Police Detail How To Know You’ve Been Targeted By 'AirTag' Thieves
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Featured Image Credit: Toronto Police/Alamy
A policeman has explained how to know if you’re been targeted by 'AirTag' thieves.
AirTags are essentially tracking devices, designed to help you keep tabs on your valuables by locating their whereabouts via Apple's 'Find My' network.
However, ever since the product was released to the public back in April 2021, there's been reports of misuse, such as domestic stalking and stealing cars, in particular.
Watch below as a police officer offers some tips on how not to get robbed or stalked:
Marco Ricciardi from 22 Division Toronto Police has took it upon himself to explain why 'these little things here are being used to mark a vehicle'.
He said: "What (thieves) are doing is, that when they find a car that they like, they stick these to the car or place them on the car somehow.
"And they're magnetic so as you can see, it'll stick to metal, so it could be hidden behind a license plate, it could be hitting in the trailer, hitch receiver or even in a gas tank cap area.
"And once you go home they just track their device to your driveway and then when you're sleeping comfortably, they come and steal your car or truck, so what we want to let you know is some of the things to do to prevent this from happening."
The copper reveals that there's a notification iPhone users will receive, which will alert them with the 'AirTag Found Moving With You' notification.
He continues: "So I'm going to start with iPhone users, if you get a notification saying that there's an air tag near you, what you can do is that you can use the location service of your phone to pinpoint the proximity of the AirTag and then once you have that AirTag you can disable it.
"If there's one of these on your vehicle I recommend that you call your local police department and the officers will come seize it."
Pointing to the centre of the tiny device, he says: "This little shiny part here and this little plastic part, we could possibly get fingerprints off it and know who's been putting this on your car.
"You can also deactivate it by just twisting it and pulling the battery out.
"The only thing that's in here is a simple watch battery, the battery on these last anywhere from six months up to one year of track-ability."
He also suggests an alternative for those who don't own an Apple device.
The cop adds: "So to help other people that are using non-apple phones - Apple created an Android version of an app called 'tracker detect' and what it does is, if an Apple AirTag is around you for more than 20 minutes, you can download this app and you can scan the area that you're in to see if one of these has been dropped into your pocket, into your purse, stuck to your car and after that 20 minute period has elapsed, the app will pick up because of the bluetooth frequency that it uses and then you can zone in on the tag and locate it."
Another useful tip is to 'start covering your VIN at night while your vehicle is parked in the driveway'.
Apple responded to the concerns back in February via a statement: "We have been actively working with law enforcement on all AirTag-related requests we’ve received. Based on our knowledge and on discussions with law enforcement, incidents of AirTag misuse are rare; however, each instance is one too many."
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