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Apple AirTags are being used to steal cars: Here’s how to stay safe

Apple AirTags are being used to steal cars: Here’s how to stay safe
  • Apple AirTags are used to locate any object that it is placed upon.
  • AirTags are now being used by thieves to locate potential victims’ cars.
  • Here’s how you can keep your cars safe from getting stolen.
Apple’s tracking device, AirTag, which launched earlier this year is used to locate any object that it is placed upon. It has found its popularity with users as it helps locate their lost or stolen items.

To track, Apple uses millions of iPhones as the AirTag anonymously pings a nearby iPhone which then sends the message to the AirTag owner and helps them locate their stolen or lost goods. Apart from the AirTag owner, no one gets tracking information.

On the downside, these secure tracking features are being used by criminals, specifically thieves, to steal cars from driveways. Here’s how thieves are using AirTags to locate victims’ cars.

Using AirTags to steal cars
The York police have released a press statement highlighting the issue as the cases involving Apple AirTags in stolen cars have increased over the past few months.

According to the statement, thieves use AirTags to target high-end vehicles they find in public spaces like malls and parking lots. They place the tag in out-of-sight locations so that the owner of the vehicle cannot find them. And then track the vehicle to the owner’s home and steal the car from their driveway.

However, Apple is said to prevent spying and sends a notification to the victim when a foreign AirTag is placed on an object. If acted upon the AirTag can be neutralised or else if the notifications are ignored, the victim plays into the criminals’ hands.

The Apple AirTags is primarily used to locate the car owner’s location and aides in the process of theft and not the actual theft. For the theft, the thieves use conventional methods such as using a screwdriver to get into the car. They then reprogram the onboard diagnostic ports to accept any key they have brought with them. And when the car starts, they drive away with the stolen car.

Here’s how you can stay safe
According to the York Police statement, there are a few pieces of advice that car owners should follow to prevent being duped by thieves who use AirTags for stealing. Here’s what you can do.

  • Park your vehicle in a locked garage wherever possible as most vehicles are stolen from a driveway.
  • You can also use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves from stealing your car.
  • You can install a lock on the data port that will then block access to the computer port where the thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle’s keys.
  • You can buy security cameras for surveillance around your property. They should be placed in the right position and should be functional throughout day and night.
  • You should inspect your vehicle regularly and inform the police if you notice any suspicious devices.
In addition to this, you can also place AirTag on your car to locate it if it gets stolen. Although this is not mentioned in the press statement, it may help you track your vehicle for a while.

However, the thieves will be able to block the tracker when their iPhone informs them that they are travelling in a car with a foreign tracker, that of the car owner.

To stay protected you should learn more about how the trackers are being used for theft and look for any foreign objects that may have been placed on your car.


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