BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech graduate student Jesika McDaniel was driving in Blacksburg early Sunday morning when she got a notification on her iPhone that an unknown item was detected.
She quickly realized that item was tracking her location.
“I got a notification from my phone that an unknown device that’s not registered with my Apple ID was following me so I instantly got worried,” said McDaniel. “My initial reaction was should I go home or should I go somewhere else?”
Situations like these are happening across the country with Apple AirTags and similar devices.
People usually use them to help find their keys or other personal belongings through the “Find My” app; however, when the tag is separated from the iPhone it was originally paired with, it alerts the owner of a new device that there’s an AirTag near them.
“Apple usually lets you disable the device but for some reason, it wouldn’t let me disable the device while it was tracking my location, so I felt like I was stuck,” explained McDaniel.
The device tracked McDaniel’s location as she drove from the Squires Student Center on Virginia Tech’s campus, to downtown and continued to track her as she dropped off friends.
She chose to not report what happened to the police once she knew it was somehow disconnected.
“It stopped tracking me about when I got off the highway is what the notification told me. I didn’t feel safe until yesterday morning when my friend and I did a thorough check around the car and couldn’t find anything,” said McDaniel.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it hasn’t received any reports regarding AirTags, but suggests if someone gets a notification that they’re being tracked, or locates an unknown AirTag on their car, to report it as suspicious activity.