NEAR ORLANDO, Fla. (WSVN) — A Florida family made a disturbing discovery when they were notified that they were being tracked while visiting Walt Disney World.
As she and her family were walking out of the Magic Kingdom earlier this week, Jennifer Gaston said her daughter Madison received the disquieting message.
“We were terrified, we were scared, just hurt and confused,” said Jennifer.
Madison’s notification stated that an Apple AirTag device was tracking her as they were leaving the theme park.
Her mother said a map showed the device had been following them for about four hours through the Magic Kingdom, so they quickly looked for it.
After not seeing it right away, the family jumped in their car, locked the doors, drove away and called police.
Madison, meanwhile, continued to look at the device’s location on her phone.
“As she was refreshing it, it showed the AirTag was still in our parking spot at Disney, so upon us shaking our clothes and frantically dumping everything out of our bags, somehow it fell out,” said Jennifer.
AirTags are small Apple devices that people put on valuables like keys, so if they lose the item, they can track it down using their smartphone.
Security expert Dave Benson said criminals drop the AirTags in purses or on cars and use the device to follow people on their phones.
“Some people who have ill will towards others are using it to potentially stalk people, follow people, tag vehicles, high-luxury vehicles that they might want to come back and steal,” he said, “and so, even if it’s not at epidemic proportions, it’s happening enough that it’s concerning.”
The Gastons said they are just thankful nothing came of the terrifying warning, but they’re hoping their story helps someone else.
“This story could have ended way differently. Everybody needs to know and to be aware and look out,” she said.
Police advise those who find themselves in this situation to go to a public place and not to their home.
As for the Gastons’ case, without the AirTag itself, deputies said, they are unable to identify the incident as a criminal violation.
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