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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Bad Actors Using Apple AirTags To Track People’s Locations, Personal Belongings, NY AG Warns

The New York Attorney General is cautioning about bad apples who have been using Apple to track their locations and belongings.

Attorney General Letitia James issued a consumer alert with safety recommendations to protect New Yorkers from bad actors who have been using Apple AirTags to track individuals’ locations and belongings with malicious intent.

According to the AG, those targeted have reported finding unknown AirTags attached to their cars, and in their purses, coat pockets, and other personal property. Others have reportedly received alerts on their phones that their location information is being shared, even when the targets do not find an AirTag or another connected accessory. 

Apple AirTags are small tracking devices intended to act as a key finder to help people locate their personal items, James said. However, malicious individuals have been placing the small devices on people’s personal belongings without their awareness to track them.

To avoid becoming the victim of an AirTag scam, the AG offered several tips to protect New Yorkers and their belongings:

  • Listen for unfamiliar beeping: When an AirTag is separated from a familiar device for some time, the AirTag will start to make a beeping noise. If you hear this beeping noise, try to locate its source;
  • Watch for “item detected near you” notifications on iPhones: If your iPhone has been close to an unfamiliar AirTag or other accessory for a prolonged period of time, you may receive a notification on the Find My application stating, “Item Detected Near You;”
  • If you have an Android device, download “Tracker Detect” from the Google Play Store;
  • Know that not all unfamiliar AirTags are malicious;
  • Check for updated guidance;
  • Update Apple devices’ operating systems.

“Across the country, Apple AirTags are being misused to track people and their belongings to cause harm,” James said. “Tracking people without their awareness or consent is a serious felony and will not be tolerated by my office.

“I urge all New Yorkers to pay close attention to their belongings and follow the tips provided by my office to stay safe. New Yorkers’ safety is my top priority and my office will continue to do everything in its power to protect New Yorkers.”

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