A tracker needs some way to communicate. AFAIK that needs some sort of data plan, which might get expensive, especially if always on (not to mention battery requirements).
It could attempt to connect to any WiFi hotspots it runs across. In a city you’ll run across several just walking down the street.
One of the lessons in a general pupose survival guidebook I had as a kid in the 70s was to always keep enough money in your wallet not to disappoint armed robbers who might get vindictive otherwise. The author suggested a $20 minium at the time. I have no idea if that was practical advice or if the author was secretly an armed robber Either way, it seems like your bait wallet should probably have a sufficient quantity of real money to placate potentially violent criminals. The idea behind the bait phones is that they look completely real and the thief can’t tell until you are gone, but they’ll know your bait wallet is fake/worthless immediately.
Some guy in Oregon defrauded Apple out of about $1mill by sending back 1500 decoy phones under fake waranties and getting genuine replacements sent back.
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