Warning for all Americans as ‘tech-savvy criminals’ use Apple device to stalk and steal

Warning for all Americans as ‘tech-savvy criminals’ use Apple device to stalk and steal

A DEVICE that has become popular with Apple customers has reportedly left many vulnerable to theft and stalking.

Apple’s AirTag is designed to help its customers keep track of all their valuables, including iPhones, bags and backpacks, and other gear.

Apple's AirTag accessory has reportedly left many customers vulnerable to theft and tracking


Apple’s AirTag accessory has reportedly left many customers vulnerable to theft and trackingCredit: Getty
The company is reportedly even facing a lawsuit filed by two women earlier in December


The company is reportedly even facing a lawsuit filed by two women earlier in DecemberCredit: Getty

It was released in April 2021 as a small disc-shaped keychain that users can clip to their devices and other important items for tracking.

However, police have discovered that some tech-savvy hackers and criminals are using AirTags to stalk and even steal from some people, according to Fox News.

Many Americans have reportedly noticed strange chirping sounds and alerts from their Apple device, making them aware that another device is trying to track their movement.

Police departments across the United States have reportedly linked these alerts about customers’ AirTags to stalking and car theft.

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Sgt. James Isaacs of the Michigan Police Department in Dearborn detailed the criminals’ tactics to the news station.

“In a traditional stalking case, you usually have people who make repeated contact or make unwanted contact with a victim,” he explained.

“They follow them where they work, where they go to school, where they go to eat. Using the AirTag is just another way for them to do it in a more covert way.”

One woman in Nashville, Tennessee, named Ellie Tindall, also had a disturbing experience with an AirTag placed in her car while she was helping a friend move.

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Tindall told Fox News 2 in 2021 that she left the vehicle unlocked while she was taking items out, and as she drove away, she received a notification that an unknown device was following her.

When she went to check her car, two men were allegedly waiting for her.

“I went outside to check it because I saw it on TikTok that it’s a thing that criminals do for robbery or sex trafficking. When I went outside to look for the tag, there were two men in hoodies stood waiting by my car, and the second they saw me open the door with three men, they turned and ran down the street,” she explained.

Another Nashville resident, Eric Johnson, also reportedly had his car stolen after he heard a chirping noise from inside.

Fortunately, his vehicle was recovered and returned, but he still wanted to make sure the AirTag was found.

He finally found it inside his door after taking it apart.

These are just a few examples of various people claiming similar interactions with the Apple accessory.

Albert Fox Cahn, executive director at the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, says Apple has now made it cheap and easy for stalkers to track people down effectively.

“Stalking and spyware existed before AirTags, but Apple has made it cheaper and easier than ever for abusers and attackers to track down their targets,” he noted.

“Apple’s global device network gives AirTags unique power to stalk around the world. And Apple’s massive marketing campaign has helped highlight this type of technology to stalkers and abusers who would never otherwise know about it,” Cahn continued.

Apple has apparently publicly acknowledged these incidents with AirTag, and has claimed to be working on them with law enforcement.

“Each AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple may provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement,” Apple posted in a statement on its website.

“We have successfully worked with them in cases where the information we provided was used to trace an AirTag back to the offender, who was then apprehended and charged.”

Two women even filed a class action lawsuit against Apple earlier this month, according to Fox News.

Either way, there are likely to be big changes for AirTag in the future to prevent tracking and theft.

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For related content, The US has coverage of the Apple update that reportedly infuriated the FBI.

The US Sun also has the story on why millions of iPhone users were recently urged to check their devices immediately.

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