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    apple airtags used to steal

    Who’d Have Thought? Thieves Are Using AirTags to Steal Cars

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    Adnan Nensey
    Adnan Nensey Dec 8, 2021

    Apple launched their item-tracking device called AirTags just earlier this year. Once you attach an AirTag to anything, you can trace or locate it using the Find My app on iPhones or iPads. While their primary usage is to track and find lost items like keys, wallets, and other small items, reports are coming in of thieves using Apple’s AirTags to steal cars. (Colour me surprised!)

    AirTags Used for Car Theft

    Since AirTags use other iPhones nearby to display the location of someone’s AirTag, it’s very easy to track them. As per a statement by the York police department in the U.S., instances of Apple’s AirTags being used to steal cars have been on the rise.

    Thieves are targeting high-end vehicles by placing AirTags on car bumpers, inside the fuel filler area, or sticking it on the back of a bumper. Car owners seldom check these locations and, so, hidden AirTags remain well-cloaked. The thieves then use their iPhones to track the car’s location and successfully steal it from that location.

    Usually, thieves wait for drivers to park the car, as their AirTag will help them identify that the item-tracking device hasn’t moved in a while. Since the con guys have the location, they usually wait until the wee hours of the night and steal the cars from parking lots or driveways that are easily accessible.

    Also, modern vehicles have a programmed key that thieves can hack by attaching a device to the car’s head unit to trick it into recognising any key. Furthermore, the thieves use a screwdriver or a similar tool to unlock the car. Finally, they drive away with the stolen vehicle once the vehicle starts.

    How Can You Protect Yourself?

    As per a feature embedded in all iPhones, users can get notified when an unrecognised AirTag is moving with them. You can use the on-screen settings to locate an AirTag that doesn’t belong to you by tapping the ‘Play Sound’ option. Listening closely to the sound will help you find the hidden AirTag.

    Similarly, users can place their AirTags in ‘Lost Mode‘ to help other users get information about the owner. However, in case of an AirTag being used to steal cars, thieves are unlikely to be dumb enough to turn on ‘Lost Mode‘. But don’t worry, you can still access the serial number or tap on the ‘Disable AirTag‘ option to stop the AirTag from displaying your location. Furthermore, Apple recommends that if you feel unsafe, you can contact local law enforcement to identify the source of the AirTags.

    So, if you see the ‘AirTag Found Moving With You’ notification on your iPhone, make sure not to ignore it and tap on the message for further details. It might just be someone trying their luck with car theft using an AirTag! Unfortunately, if you’re not using an iOS device, you will not receive any such notifications. Hence, we recommend that you park your car at a secure location, use a steering lock system, set up CCTV monitoring systems in your driveway, and inspect your vehicle once in a while.

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