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  #8  
Old 28 August 2008, 05:57 PM
SoToasty SoToasty is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Orac View Post
I thought this bit was odd.



Don't most people carry their keys in their pockets or purse?
I always carry mine on top of my head. That way, they reach that magical temperature of 3000 degrees F, or the exact same temperature that the inside of my car reaches. This helps the keys fit the ignition perfectly.
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  #9  
Old 28 August 2008, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Orac View Post
Don't most people carry their keys in their pockets or purse?
Yea, though many do carry them on a belt loop as well if they need to have ease of access to them.
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  #10  
Old 28 August 2008, 05:58 PM
SoToasty SoToasty is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I don't get what the utility of this scheme is supposed to be. How does
knowing where random strangers live make it any easier to steal their
cars or break into their homes? How is this any better or different than
simply following/robbing victims wherever the crooks happen
to encounter them or just randomly targeting houses?
The only possible advantage I could possibly come up with is, you follow the victim home, then track them to see when they are no longer at home. That way you have a nice empty house to break into.
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  #11  
Old 28 August 2008, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoToasty View Post
The only possible advantage I could possibly come up with is, you follow the victim home, then track them to see when they are no longer at home. That way you have a nice empty house to break into.
That only works if the crooks somehow know everyone they're tagging lives alone.

- snopes
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  #12  
Old 28 August 2008, 06:34 PM
SoToasty SoToasty is offline
 
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good point. I guess I am just not a good enough criminal.
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  #13  
Old 28 August 2008, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
That only works if the crooks somehow know everyone they're tagging lives alone.

- snopes
Thus making this no different than an elaborate extension of a time honored and reliable criminal methodology known as "casing the joint".

The idea of tagging marks with an expensive device is a very high risk activity, with little reward that is only valuable if your successful once (which may never happen). After that, the device are no longer worth it unless you want to burglarize a place multiple times (which precludes the necessity of tracking) and is only riskier still.
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  #14  
Old 28 August 2008, 09:15 PM
KKHB
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I don't get what the utility of this scheme is supposed to be. How does
knowing where random strangers live make it any easier to steal their
cars or break into their homes? How is this any better or different than
simply following/robbing victims wherever the crooks happen
to encounter them or just randomly targeting houses?
That's what I thought too. The whole thing is preposterous for so many reasons, but could it be being implied maybe that the keyrings are being handed out only to select few, as opposed to random victims? That way the would-be thieves could track those driving particularly nice cars or wearing particularly expensive clothing/jewelry in the hopes of making a better score than they might at a random house (which may or may not contain high dollar items)?

Still ridiculous, but just a thought to make the story slightly more believable.
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  #15  
Old 28 August 2008, 09:18 PM
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Chloe Chloe is offline
 
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I would *love* to have a tracking device attached to my keys. Why isn't there a huge market for this? Wake up America!
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  #16  
Old 29 August 2008, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Why isn't there a huge market for this?
I wonder how accurate these things would be in terms of location. I know that the movies portray tracking devices with pin-point accuracy, but I wonder what the error range would be for finding said keychain. At least standard keyfinders made a noise o you can track the sound, but for a device as small as convience would allow, how accurate are they? How big of an area would you still have comb throgh?
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  #17  
Old 31 August 2008, 07:14 PM
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Icon02 Caltex hit by urban myth

E-mails flying through the electronic ether in South Africa warning of "tracking devices" fitted into free key rings are false and fuel retailer Caltex is infuriated that its promotion at service stations has become a victim of urban myth.

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_i...0214128C212626
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