An Australian woman, who arrived in Bali for a holiday, has come forward to warn fellow tourists about a weird new trend.
After finding a mysterious item in her luggage shortly after arriving on the island, she took to social media to see if anyone else had ever experienced something similar.
The couple shared their story on the Bali Bogans Facebook group, a popular forum for Australian travelers to the island to share recommendations, experiences, and in cases like this, travel warnings too.
The tourist and her partner arrived in Bali and checked into their accommodation. Shortly after settling in, they heard a weird noise coming from inside their luggage. Keen to see what was going on, they opened their bags to try and find what was creating the noise.
@odetoless Replying to @Cindi Lie #lifehack #airtag #traveltips #serunyabelajar ♬ Best Day – Tundra Beats
To their shock, they found an Apple AirTag tugged inside their luggage. But what makes the situation strange is that neither of them owned Apple AirTags, or in fact, any Apple devices. Which got them thinking, how on earth did this get in there?
She shared, “My partner and I have been in Bali for a couple of days (our first time). We’ve been staying in a villa … and have been hearing a strange noise coming from one of our bags, and this morning we found an Apple AirTag in one of the bags.”
@sukabobolama Airtag anti stresfull club #airtag #airtagindonesia #koperhilang #koperketinggalan ♬ REPLAY X SPIN BACK – Jeremiah Custodio
In the lengthy explainer post, she continued, “Neither of us has any Apple products and don’t own an AirTag, and we both completely emptied our bags before packing for the trip. The battery also was made in Indonesia.” This has fellow travelers thinking that this has the telltale signs of a new way to target tourists for robbery.
“We’re fine now, headed back to Kuta today and have 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!”
It was later clarified that the AirTag was found in a side compartment of her luggage that could not be padlocked closed. She assured fellow travelers that nothing had been stolen and that all their belongings were in the same condition as when they checked their bags into the flight.
@the.saasy.engineer To whom it may concern: put an #airtag in your #luggage 😎 #tech #techtok #apple #iphone #traveltiktok #travel ♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul
There is speculation that this is a new and high-tech way of making a mark on tourists for a future robbery.
Some commenters on the post suggested that potential thieves could have dropped the AirTag into their bags at the airport and then used the tracking service to locate where they were staying and steal their belongings from their accommodation while they were out exploring the island.
Others suggested that it could have been a simple case of someone putting an AirTag on the wrong bag as they took their luggage from the baggage carousel.
Whether an accident or an intentional targeting tool, it’s always advisable to increase your vigilance as a traveler, especially in transient spaces like the airport arrivals hall.
Bali Airport, and Bali as a whole, are incredibly safe, and while news of crime naturally makes the headlines, the reality is that incidences of crime against tourists are incredibly low.
Especially when you consider how many millions of international and domestic tourists visit the island every year.
Officials at Bali Airport are incredibly quick to act on any suspected theft or crime in the area.
In cases where bags have been stolen, or cash pickpocketed, police have been able to apprehend the criminals and recover stolen items within hours, sometimes minutes, of the issue being reported.
The story of the AirTags in the luggage poses an interesting thought experiment for travelers.
While travel becomes increasingly safe and convenient because of the influence of technology, how could technology be used to make well-rehearsed travel scams more sophisticated?
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