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Former Love Island star Montana Brown was a recent victim of AirTag stalking and urged people in similar cases to contact the police.
Innocent people are increasingly being tracked via AirTags, and Brown recently became the newest victim. She was traveling to Los Angeles when she got a phone notification telling her an AirTag was tracking her location.
She looked through her bag in the airport restroom, discovered the AirTag, and flushed it down the toilet. Brown said she didn’t think much of it at the time.
“It was only really when I came back home and I told a few of my friends…I realised that’s so creepy,” she told BBC Newsbeat. “My friends were like: ‘you should absolutely be making more of a big deal out of this because this could happen to anybody’.”
She posted about her experience on social media, then realized how sinister the AirTag tracking was when “the sheer amount of comments and messages” she received made her realize that it’s become common.
“And this is obviously a method that people are using to track people, and maybe track women who are travelling on their own,” Brown said. “So that was kind of a penny drop. I was just thankful that I found it and was able to get rid of it.”
Brown didn’t contact the police after finding the AirTag and regretted that she didn’t do so, not realizing at the time that it was an option. “Because in these situations none of us know what to do. If you see an accident, you know to call 999,” she said.”
Brown is only the latest victim of AirTag tracking. In a separate case from February, a woman’s ex-husband in Tennessee track her by hiding an AirTag in her car.
What to do if you find an AirTag
Apple advises people to immediately contact local law enforcement if they discover an AirTag in their belongings that they don’t own. On iOS 14.5 or later, Find My will send a notification if it finds an AirTag moving with you.
If people discover one while traveling, they shouldn’t return home so that the stalker won’t find where they live. Instead, either hand it to the police while making a report, or disable it.
It’s possible to remove the battery from an AirTag by pushing down and twisting the metal cover on the back counter-clockwise to open the device. After that, the person on the other end won’t be able to track the location.