(CBS DETROIT)-They’re used to help find items such as keys, a wallet, even lost pets, but apple AirTags could be used for more malicious acts.

“We’re very much concerned about it and we are starting to help our survivors that we come in contact with understand what this looks like and how they can help prevent it and what steps they need to take if somebody is using to apple tag to track them,” said Dr. Sharman Davenport PhD, CEO of Turning Point In Macomb County.

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Dr. Davenport says women who seeks help with Turning Point for domestic violence and sexual abuse are now concerned after hearing stalkers could use Apple AirTags to track their victims. She wants to make sure people are being vigilant and safe, something this stalking victim says is critical.

“I had to be aware when I walked to my car, I had to be aware when I walked outside,” said this stalker victim.

Wanting to remain anonymous this Metro Detroit woman says she was stalked for 20 years by her abusive ex-husband.

“It wasn’t on a weekly basis or monthly, sometimes it was several years where we didn’t hear from him but it would pop up and then all the fear would pop up,” said the stalker victim.

She says she lived in constant fear always watching cars drive by thinking this could be the day he attacks her again or worse.

“That he would kill me,” the victim said.

Dr. Davenport says this is the fear for many women she sees and with devices such as Apple AirTags where an abuser can drop the quarter sized device in a purse or leave in a car and in turn be able to track their victim is disturbing.

“If they happen to see to see the pod then they need to go to the nearest police department that they should not go to relatives they should not go home and they should not come to the shelter,” Davenport said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic, or sexual abuse or a stalker victim, contact Turning Point below.

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24 hour hotline (586) 463-6990

 

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A statement from Apple sent to CW50 Tuesday reads.

“We take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag’s privacy and security. AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — that both inform users if an unknown AirTag might be with them, and deter bad actors from using an AirTag for nefarious purposes. If users ever feel their safety is at risk, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement who can work with Apple to provide any available information about the unknown AirTag.” said an Apple spokesperson.

Apple also says an iPhone running iOS 14.5 or later can recognize if an AirTag or Find My network accessory is not with its owner and is traveling with you over time, and will send you a proactive alert. Apple will alert you to this when you arrive home as defined in your contacts “Me” card  or if using significant locations, your travel patterns learned locally on your iPhone. If you happen to be somewhere else, Apple will still alert you at the end of the day.

Apple says the info below is for Android users..

 Tracker Detect can be found in the Google Play Store. Tracker Detect enables Android users to proactively scan for item trackers that are no longer with their owner, for example if one has been placed on you without your knowledge. If a detected item tracker is known to be moving with you for more than 10 minutes, you will be able to play a sound on the detected item tracker to help you locate it.

Instructions for disabling AirTag can be found at: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212227.

Note:Disabling the Find My network prevents your devices from tracking AirTags or other Find My items and devices near you.

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