Man gets busted trying to use Apple AirTag as stalking tool

Man gets busted trying to use Apple AirTag as stalking tool
Apple's AirTag is a useful tool for those who don't want to lose certain items including key rings. You can put one on the collar belonging to your cat or dog to keep track of your pets. And if you own an iPhone 11 or later, or an Apple Watch Series 6 or later, the U1 chip adds support for Ultra Wideband providing the AirTag user with extremely precise directions to help find a "tagged" missing item.

What we've also discovered is that hidden in the right spot, an AirTag can be used to help a stolen car ring keep track of potential cars to lift. Or they can be employed to catch a mover in a lie. Now we are finding out that they can be used to escalate a domestic squabble.

A 27-year old Connecticut man is accused of hiding an AirTag in a car as part of a domestic dispute

According to CT Insider, police in Connecticut arrested a 27-year old Waterbury man named Wilfred Gonzalez last weekend and charged him with first-degree stalking, violation of a protective order, and misdemeanor breach of peace. Police had been called out to handle a "reported domestic dispute" on Sunday and when they arrived at the address in Naugatuck, cops "discovered the accused placed a tracking device... in the victim's vehicle."

Gonzalez posted bail, which had been set at $10,000, and has yet to enter a plea. The next court appearance is scheduled for March 30th and we should hear at that time whether Gonzalez admits to the crime, pleads not guilty, or agrees to a plea bargain. For the accused, this is a potentially serious matter as two of the three charges against him are felonies.

Android and iOS users can be notified when a rogue AirTag is tracking them

Apple has set up a system that will send a notification to an iPhone user if an AirTag that doesn't belong to the handset owner has been detected tracking the latter's location. With that notification, the maliciously placed AirTag can have its tracking capabilities disabled by the potential victim.

Android users can install Apple's Tracker Detect app on their phones. Found in the Google Play Store and developed by Apple, the app looks for item trackers separated by their owners that are compatible with Apple's Find My app. If you have an Android device and think that an AirTag or some other compatible tracker is passing along your information, you can use the app to scan for it and force an AirTag to emit a sound.

While accessories for AirTag run as high as $449, your average stalker won't be purchasing one

You can purchase an AirTag directly from Apple and a package of one is priced at $29. A four-pack will cost you $99 and you can have the AirTag (or AirTags, whatever the case may be) engraved with a mix of emoji, text, and numbers for the low, low price of free.

Now it wouldn't be an Apple product without a number of accessories that you can pick up for your AirTag priced as high as $449 for a Hermès luggage tag. Other Hermès luxury items include a $299 bag charm, and a $349 key ring. We suspect that the average stalker using a rogue AirTag would probably dispense with the purchase of such high-priced accessories.

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For those who want to dress up their AirTag but at a more reasonable price, Apple offers a leather AirTag key ring for $35. And the Belkin Secure Holder with Strap can be yours for only $12.95.

Tap this link to find out how you can put an AirTag into Lost Mode so that you can be contacted by an iPhone user who stumbles upon your missing item.

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