Apple's AirTag has been linked to an increase in car theft
Apple's AirTag has been linked to an increase in car theft

When Apple launched its new AirTag tracker earlier this year, many researchers were concerned about the impact of device privacy.

According to local police, the real problems appear to be emerging with the increasing number of targeted car thefts using AirTag trackers in Canada.

In a press release from the York District Police Department (which serves the North Toronto area), investigators have discovered a new method used by thieves that uses AirTag tracking capabilities to track and steal the progress of vehicles.

The method of car theft is quite traditional. However, the AirTag tracker is used to locate the exact vehicle in the victim's home where it could be stolen.

As of September 2021, York-area police alone have investigated five incidents in which suspects used AirTag tracking devices to steal high-end vehicles.

Thieves target special value vehicles they find in public places and in parking lots. They put AirTag trackers in invisible places like hooks or fuel caps in the hope that car owners won't find them.

Thieves cannot turn off Apple's Anti-tracking feature. If unknown nearby AirTag devices are tracking their location, it will warn the user. But not all victims receive notifications, respond to notifications, or own an iPhone.

So far there have been five flights linked directly to the AirTag tracker. More than 2,000 cars were stolen in the region last year.

Thieves use Apple AirTag to track cars

This problem is likely to spread to other regions and countries around the world. Police anticipate that AirTag tracking devices will be used in more and more vehicle thefts in the future.

Police encourage car owners to park their cars in closed garages whenever possible and to regularly check their cars for tracking devices. Especially when they receive an unknown notification from AirTag. Police also released two public briefing videos on the growing problem.

Other bluetooth trackers have been available for a while now. But the Apple Everywhere device (connected to AirTag through Find My) usually means tracking something remotely with AirTag is faster and more accurate than competing devices like Tile.

However, it makes it easier for users to recover lost items. But now criminals are using AirTag.

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