How to Find Spy Devices in Your Home
Reasons You Might Be a Target for Spying
How do you know if you are being surveilled? How do you know if you aren't? These days private surveillance is becoming more and more common. Reasons that someone may be spying on you include:
- You own a company.
- You have an important, responsible, or secretive job.
- You have to attend confidential interviews or meetings.
- You are a scientist/politician/journalist/attorney/judge/police officer/local government official.
- Your partner or spouse believes you are having an affair.
- You are getting divorced.
- You are a suspected activist.
- You are interested in conspiracies and frequent certain websites.
- Your neighbor hates you.
- You were arrested for, but never convicted of, terrorist-related crime.
- Your friend, neighbor, or relative is under suspicion.
- You have recently made a substantial insurance claim.
- You are very wealthy.
- You are a celebrity.
- You are the victim of a stalker.
- If you believe you may be a target for a covert operation, the first thing to do is to be on the lookout for evidence that someone is watching or listening to your private conversations. Someone you know (your partner, a colleague, or neighbor) may inadvertently let slip something that they could only have overheard. If you question them, they will glibly deflect you by saying they guessed, that someone else told them, or that they made an assumption. Don't argue or pursue the point.
- If information appears in the press that no one except you and your trusted friends/personnel have access to, that's a major sign that you are under surveillance.
- A stalker likes his victim to be aware that he has access to private conversations– it adds to the fear-factor— and he will often find ways to let you know you are being watched, followed, or listened to.
- If your home was burgled but nothing significant was taken. You may not even notice if a door was left open or a window forced and you won't ever know that someone has been inside your home. Make sure your children tell you if they discover an unlocked door that isn't usually left unlocked, or an open window downstairs.
Who's Monitoring Your Cell Phone?
Landline Bugging Devices: Pay Attention to the Unusual
- Do you notice small noises on your phone during a conversation? Indications of a line tap are volume changes, minor drops (i.e. tiny gaps in the other person's speech), static, popping noises, hissing, or any other unusual sounds. These occur when two connectors are hooked up, such as a wiretap to a phone line. Listen for anything unusual as you hang up the phone.
- Your telephone may make odd sounds when it not in use. This would indicate that the phone itself is being used as a listening device. In other words, it is acting as a microphone and will pick up any conversation in the room.
- Silent phone calls (when you pick up but it sounds like no one is there) may mean that the phone has been hooked up to a slave device. Listen out for electronic sounds like buzzing or high-pitched beeping. At the same time, silent calls are common these days and usually caused by computer error, so by themselves, they are not cause for concern.
5 Signs Your Cell Phone is Bugged
How to Check for Surveillance Devices with an FM Radio
Tune your radio into a silent spot at the high end of the FM band. Carry the radio around the room. If it begins to make odd sounds such as a high-pitched squeal, move it until the sound reaches its loudest pitch. You may be familiar with this feedback phenomenon when it happens with speakers. Well, when it occurs with an FM radio, it's because of the same thing – the radio is picking up transmissions from the bug and can often lead you right to it.
You can also do a similar sweep with a small hand-held TV. Check channels 2, 7, 13, 14, 50-60, and 66-68 for marked interference. It works with analog or digital.
Locating Hidden Spy Cameras
A simple cost-effective method to detect hidden spy cameras is to wait until dark. Turn off all the lights and block out any light from outside. Grab a cardboard tube - a roll of paper towel is ideal. Turn on your smart phone's flashlight, or use a regular flashlight.
Hold the tube up to one eye and close the other. Hold the flashlight next to the tube. Now slowly scan every inch of the room. You are looking for a tiny light with a halo, which is the reflection of the camera lens.
How to Search for Spy Bugs
- Wait until dark, switch off the lights, and shine a strong flashlight at mirrors. Move the light thoroughly over the surface of the mirror. Any bugging device hidden there will be revealed.
- When the house is empty and traffic noise outside has subsided, walk around and switch off all electrical appliances, such as the refrigerator and computers. Be still and listen. Walk around the house quietly and listen out for any soft buzzing or bleeping. Track down the source. Chances are, there will be an innocent explanation for it.
- Check every switch plate and wall socket by first looking at it and then trying to move it. If it has been recently disturbed, may be visually out of alignment or it may move a little. This is a favorite place for bug installation. Turn off the power, unscrew the plate, and see if there's anything behind it that shouldn't be there. Also check smoke detectors, wall and ceiling light fittings, and lamps. Warning: Don't go poking screwdrivers anywhere near live electrical wiring.
- Look out for paint discoloration on walls or ceilings. A small, circular mark may be an indication of a micro-camera or listening device. Check the baseboards for bumps or signs of disturbance.
- Use your flashlight and hands to thoroughly examine every piece of furniture. Run your fingers along out-of-sight edges. Turn the furniture upside down. Look at upholstery carefully for small holes.
- Take notice of tiny patches of white dust from dry walls on baseboards or on sills. See if you can determine where it came from. It could be debris from the installation of a tiny pinhole camera.
- Examine every ornament and other innocuous objects in a room – pictures are good places to hide devices, and so are pillows.
- Try all the door locks to make sure they feel and work the same as usual. A lock that has been tampered with may exhibit stiffness, sticking, or feel very loose.
Bug Detector Devices
An electronic device, such as this is reasonably priced, and able to track electronic devices hidden in the home by picking up their tiny electromagnetic signal. You carry it around your home or office, and it will give an audible warning when it is within 10 meters of a audio bug or hidden camera. Ensure you turn off all 'innocent' devices and remove cellphones, laptops, etcetera, prior to scanning a room otherwise you'll get a false signal. RF Detector
Bug detectors can usually find audio or video transmitters as they operate on simple RF frequencies. This is why your FM radio is capable of detecting such devices. However, these bug detectors are much more sensitive so it may well be worthwhile investing in one for your peace of mind.
There are also GPS bug detectors which work to find tracking devices hidden on your person or in your car.
Somebody is Watching Me
- Related article
Somebody is watching me... and I need to know what to do. Get the feeling you are not alone? Your life is being monitored by some unknown person or organization?
I'd Love to Know Your Experience, But...
The comments section is becoming way too long. I can now only accept comments that are directly related to the topic of the article, i.e. discovering actual hardware, phone apps, or evidence of bugging in your home.
And, while I appreciate you sharing your personal accounts, there's nothing I can actually do, other than offer the advice given above and in the comments. I'm really sorry, but unless your comment is on topic, it will be deleted.
Any questions you have, must be asked right here on this page, either in the Q&A section or in the comments. I cannot respond to direct inquiries via email.
Thanks so much for reading.
Questions & Answers
I've had a stalker for over 2 years now. I contacted police and have done anything and everything I could think of. I want to find the devices in which he can see me, it looks like it's in the lighting fixtures. When it is in use the light bulbs burn out, but I can't tell where the spy device is at. Can you help?
© 2012 Bev G