GRANT COUNTY, Ind. — A Central Indiana sheriff is warning Hoosiers that criminals, stalkers and domestic abusers may be using Apple products to track people’s locations.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office in Marion, Indiana, posted to Facebook on Wednesday saying that deputies had received reports of residents finding Apple AirTags on their property.
“It has come to our attention recently that some person(s) in our communities have found some of these devices in or on their personal property,” the post read.
AirTags, according to Apple, are small devices designed to help people not lose things. The small items, pictured below, connect to iPhones, iPads and Macs to track the location of whatever it is attached to.
“These tags are about the size of a U.S. quarter and were designed to track items such as keys, wallets, purses, and backpacks,” the Sheriff said on Facebook.
GCSO provided a list of facts regarding AirTags and their potential use by criminals. That list, copied from the Facebook post verbatim, can be read below.
- Air Tags could facilitate stalking and enable domestic abusers.
- Air Tags have been misused for domestic stalking and trying to steal cars.
- Air Tags can be used for sinister purposes, such as compulsive partners to follow their other half, toxic ex-partners to stalk their vulnerable former spouse, or even unscrupulous bosses tracking employees in the office, outside the office, traveling and telling the whereabouts of delivery staff.
The Sheriff’s Office also provided a list of steps to complete if you believe an AirTag is being used to track you:
- Tap and hold your Android or Apple NFC-capable smartphone to the white side of the Air-Tag
- Tap the notification that appears. This opens a website that provides information about the Air-Tag, including the serial number. Write down the number or do a screenshot that includes the number.
- Push down and twist counterclockwise on the white side of the Air-Tag.
- Take the cover off and remove the battery.
- Once you remove the battery, the location of the Air-Tag is no longer visible to its owner.
Sheriff Del Garcia ended the Facebook post with a reminder that law enforcement is always available to help in these situations.
“If you feel at risk, contact local law enforcement,” Garcia wrote. “Always remember that you are in charge of your security, and at any time you feel at risk, please call us to assist you.”