Police warn about car Bluetooth hacking

Police warn about car Bluetooth hacking

Using gadgets while driving has never been easier with modern technology and car improvements.

People are able to focus on driving while communicating hands free thanks to technology like Bluetooth that connects phones to cars wirelessly.

But police warn there's a hidden danger in doing something as simple as that. When it comes to safety, police say hackers can steal personal information from Bluetooth.

Police say keeping personal information stored on Bluetooth from a phone is an easy way for criminals to steal from you.

"They can get information like phone calls, your destinations, where you were traveling to and from, your home address, they can even get work files if you were working at home," Lieutenant Brian Oleksyk said.

Getting their hands on your information can lead to identity theft.

"If someone is taking that information they're using it for certain things," Oleksyk said. "One is identity theft you can get some information with that through phone records or addresses. You can do a look up identity theft information that way... So then they would use that information to break into your house or steal your mail again for identity theft."

Police warn of using Bluetooth even for a short time, for example when people rent cars.

"Lets say you have a rent-a-car and you use that car for about a week and you use your personal phone and you hook it up to the car, if you don't reset or erase that information that's in the system of the vehicle the next person that comes along can easily steal your information from that system."

Unfortunately identity theft is hard to reverse after its happened, and even harder to catch the criminal responsible for it.

"When it comes to identity theft its easy to get that information and sometimes that's a very lengthy crime to develop a suspect its hard to investigate sometimes," Oleksyk said.

If you do have to use the phone while in the car police recommend using a wireless Bluetooth headset that is not directly connected to the vehicle. That way if you lose it-- it'll only cost you a couple of bucks-- not your identity.