Dearborn Police Say Illegal GPS Tracking With Apple Airtags A Growing Concern

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The Dearborn Police Department is warning the public to be aware that Apple Airtags are being used illegally to stalk and follow people.

These quarter-sized tracking devices were designed by Apple Inc. as item trackers for locating wallets, car keys, and other personal items. However, according to Sgt. James Isaacs, chief of the Dearborn Police Technical Investigation Unit, tags were found behind license plates, between and under car seats and in personal items such as handbags.

Cases involving these little $29.99 trackers are on the rise, Isaacs said they had four cases involving one in the past week.

Tags are used to track vehicles and individuals for potential illegal activities such as theft, auto theft and harassment. According to the Dearborn Police, the Dodge Chargers are frequently targeted for such illicit tracking activities.

Police say many phones will warn a user if an Airtag is nearby, and if they don’t recognize the device, they should notify the police immediately.

“People have been using GPS trackers to stalk and harass people for a long time,” Issacs said. “The reason this one has become more and more obvious now is, I think, because of the cost, the cost is significantly less than a traditional GPS tracker that people would get. So the ease of access is much higher.

Apple Airtags work by connecting to a Bluetooth signal on an iPhone. Androids users will need to download the Apple Tracker Detect app and manually scan their surroundings to get this type of alert notification.

“If you are alerted that an Airtag is nearby, or if you think someone may be tracking you, call 911 immediately and be prepared to provide the serial number listed in the phone alert,” the official said. police department in a statement.

In the state of Michigan, it is illegal for a private citizen to track someone with a GPS tracker without the knowledge of the other party.

Anyone with information about people using Airtags should call the police department’s anonymous hotline anytime at 313-943-3030.

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