AirTag misuse: Boyfriend stalks girlfriend's car with Apple's hyper-accurate tracker

AirTag on keyring
(Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

A Melbourne, Australia woman says that she was the victim of a stalking attempt thanks to Apple's AirTag item tracker — and the stalker was someone she knew very well indeed.

Apple's AirTag item tracker is designed to help people find their keys, wallets, and other items when they lose them. But its high-accuracy location-finding capabilities have also led to the AirTag being used in ways that it was never intended to be. And stalking women is unfortunately one of those ways.

The woman says that she was alerted that there was an unknown AirTag following her, only to find out that it had been hidden in her car by her boyfriend of six months.

Hidden tracker

“I got a notification that an AirTag was tracking my location,” the woman told “I was doing some shopping throughout the day and I continued to get the notifications, but I had no idea where they were coming from.”

After looking for the AirTag in her car and being unable to locate it, the woman confronted her boyfriend who initially denied any knowledge of the tracker. He later confessed to using the AirTag to track her movements after she threatened to contact the police about the incident.

The woman later found the offending AirTag — it had been hidden in her car's wheel.

“I felt so violated and I was in a state of shock,” she told the news outlet. “It just blew my mind that someone I trusted so much could do something like this.”

While there are plenty of AirTag alternatives on the market, what makes Apple's tracker so popular is its accuracy. The Find My network on which it runs is massive, using iPhones and other devices to help it locate AirTags and other compatible Bluetooth trackers.

Unfortunately, it's that accuracy that also makes the AirTag so popular among those looking to use it for nefarious purposes.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.