Something On Social Media Is Freaking People Out, But It's Totally Made Up

JANUARY 9, 2016  —  By Madeline Distasio  
Madeline Distasio

Madeline Distasio

Writer and editor holding it down in Philadelphia. Interests include drawing, exclusively wearing black, having too many books to fit in my tiny apartment, and choosing my dachshund over people.

If you've ever delved into the wide world of social media, you know that it's a terrifying place. Whether Twitter forces you to bear witness to the latest right-wing rant about reproductive rights or Facebook confronts you with the fact that your grandma cannot and should not use emojis in any situation ever, it all starts feeling abysmal after a while.

This is made worse by the fact that social media can make anything from brown lipliner to crimes against humanity innocuous and utterly inescapable. The latest tidbit that's spreading like wildfire online has to do with a new method that thieves are using to steal cars.

According to social media users, car thieves are supposedly stealing vehicles by jamming coins into door handles and disabling lock systems.

According to those sharing the story, here's how it works:

According to those sharing the story, here's how it works:

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Would-be burglars jam coins into door handles while cars sit in driveways and parking lots, which disables lock functions on cars with remote systems. One message that's making the rounds states that "when you get home and press the lock button on your remote, the system will fail to lock. And when you go inside, the waiting thief walks right up to your door and opens it."

So what do the fact-checkers at Snopes have to say about the new method?

So what do the fact-checkers at <a href="http://www.snopes.com/coin-car-handle-warning/" target="_blank">Snopes</a> have to say about the new method?

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It's not actually a thing. This is what they found.

It's not actually a thing. This is what they found.

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According to Snopes writer Kim LaCapria, representatives from Caliber Collision Repair and mechanics from Arnold Chevrolet Buick in Babylon, New York, actually laughed at the thought of people disabling lock systems with nickels and pennies. On a practical level, most cars don't have slots that would allow for such jamming. In a more technical sense, very few key fobs would be hindered by the presence of coins even if they could get stuck in there.

(via Diply)

So there you have it, folks. While some are spreading groundless statistics about the number of cars stolen through this method, Snopes could not find a single record of any such theft. If you're one of those people who believes every single thing they see online, I'm in no position to help you. If you have a more discerning approach to social media use, however, file this warning under Trump-esque scare tactics with zero foundation in reality.

 

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