Being Stalked With An AirTag? Here’s What To Do

by | 10/05/2021 2:55 pm
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AirTags are amazing minuscule gadgets that let you find your lost items. But with any trackers, they can be used by bad actors to track other people. If you’re worried you’re being stalked with an AirTag, here’s what to do if you find an unknown AirTag in your possession.


Apple’s AirTags have been out for less than a month and already they are becoming the most popular hardware tracker out there. AirTag’s are Apple’s Tile competitor. They let you track a lost item that they are attached to. However, AirTags have some major benefits over Tile, including battery life, size, and privacy.

Apple has been adamant that AirTags are designed to track lost items. AirTags are not designed to be anti-theft devices, now are they designed to track pets or people. That being said, there are going to be people out there who try to slip an AirTag into someone else’s coat pocket or purse so they can stalk them. 

Luckily, Apple has built-in some anti-stalking measures to AirTag. Read on to find out more–and to learn what you should do if you find an AirTag on your that you think someone is stalking you with.

AirTag Anti-Stalker Protections For iPhone Owners

Because of their small size, its easy to slip an AirTag into a person’s coat pocket or purse unnoticed. Apple is aware that some bad actors may try to do this, that’s why the company built-in some anti-stalker protections to the device.

The first anti-stalker protection is robust. If you are an iPhone owner and your iPhone detects an unknown AirTag (that is, one that is not registered to your Apple ID) traveling with you, it will alert you to this.

The way an iPhone alerts its owner to an unknown AirTag traveling with them is by sending a notification to their screen. The notification will say “AirTag Found Moving With You.” If you see this, here’s what to do:

  1. Tap the “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification.
  2. Tap Continue. Now you can look for the AirTag your iPhone has detected. If you can’t find it…
  3. Tap Play Sound. This will cause a sound to emit from the AirTag so you can locate it.

We’ll tell you what to do from here in just a sec. But first know that Apple was smart about how your iPhone treats unknown AirTags that may be traveling with you.

Being Stalked With An AirTag? Here's What To Do
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First, you’ll only get the “AirTag Found Moving With You” alert if the AirTag in question is traveling with you (ie when you walk or drive) AND the AirTag is also not in proximity to the person whose Apple ID it is associated with. Apple designed the AirTag detection system in this way so everyone on a bus who has an iPhone doesn’t get an “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification when you step onto the bus with the AirTag you have attached to your backpack.

Second, Apple realizes sometimes we will lend a friend an item that has our AirTag attached. This can be an item like an umbrella, bike, or keys. If this is the case–and provided that your friend isn’t traveling with you–you’ll still get an “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification, but you’ll have the option to pause safety alerts (since you know the AirTag is there and know why it’s there–to track the item and not you). Here’s how this works:

  1. Tap the “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification.
  2. Tap Continue. Now you can look for the AirTag your iPhone has detected. If you can’t find it…
  3. Tap Play Sound. This will cause a sound to emit from the AirTag so you can locate it.
  4. If the AirTag is attached to an item you’ve borrowed, tap “Pause Safety Alerts” to turn off “AirTag Detected” notifications for one day.
  5. Alternately, if the item with the AirTag attached belongs to a member of your Family Sharing group, you can turn off “AirTag Detected” notifications for the day, or permanently.

AirTag Anti-Stalker Protections For Android Owners & People Who Don’t Have A Smartphone On Them

Being Stalked With An AirTag? Here's What To Do
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Apple is also aware that AirTags may be used to track people who have Android phones or no smartphone at all, thus can’t get “Find My” notifications. That’s why the second anti-stalker protection Apple built into AirTags is an audible alert.

Here’s how it works: In order for an AirTag to be able to track an item, it must first be linked to an Apple ID. It must always remain linked to an Apple ID in order for it to keep tracking too. But if the AirTag in question is out of the range of a device connected to the owner’s Apple ID for more than three days, that AirTag will then begin editing a loud sound, which lets the Android owner–or person who has no smartphone–know it’s there.

What To Do If You Think You Are Being Stalked By The AirTag You Find

Being Stalked With An AirTag? Here's What To Do
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If you find an AirTag on you and you think someone is stalking you with it you can take action. While an AirTag will never reveal the name or contact information of the person who own it (unless they’ve put it into Lost Mode–which a stalker wouldn’t do), you can scan any AirTag you find to find out its serial number. Here’s how:

  1. Tap and hold the top of your iPhone or NFC-capable Android phone to the white side of the AirTag (the white side might have an emoji printed on it in some instances).
  2. On your phone’s screen, you’ll see a notification appear. It will be a web link that says Open “found.apple.com” in your default browser. Tap the notification to open the link in your default browser.
  3. On the website you are taken to, you’ll see the serial number of the AirTag you have found.

You won’t be able to determine who owns the AirTag that is tracking you from this serial number, but you can go to the police with the AirTag and serial number and they can go through the appropriate legal processes to request that Apple hands over the identity of the person the AirTag with that serial number is registered to.

All this being said, it’s important to remember that while some bad actors may use AirTags to stalk people, most people will use them to track devices. But now you know what to do if you think you are being stalked.

Also, check out How To Update AirTag Firmware!

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