A Jacksonville woman said she was the victim of a tracking scheme after a fair visit

Jacksonville, Florida. Did you ever feel like you were being watched? That feeling became all too real for a Jacksonville woman on Friday, according to a report she filed with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The woman, whose first name is Tahlia, told police that when she returned to Jacksonville after visiting the Clay County Fair, she received an iPhone notification that a tracking device was nearby. The 20-year-old also said, when returning to her car parked at the fairgrounds, that she found a pen attached to the bottom of the windshield wiper, although it was unclear if this was related to the notification.

This is a screenshot taken on the phone of a Jacksonville woman who believes she was the victim of a tracking scheme. Captured on April 1, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.)
This is a screenshot taken from the phone of a Jacksonville woman who believes she was the victim of a tracking scheme. The image was created on April 1, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.)

After searching, JSO investigators did not find a tracking device in the woman’s belongings or in the car and the accident report stated that the warning notice did not hit her phone again.

Sweetener’s mother, Jessica Egger, said her daughter does not have any accessory devices such as wireless headphones, smartwatches, or any other technology that could trigger the tracking warning.

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“As a parent, this is horrible,” said Iger. “It’s a nightmare. You can’t do anything. All you can do is sit on the phone and hope nothing happens.”

Egger said that she and her daughter shivered from the accident

It’s anger. It’s frustration. Egger said. ‘You go down the rabbit hole for all ifs; “What could have happened,” did someone know her and might have been trying to harm her? “

The police report referred to the reported tracking device as the “Apple AirTag,” an accessory designed to help owners keep track of their electronic devices or other valuables.

“AirTag is designed to prevent unwanted tracking,” the Apple website says. “If someone else’s AirTag finds its way to your stuff, your iPhone will notice that it’s traveling with you and send you an alert. After a while, if you haven’t found it yet, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there.”

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The website also says that only the owner of AirTag can see the location of the device.

“No user location and history data is stored on the AirTag itself,” the Apple website says. “Devices transmitting the AirTag’s location remain anonymous, and location data is encrypted every step of the way. Therefore, Apple doesn’t even know the location of your AirTag or the identity of the device it helps find.”

News4JAX I-TEAM looked into the worrying trend of these spam trackers in February and found that avenues for prosecution of this type of activity are limited at best.

In Florida, the offense of “unlawfully installing a tracking device or tracking app” is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in prison, six months of probation and a $500 fine. However, legal experts say it’s a tough charge to get a conviction.

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An Apple spokesperson told News4JAX that if someone finds one of these devices without their knowledge, they should contact law enforcement and disable the device.

You can do this by opening the back and removing the battery – which cuts off the connection between the AirTag and whoever tracks it.

If you have an Android phone, Apple recently launched the Tracker Detect app in the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.