Urgent Bali warning for travellers after tourist found worrying item

An Australian tourist travelling through Bali has been urged to get rid of her bag after finding an Apple Airtag hidden inside it. 

Newcastle woman Emily Sinclair, from NSW’s Hunter Region, was just days into her first holiday to Bali when she warned her fellow tourists about a ‘strange noise’ coming from her bag.

Ms Sinclair and her partner had been hearing the sound off and on for a number of days while staying in a villa in Amed, in the east of the Indonesian island, when they decided to empty their bags to try and find its source.  

After emptying her suitcase’s entire contents, an Apple Airtag fell out.

‘Neither of us have any Apple products and don’t own an Airtag and we both completely emptied our bags before packing for the trip,’ she revealed on Facebook.

‘The battery also was made in Indonesia.’

Emily Sinclair (pictured) was holidaying in Bali when she found an Apple AirTag in her bag

The coin-sized tracker was ‘pinging’ from her bag, meaning whoever put it there was close to Ms Sinclair’s villa

The couple immediately deactivated and dismantled the tracker, which, due to the battery information, they believe was made in Indonesia. 

AirTags are tracking devices, roughly the size of a coin, that pair with iPhones and are designed to help owners keep track of keys, bags, or other important items. 

Ms Sinclair said the discovery left them terrified and assuming somebody was following them.

‘We dismantled and left the AirTag in Amed – just wanted to see if this has happened to anybody else and give a warning to others to check your bags,’ she wrote.

Ms Sinclair posted the warning to the hugely popular Bali Bogans Facebook page, with fellow travellers warning her. 

‘Dump that bag,’ one wrote.

‘Weird.I think I’d be buying new bags before going to any airport just incase somethings been hidden in there,’ another said.

However one Apple Airtag owner said the pinging sound might not be as sinister as Ms Sinclair thought.

‘AirTags are specifically designed NOT to be able to be used to track people.AirTags are designed to keep going for more than a year on a standard battery. If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s travelling with you and send you an alert,’ the person explained.

‘After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there.’

Despite that, since launching in April 2021, AirTags have been known to be used by thieves, predators and stalkers to prey on helpless people or follow them home.

On March 8, former Love Island star Montana Brown, 27, revealed she found an AirTag in her bag after landing in Los Angeles.

Former Love Island star Montana Brown revealed that when she landed in Los Angeles she discovered an AirTag in her bag as well 

The pregnant Ms Brown received a ‘quite creepy’ notification from her iPhone that one of the devices was ‘on her person’ which wasn’t registered to her phone.

‘I got this notification on my phone like, “There’s an AirTag on your person that doesn’t belong to you and it’s from nobody in your contacts so someone can see your location,”‘ Ms Brown said.

‘After I’d gone through security, I found an AirTag in my bag that was tracking my location.

‘So just beware when you’re travelling, if you’re travelling on your own because apparently this is a thing.’

Ms Brown got the notification, unlike Ms Sinclair, because of her iPhone which can detect the presence of unregistered AirTags – unlike other phone brands.

AirTags connect to iPhones in the vicinity via Bluetooth, and so a notification from Apple’s ‘Find My’ app will appear if an unknown AirTag is found ‘travelling’ with someone, even if they do not have the app installed.

The device is also a favourite of car thieves, with criminals expertly hiding the tiny trackers in crevices and behind plates.

The thieves typically return at night when owners are asleep and have left the cars on the street. 

Travellers with luggage are an easy target for thieves looking to hide AirTags in tiny pockets 

AirTags have been found expertly hidden in or on cars

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