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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/mariacarmelwild
A former Love Island star was left petrified when she discovered that a tracking device had been hidden inside her car.
Maria Wild, who appeared on season five of the ITV reality series as a Casa Amor bombshell alongside Joanna Chimonides, Belle Hassan, and Jourdan Riane, shared the worrying update with followers, asking them for advice.
The reality TV star explained her iPhone had alerted that there was an Apple AirTag tracking her location, but she couldn't find the device anywhere.
Apple's AirTag is a small round device that is designed to help users keep track of items like their keys, bags, wallets.
By sending out a Bluetooth signal to nearby devices in the Find My network, your AirTag will send its location to iCloud, which will then appear on a map on the Find My app.
In an Instagram Story seen by The Sun, Maria wrote: "I got into my car to drive home at 2.30am last night and someone had put a tracker on my car.
"My phone notified me of this but by the time I realised what was going on I had driven to my home address, which would be visible to the owner of the device.
"I have had law enforcement officers come to try & locate it, but they cannot and I cannot disable the device without physically having it!
"Does anyone know or have any ideas of what I could do? So scary to know someone now knows my home address, and can watch my every move."
Later, Maria added a video to her Instagram Story when she discovered the AirTag inside a spare tyre that had been laying in the boot of her car.
Apple has disputed claims that their AirTags could be used as unsolicited tracking devices.
On its website, the company claims: "AirTag is designed to discourage unwanted tracking. 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.
"After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there."
Earlier this summer, a young woman urged her followers on TikTok to keep an eye on their contents of their bags, after discovering an Apple AirTag that didn't belong to her at the bottom of her handbag.
TikToker Molly was visibly distraught when she told viewers that she had pulled the tracking device from her bag, admitting she had no idea how long it had been there for.
Speaking to Tyla earlier this year about the potential dangers of AirTags, Digital Privacy Expert Danka Delic at ProPrivacy said: "AirTags enable highly accurate, short-term surveillance in a very light and easy to hide package at a relatively low cost.
"Couple this with the fact that they only need Bluetooth to communicate with other nearby Apple devices means that they are highly effective in densely populated and moderately wealthy locations."
However, she assured: "Should an unknown AirTag be in your handbag, and you're running iOS 14.5, you'll be informed of the device's proximity.
"You can then scan the device and follow the steps to cease all tracking. Android users can also use an app called Tracker Detect that allows them to scan for an AirTag nearby."