Spy/hidden cameras are making the news now. The reason is not their exceptional applications in multiple industries and research sectors but the dark side of their use. Hotels, airlines, agencies, and multiple sectors are using hidden cameras to spy on people.
A piece of breaking news from 2019’s South Korea was about paid live streams available on the internet from the motel, hotel, and inn rooms. South Korean police caught 4 suspects in this case. A spike in the rise of illegal filming from 2012 to 2017 in South Korea is also a matter of serious concern.
Before going deep into How to detect a spy camera you need to be clear about the things or objects which could contain it.
You may also want to check this best spy cameras guide we’ve created for you to compare, and if you’re in for a DIY project, you may want to check this guide on how to build a spy camera with the use of old phone camera.
Hosts of Hidden Cameras
Spy cameras are available on offline and online stores in the following forms:
- Wall clocks
- Power banks
- Fitness trackers
- USB drives
- Car keys
- Charging plugs
- Clothes hooks
- Decoration pieces
So, you need to be careful while using public toilets, hotels, dressing rooms, etc. But, how to detect spy camera? Following are the ways to find a spy/hidden camera.
Normal Eye Scanning
The first step is to be aware of your atmosphere. For this, the only requirement is a proper use of your sensory and visual skills. Look carefully into the above-mentioned items, also search for spy cameras in the following spaces:
- Wall decors
- Wall holes
- Indoor plants
- Electrical outlets and any suspicious crack.
Do not miss wires. Unplug all the electrical outlets or adapters that are not in use. Walk in the room and listen carefully as motion-sensing cameras create buzz when operational.
Night Vision Camera Detection
To find a hidden spy camera with night vision you should have a look at the working pieces of one of them. Such cameras come with green or red LEDs which blink in low lights. The LEDs around the camera turn on to compensate for low light for the production of clear images. The step-by-step procedure to find hidden spy camera is:
- Close the curtains and turn all lights off
- Check for any sort of light. It might be from camera LEDs.
This trick works to find both wired or wireless CCTVs.
- Smartphones to Find Hidden Spy Cameras
An android or iPhone both can detect a hidden camera even if they do not have detectors. There are two ways to find a hidden spy camera with your smartphone including:
- Call a friend
- Install an app
When you call someone while moving around in a hotel room your call will be interrupted because of the radio frequency interference with the mobile signals. Where you feel this interference stop and search for a hidden camera. You can also install an app that will display a glow when you will pass by a camera.
Be Pro! Use hidden camera detectors
RF signal detectors to multiple camera bug detectors are available to effectively find a hidden camera. Such detectors are available on Amazon and other online or offline markets with a huge price difference. However, they work pretty similarly. When a turned-on detector passes by a camera it will produce a beep. The point to keep in mind is the inability of RF detectors to find a camera changing its frequency rapidly. Cameras with rapidly changing frequencies are out of the budget of most people thus, detectors will serve best for hotel rooms and public places. The spy camera detectors are of the following types:
- Lens and RF signal detectors: are best to detect listening, bugging, and camera devices in hotel rooms, offices, etc.
- Portable detectors are simple in function and best to look for bugs or cameras in bathrooms and dressing rooms.
Find Hidden Spy Camera in Mirrors
Mirrors in trial rooms, bathrooms, and other places can be see-through and can host spy cameras. To find whether the mirror you are looking into is see-through or not, place your finger on the mirror and observe its reflection. If there is a gap between the finger and its image it is a normal mirror but if both are connected it is a see-through mirror. From such mirrors, someone can be watching you or recording you by putting a camera on the other end.
Actions you need to take after finding a hidden spy camera
After finding the camera do not panic and take the following steps immediately:
- Don’t touch the camera as fingerprints on It will help law and enforcement agencies to reach criminals
- Step aside of viewing angle of the camera
- Take pictures for evidence
- Call law and enforcement authorities
Frequently Asked Questions about hidden spy cameras
Q#1: What is the appearance of hidden cameras?
Hidden spy cameras can be in any shape as they fit in everything from a hole to a keychain and smoke detector.
Q#2: How detectors work?
Hidden camera detectors work on two principles including:
- RF signal detection
- Reflective light detection from the camera lens (1)
Q#3: What are the regulations for hidden cameras?
As per our research and knowledge spying on anyone by using hidden cameras is illegal. Laws also forbid bugging to listen to people. (2)
Cameras are getting longer battery lives, the ability to connect wirelessly, and smaller sizes with advancements in technology. The same rise in criminal mindset is also observed. So, to avoid falling victim to such people try to be careful in public places, restrooms, hotels, etc., and implement the above-mentioned strategies. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say that these strategies work 100% for all sorts of hidden spy cameras because cameras are evolving with technology. However, for most of the currently available versions, these are best to find whether you are being watched or not?
(1) Reflective light – https://www.britannica.com/science/light/Reflection-and-refraction
(2) spying on anyone – https://theconversation.com/global/topics/spying-1616