Brooks Nader is cautioning others to be aware of their surroundings after what she calls the “scariest moment” involving an Apple AirTag, a wireless tracking device.
In a video shared to her Instagram Stories on Jan. 6, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model claimed that a stranger’s button-sized product — designed to help users locate easily lost items such as keys — was used to track her location after it was slipped into her belongings during a recent night out in New York City.
According to Nader, she made the discovery when she was heading home and got a notification on her phone that someone had been tracking her movements.
“I was at a bar in Tribeca,” she recalled. “I was at the bar and waiting on someone alone and had my coat on the chair behind me. It was crowded. Lots of people.”
Nader, 25, said that she “didn’t get any notifications” when she visited other bars with friends and only realized that her movements were being monitored later that night.
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“I was walking home alone because I live in the neighborhood. Around 11:30 p.m., I was already on my walk home when I got the notifications that said someone is tracking you and has been for a while,” she shared. “So I freaked out, obviously. And then, of course, my phone died.”
The Louisiana native went on to explain that she “had no idea” of Apple AirTag’s existence and was sharing her story “to raise awareness, tell all my ladies out there to watch your belongings, look out for the notification.”
“The only silver lining is that I got notified that someone was tracking me,” she added. “It was the scariest, scariest moment ever. I just want everyone to be aware that this exists.”
The Apple AirTag was released in April 2021. On the Apple website, the company said they have implemented several features “designed to discourage unwanted tracking,” including a Tracker Detect app for Android users and an auto-notification system for iOS products.
An AirTag that has been continuously separated from its registered user will also play a sound when moved, per the website, and those who find an unknown AirTag can tap it with an iPhone or other NFC-capable smartphone for a link to a website with instructions on how to disable it.
An Apple spokesperson said in a statement to E! News, “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,” the statement read. “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.”