Last week a story came across my radar that Apple AirTags were being planted on higher end vehicles in order to trace them to people’s homes to steal them. This from Canada.
Something stuck out here as fishy. Now just hear me out here…
To use an AirTag, it’s associated with your Apple account. Similarly to use a Smartthings Tag it’s associated with your Samsung account. To use a Tyle, it’s associated with … you get the picture here… in all cases as other people’s phones come into proximity they pick up the little tracker signal and report it to a central location (Apple, Samsung, Tyle, etc).
That central location then is accessed by the client (car thief in this scenario,) and the location handed off to them.
Apple, Samsung, etc are going to have a record of 1) where the tags were, 2) the IP of the device that requested tag information, 3) the account info.
So, bear with me now here, the first AirTag that’s discovered on a car gets a warrant, we get to see who’s illegally been tracking a vehicle and what other AirTags they’ve tracked… oh what, there was a car stolen at this other location with an AirTag this person used, and another at that location? Lock ’em up boys.
I mean, it’s harder than that, but as a means to steal higher-end vehicles paying for a VIN lookup service is probably an easier and less tracible way.
This reeks of a small police department telling some people to be wary of something that could potentially happen and then doubling down, and doubling down again.
If your higher-end car is going to be stolen because people used technology to trace it, I’d say being traced by a company that accepts police warrants is your best case scenario. You give access to your account to the police which says it reported an AirTag to Apple quite a bit during that timeframe your car wasn’t stolen, and then warrant time on the AirTag owner. Or similar.
They stole a phone and are using someone else’s phone to do it with and yeah, I can trace that within 15 feet with a warrant.
I could be wrong here, but this story’s fishy as it leaves the criminals extremely exposed unless they ditch the phones, airtags, and had burner email accounts.