Criminals Are Using Apple AirTags to Track Victims – Evansville Police Explain What To Do If You’re Being Tracked
A disturbing new trend is starting to emerge around the country and may have found its way to Evansville. Police departments are starting to get more reports of people (victims) being stalked and/or tracked, against their will, by someone using an Apple AirTag. Now it's very possible that you have no idea what I'm talking about, or what an Apple AirTag is - the technology is still really new. Keep reading to learn more about AirTags, how they are being used illegally, and how you can protect yourself.
What's an Apple AirTag and How Are Criminals Using Them?
Simply put, an Apple AirTag is a small device that allows Apple users to keep track of their possessions, or anything they don't want to misplace. The actual AirTag is a small disk, about the size of a poker chip, that you might put on your keychain, in your purse, luggage, or backpack. Once those tags are connected to your Apple device, you will be able to see where they are at any given time through the Find My iPhone app. It's a pretty neat little gadget, right? It's neat until someone hides an AirTag on or in your car and then uses it to follow you home. You can see how that might be problematic.
Security for the University of Southern Indiana is certainly aware of this trend. They took to Facebook to warn students about the potential danger of Apple AirTags.
How Can I Tell If I'm Being Tracked?
So, how are you supposed to know if someone secretly placed on AirTag on your person, in your bag, or on your car? There's got to be a way to tell before you wind up face to face with some crazy person waiting at your house. The solution seems to be pretty simple. According to MacWorld.com, you can use a "Bluetooth tracker for iOS or iPadOS to scan the area around you and see if an AirTag is nearby." Doing so may not tell you, specifically, about the presence of an AirTag, but it will allow you to see the names of Bluetooth devices broadcasting around you.
What to Do If You Think You've Been Tracked
I was talking about this new trend with our friend Taylor Merriss, Special Projects Coordinator with the Evansville Police Department, and she says the best thing to do is report it to the police. Even if you can't pinpoint who did it, and even if there is no immediate action to be taken, you should still report it. The fact is, you don't know if there is anyone else reporting similar situations. The more people that come forward, the better chance the police have to recognize a trend, and hopefully use that information to put an end to it. Officer Merriss says one way to avoid being tracked in the first place is to consider where you park. If suspects are placing AirTags on your car, make it really difficult for them to do that without getting caught. Do that by parking in a well-lit area, around other people. Keep in mind where you park in relation to any available cameras. Essentially, just be aware of your surroundings and your situation at any given time.
If you have any concerns, or you think you might have been tracked, don't hesitate to call your local police department. If all else fails, just dial 911.
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