New York Attorney General Warns of Malicious AirTag Tracking

Airtag

New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a consumer alert to warn New Yorkers of malicious AirTag tracking. People have found unknown AirTags in their cars, purses, coat pockets, and other personal property.

AirTag Tracking in New York

Attorney General James said:

Across the country, Apple AirTags are being misused to track people and their belongings to cause harm. 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.

She also provided steps to protect against AirTag tracking:

  • 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. AirTags can be stuck in various places including in bags and pockets, under cars, inside of bumpers, and the back of license plates.
  • 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. If you hear unfamiliar beeping, you can use Tracker Detect on your Android device to find any unfamiliar AirTags within your Bluetooth range.
  • Know that not all unfamiliar AirTags are malicious. While it is important to be careful, AirTags are sometimes legitimately lost by their users, and your device will alert you regardless. If an AirTag has been reported lost, your Find My notification will give you information to allow you to return it.
  • Check for updated guidance. Apple has issued guidance on how to deal with unknown AirTags or Find My alerts. If you come across any issues, check with Apple for updated guidance.
  • Update your Apple device’s operating system. Apple is implementing new safety measures, so make sure you update your Apple device’s operating system regularly.

You can report unknown AirTags found in your belongings to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) immediately by filing a complaint with the OAG Internet and Technology Bureau.

Updates to AirTag

Earlier this month, Apple shared how it plans to fight this kind of unwanted AirTag tracking in the future. These include measures such as new privacy warnings, updating support documentation, displaying alerts with sound, refining algorithms, and adjusting the alert sound for these trackers.

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