Free Key Holders Given at Petrol Stations have Secret Tracking Device Hoax

Picture of Free Key Holders Given at Petrol Stations have Secret Tracking Device Hoax
Free Key Holders Given at Petrol Stations have Secret Tracking Device Hoax


Dear All,

Urgent message. Mumbai Airport Urgent alert, please read and circulate.
Information reaching Police formation indicates that: There is a syndicate of criminals selling beautiful key chains at Public Places, Airports, Petrol Stations. They sometimes parade themselves as sales promoters giving out free key chains. Please do not buy or accept these key chains no matter how beautiful they look.
The key chains have inbuilt tracking device chip which allows them to track you to your home or wherever your car is parked. The key holders are very beautiful to resist. Accepting same may endanger your life. All are therefore requested to pass this message to colleagues, family members and loved ones. Be on guard.
Alert everyone in your family, friends, relatives, Especially drivers.
Thanks & Regards
Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
AOCC TOWER 4th Floor, Terminal 1B, Santacruz (E),
Mumbai 400 099, India
Office : +91 22 26156832 / 26264672 / TV4900 / 4600 / 4400
Efax : +91 22 66851575
Please share this info with all your family members and friends

Other Versions


Please be advised that there are people handing out key rings at intersections and stop streets…
These key rings have tracking devices in them…. Kindly refuse them as you would be able to be followed if you accept it….
Please pass this on…. 


The messages claim that free key holders, i.e. key chains given at filling stations are from criminals and contain hidden, sun-powered tracking device intended to find your location and cause harm. This is not a fact.

Picture of Free Key Holders Given at Petrol Stations have Secret Tracking Device Hoax
Free Key Holders Given at Petrol Stations have Secret Tracking Device Hoax

The Origin of Messages

These warning messages, in various versions have been doing rounds online from many years. The origin of all these goes back to an incident that happened in South Africa in August 2008. Caltex, a petroleum brand in fact distributed free, branded key rings to its customers in South Africa in 2008, as a part of promoting their Power Diesel brand. The key holder contained an LED (light-emitting diode), a battery, and a computer chip. Someone who dismantled the device found the chip inside, and jumped to a conclusion that it was some RFID (Radio-frequency identification) transmitter used for tracking. Then a worried listener reported Johannesburg radio station that he found electronic gadgetry, tiny solar panel inside the hard plastic cover of the key ring that was giving off signal and could possibly be traced. This is how the message went viral. The South African Police had to investigate into this issue and clear off the buzz. The police also mentioned that the range of the signal was roughly one kilometer and is not possible to be used as a tracking device.

Caltex used the electronic gadget inside key holder to create flash and brighten up the display, which generated the “signal” and the concern that it can be a tracking device. Even technical experts confirmed that the key ring was safe and is simply a piece of clever and sophisticated promotional item.

Thinking why a criminal would seek such an elaborate means and create fuss to track his victim does not really make sense, when he can simply follow his target directly. The warning message is a hoax, free key holders given at filling stations need not contain tracking devices.

Hoax or Fact:


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Caltex hit by urban myth

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