Bad actors use Apple AirTags to track people's locations and personal property, NY AG warns

Bad actors use Apple AirTags to track people’s locations and personal property, NY AG warns



The New York attorney general has warned about rotten apples using Apple to track their locations and property.

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

According to AG, the targets reported finding unknown AirTags attached to their cars and in their bags, coat pockets, and other personal belongings. Others have reportedly received alerts on their phones that their location information is being shared, even when the targets don’t find an AirTag or any other connected accessory.

James said Apple AirTags are small tracking devices intended to act as a master finder to help people identify their personal items. However, malicious individuals would unconsciously place small devices on their personal belongings to keep track of them.

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

  • Listen for an unfamiliar beep: When an AirTag has been separated from a familiar device for some time, the AirTag will start to sound a beep. If you hear this noise, try to determine its source;
  • Monitor “Item Detected Near You” Notifications on iPhones: If your iPhone has been close to an unfamiliar AirTag or other accessory for an extended period of time, you may receive a notification in the Find My app stating, “Item has been detected near you;”
  • If you have an Android device, download “Tracker Detect” from the Google Play Store;
  • Know that not all unfamiliar AirTags are harmful;
  • Check for updated instructions;
  • Update Apple device operating systems.

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

“I urge all New Yorkers to pay close attention to their property and follow the advice my office gives to staying safe. The safety of New Yorkers is my top priority and my office will continue to do everything in its power to protect New Yorkers.”

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