Written by Bernie Carr
Just a quick post today as I share topics that caught my interest. Car thieves are using Apple AirTags and other locating devices to follow people home and rob them.
What are Apple Air Tags?
Released in April 2021, Apple AirTags were originally designed to find lost items. The device costs just $29. You just connect the AirTag to your own account, find a way to attach it to the object you wish to track and use an app to find the object.
There are other tracker devices besides the AirTag. Below is a photo of the Tile.
Both the Air Tag and Tile Tracker devices are used by attaching them to your property, like your backpack, keys, your purse, even a pet’s collar. If you are forgetful, these devices are useful in locating your lost items.
How are criminals using tracker devices?
Unfortunately, criminals have repurposed these trackers to stalk people and rob them. Car thieves just attach the devices to cars they want to track, keep watching and waiting until the car is in a good spot then they go and steal the car. The earliest reports happened in Canada, but now are coming out of several cities. According to Fox11, a police office in Atlanta, GA, found an air tag near the gas tank of a car.
I have heard they have also been used to stalk girls as they unknowingly go about their day. According to the New York Post, a Sports Illustrated model says she was stalked by a stranger who slipped the device into her coat pocket.
Also last month, a Maryland woman took to Twitter to share her disturbing tale of a stalker attaching an AirTag to her car before she left a bar in the early hours of the morning.
And, back in July, a Texas woman went viral on TikTok after revealing an AirTag had been placed in her purse and used by an unknown person to gauge her whereabouts.SOURCE: New York Post
The Tile Tracker has been reported in a stalking case according to Click2Houston.com. A woman in Houston found out that her ex-husband had been tracking her. One of her kids found the Tile on the floor in the back seat of her car. She later discovered the Tile was linked to her ex.
How do you protect yourself?
You’ll need to be vigilant about locating these devices.
If you use an Apple phone, you can easily find any AirTags nearby.
Apple will be releasing a Tracker Detect app this coming June so Android users will also be able to identify AirTags being used around them.
One way to check is by downloading an app called BLE Scanner, which stands for Bluetooth Low Energy Scanner. It is designed to show nearby Bluetooth 4.0 devices. I have not tried it myself but I saw it on Google Play Store.
This article from Cyberguy describes how to detect and disable unknown AirTags.
Don’t let your purse, coat or other belongings our of your sight. Find out what to do if you are being followed. If you think that someone is tracking you, call the police.
Park your car in well-lighted areas or locked garages and check your car periodically for these devices. Security experts also recommend installing a steering wheel lock and video surveillance system.
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Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.