Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooks Nader experienced the most “terrifying” night of her life.
On Friday, the star claimed to Fox News that an AirTag was used to track her location without her knowledge. She previously shared her story on Thursday night via Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s Instagram page, which has 2.1 million followers. The incident took place on Wednesday night in New York City.
“I went to a restaurant, a popular spot in TriBeCa, a very upscale, safe neighborhood,” she told us. “I go there all the time… I was at the bar waiting for some friends. It was early, like 45 minutes to an hour early. So I thought, I’ll have a little bite to eat while I wait for them. It’s winter so it’s freezing. I had my big winter coat with me and laid it on the bar stool. I did go to the bathroom once and I always take my purse with me. I didn’t take my coat because I assumed no one was going to steal it and I didn’t have anything inside of it.”
According to Nader, her friends arrived and the group enjoyed some food before visiting another nearby spot where they met up with other friends. Afterward, Nader decided to walk home alone.
“It’s a pretty safe neighborhood,” she explained. “I forget that it’s sort of dead right now in New York and there’s not a lot of people around. But I just got back from the holidays and I didn’t take that into consideration.”
About halfway home, Nader claimed she received a notification from her Find My iPhone app that was marked time-sensitive.
“It said, ‘Unknown Accessory Detected,’” she recalled. “’This item has been moving for you for a while. The other can see your location.’ I’m just honestly grateful that I got that notification from Apple. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known.”
Nader said Find My is an app that she and her family frequently uses to ensure everyone is safe, especially while traveling. When Nader clicked on the notification, a pattern was shown from the time the alleged tracking began.
“It showed my path throughout the night,” said Nader. “It started at the restaurant around 6:30 p.m., which tells me it was placed in my coat.”
Later that night, Nader and her husband searched through her coat and found an Apple AirTag. Not knowing what the small device was, she took to her Instagram Story and asked her nearly 900K followers if anyone knew what it meant. That’s when she received an outpouring of messages from other women sharing their own horrifying experiences.
“A ton of women told me, ‘Watch out, this happened to me, it’s an AirTag,’” said Nader. “I’ve never heard of AirTags and had no idea what they were. But after this happened to me, I was sent all these TikTok videos of girls who’ve been stalked. They were put in their license plates, the hoods of their cars. I had girls message me about their ex-boyfriends putting tracking devices that are AirTags in their cars.”
According to Apple’s website, the button-shaped device is intended as “a supereasy way to keep track of your stuff,” like one’s keys or wallet – items that are easily misplaced. It can “also track down your Apple devices to keep up with friends and family.”
With my Find My app, you can see where the item in question is located. When the AirTag is separated from its owner for a long period of time, it will play a sound to draw attention to it, alerting the user it’s there.
In response to Nader’s story, a spokesperson for Apple told Fox 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. 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.”
In December, Apple introduced Tracker Detect in the Google Play store. That app looks for “item trackers” that are separated from their owners and compatible with Apple’s Find My network. If a user suspects someone is applying AirTag or another device to track one’s location, the app can launch a scan to try to find it.
Nader said she is speaking with “someone in the Special Victims Unit” in New York and couldn’t provide further details on law enforcement’s involvement. However, she is going public with her story in hopes of raising awareness on the issue. She also hopes that Apple will move forward in any capacity to improve its device so that such incidents don’t occur to anyone else.
“Ladies, do not be alone when you’re out at night,” she advised. “Be in a group. I was alone for about 45 minutes waiting for friends and I’m certain that’s when this all occurred. I don’t think this would have happened had I been with my husband or a bunch of girlfriends. And don’t walk home alone at night. I was walking home when I got the notification, which was frightening. Take a taxi. And have your phone handy. Check your notifications, especially when you’re out. I’m grateful the Find My app notified me.”
The Baton Rouge native joined the SI Swimsuit family as part of the 2019 open casting call. After winning the model search, Nader shot her rookie spread in Bali.