ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Attorney General Letitia James warned of a new threat emerging in the state Wednesday- the use of Apple AirTags to track unsuspecting victims. Residents have recently reported finding the tags attached to cars, purses, and other personal items, which shared their location with criminals.

Attorney General James recommends New Yorkers take the following precautionary measures to protect themselves from this new, malicious technology:

Listen for unfamiliar beeping.

  • When an AirTag is out of reach from a familiar device for a long period of time, it starts to make a beeping noise. If you hear this beeping, try to locate the device and then scan it with your phone to uncover its serial number and other information. Write this down, then disable it using the instructions that will pop up on your phone.

Watch for “item detected near you” alerts on iPhones.

  • These notifications will show up in the Find My application. If you receive a notification, tap on it and it will allow you to play a sound on the AirTag in order to locate it.

If you have an Android Device, download Tracker Detect from the Google Play Store.

  • This will allow you to find any unfamiliar AirTags within your phone’s Bluetooth range. It will not scan the area automatically, however- you will have to scan manually from the app.

Not all lost AirTags are malicious, and sometimes individuals will legitimately lose track of the small devices. If an AirTag has been reported lost by its owner, the Find My app on your cell phone will offer you instructions on returning it. Make sure you update your Apple device’s operating system to stay up to date on safety measures the company is implementing.

To report a misused Apple Airtag found in your car or on any of your belongings, contact the Office of the Attorney General by filing a complaint with the OAG Internet and Technology Bureau.