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AG Shapiro Warns of Tracking Threats from 'Malicious Misuse' of Apple AirTags | WDIY Local News

Daniel Romero

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is warning Pennsylvanians to be aware of tracking threats stemming from the malicious use of Apple AirTags. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

According to a release people have reported finding unknown AirTags attached to their cars, in their pockets and other personal property. Others reported getting alerts that their location information is being shared, even if they have not found AirTags or other connected accessories on them.

Shapiro's office provided several safety recommendations to help protect people or their belongings from being tracked:

  • Listen for unfamiliar beeping. AirTags will start to beep when separated from a familiar object for a period of time. If you find an unfamiliar AirTag, record its serial number, then disable it or remove its battery.
  • Watch for “Item Detected Near You” notifications on your iPhone, which may pickup unfamiliar AirTags or other accessories. Tap this message to play a sound on the AirTag to find it. The "Find My" application can be used to receive information about the AirTag and disable it.
  • Android users should download Tracker Detect from the Google Play Store, which can be used to manually find unfamiliar AirTags within Bluetooth range.
  • Check for updated guidance. Apple has issued guidance on how to deal with unknown AirTags or Find My alerts.
  • Update your Apple device’s operating system.
  • Know that it’s not just Apple AirTags that can be misused in this way. Tile, GPS Trackers and similar products could potentially pose a similar risk.

People should check their personal belongings if they receive any suspicious notifications of their location being tracked. Anyone who believes they have found a misused AirTag should contact local law enforcement.

Shapiro's office reminds consumers that not all unfamiliar AirTags are malicious, and are sometimes legitimately lost by their users. If an AirTag has been reported lost, the Find My notification will provide information so it can be returned.

(Original air-date: 2/20/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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