Watch out for creepy ‘stalking’ pop-up this week – and what you need to do

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CREEPY stalker alerts appearing on people’s iPhones are causing panic for nothing.

Apple’s attempt to make its AirTag device safer appear to have unintended consequences, as users report false popups on their phone.

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Stalkers have been known to abuse the AirTag deviceCredit: Getty

AirTags are meant to be a useful coin-sized gadget to help you find everyday items like your keys.

But the tech has been marred by controversy since launching, with cases of individuals being followed using it.

Just last week, we heard about the horrifying incident of a girl who was tracked by one during a visit to Disney World for four hours.

In response, the tech giant has rolled out a series of improvements to make people more aware if an AirTag could be tracking their movements.

But some have been receiving scary tracking alerts even though they’re probably not being followed at all.

Phantom AirTag alerts have been buzzing people in the middle of the night, creating unnecessary panic and concern.

False cases apparently follow a similar pattern, with red lines on the map appearing in unrealistic ways for a person or object to take, such as through walls or construction zones.

Ryan McClain, 25, told the Wall Street Journal he woke up to one of the alerts in April.

He and his fiancée were left on edge after searching endlessly, asking a mechanic to look under their car and evening checking whether their neighbours own one.

But they found nothing.

“It was a shock to my morning,” he revealed.

“I thought, ‘Who would want to stalk me? Who would want to hurt me?’”

Despite the issue, experts warn that you should not attempt to switch them off on your iPhone.

John DeCarlo, from University of New Haven – and a former police chief – said: “Getting false alarms with technology is a common occurrence.

“If you turn the notifications off, it leaves you without the benefits.”

Apple believes phantom alerts may be because of Wi-Fi signals that temporarily confuse its location services feature.

This can be fixed by going to Settings, followed by Privacy, then Location Services, where you can switch it off whenever you’ve got Wi-Fi on on your phone.

The tech giant also warned that those living in highly populated areas could receive alerts from others who live nearby.

AirTags were released by Apple in April 2021

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AirTags were released by Apple in April 2021Credit: Getty
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