There has been an increase nationally in the criminal use of Tracking Devices, such as Apple Air Tags.

Tracking devices are designed to track your keys, bag, wallet etc and if lost, it talks to other Apple devices in the area to provide the location, sometimes with a high degree of accuracy.

Technology is getting smaller, cheaper and easier to obtain. Numerous tracking devices are now openly available on the market e.g. Apple Air Tag which are not much bigger than a 50p coin (see below)

image of persons hand holding an apple air tag - Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

Criminal Use

Trackers continue to be used in Domestic Stalking type situations to covertly monitor spouse movements. For example, these type of devices could be hidden in a spouse’s vehicle or personal belongings.

Following reports of misuse, Apple and Android have increased security measures to make it easier to identify/locate the presence of an unknown tracker. 

Android and Apple devices with the latest software updates will issue a ‘Tracker Found Moving With You” alert if an unknown tracking device is seen moving with someone over time, regardless of the platform the device is paired with.

Some trackers can also emit a sound to help locate it. 

Identifying the presence of a Tracker

Consider these options to help identify the presence of a Tracker, if it is not immediately visible:

  • Ensure ‘Unknown Tracker Alert’ is enabled on your Android phone and conduct a scan.
  • Ensure your phone is using the current software update.
  • Commercial Applications such as AirGuard are available for download on Apple devices to assist in scanning for trackers that may be around you.

If an unknown tracker is identified, it is important to remember:

  • Contact Police if deemed necessary
  • If possible, remove the battery from the device so that location data is no longer being transmitted.
  • Do not take a ‘live’ device to a premises that you do not want to be disclosed such as the home address of a victim or witness, a refuge or place of safety.