Tech

Hijackers use Apple AirTags to track expensive cars in order to steal them later.

In short: When Apple launched AirTags earlier this year, it seemed like a useful tool to avoid losing valuable items like laptops, phones, tablets, etc. However, hijackers now use them to track high-end vehicles by showing them the location of their target in real time.

From September 2021 to the present, the York Regional Police are already faced five cases in which suspects used Apple AirTags to track vehicles they allegedly planned to steal. Thieves install trackers on publicly parked vehicles and place the device in invisible locations, including trailer hitches, bumpers, and the gas tank area. The thieves can then track the vehicle until they find it in a location suitable for theft, such as the victim’s home.

It is only possible to hide Apple AirTags in a car because of its compact shape and size. Its round shape and small size make it faster and easier to hide the tracker than stealing a car in a high-risk area. By attaching an adhesive magnet to it, you can easily and quickly place it in any hard-to-reach place in your car.

To prevent AirTag owners from using Apple’s tracker to harass others, the manufacturer has introduced countermeasures to thwart those who try. If a thief’s AirTag is hidden somewhere in your car and you have an iPhone, you may find it nearby. Even if you don’t have an iPhone, the tracker will start beeping about eight to 24 hours after you move from the owner’s property.

This time window is still more than enough to steal the car, but you can use other measures to prevent thieves from succeeding in their goal. A few examples include parking your car in a garage instead of in a driveway, or using locks on the steering wheel to keep them from moving even if they can start.

Image Credit: KKPCW (CC BY-SA 4.0)


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