How to Find Hidden Spy Camera

Spy/hidden cameras are making the news. The reason is not their special applications in multiple industries and research sectors but the dark side of their use. Hotels, airlines, agencies, and multiple sectors use hidden cameras to spy on people. 

A piece of breaking news from 2019’s South Korean news was about paid live streams available on the internet from motel, hotel, and inn rooms. South Korean police caught four suspects in this case. A spike in the rise of illegal filming from 2012 to 2017 in South Korea is also a serious concern. 

Hidden Camera Locations

hidden spy camera by AMZCEV

Spy cameras are available in offline and online stores in the following forms:

  • Wall clocks
  • Screws
  • Power banks
  • Fitness trackers
  • USB drives
  • Car keys
  • Charging plugs
  • Clothes hooks
  • Decoration pieces
  • Pens

So, it would be best to be careful when public toilets, hotels, dressing rooms, etc. But how do you detect spy cameras?

The following are the ways to find a spy/hidden camera.

Normal Eye Scanning

magnifying glass

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 items mentioned above, also search for spy cameras in the following spaces:

  • Wall Decor
  • Wall holes
  • Indoor plants
  • Roof
  • Electrical outlets and any suspicious cracks.

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 a buzz when operational.

Night Vision Camera Detection

To find a hidden spy camera with night vision, you should 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 to produce clear images. The step-by-step procedure to find a hidden spy camera is as follows:

  • Close the curtains and turn all lights off
  • Check for any light. It might be from camera LEDs. 

This trick works to find both wired or wireless CCTVs. 

  • Smartphones to Find Hidden Spy Cameras

smartphone

An android or iPhone 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 passing a camera. 

Be Pro! Use hidden camera detectors.

RF signal detectors to multiple camera bug detectors are available to find a hidden camera effectively. 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 remember 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 for looking for bugs or cameras in bathrooms and dressing rooms. 

Find Hidden Spy Camera in Mirrors

mirror at home

Mirrors in trial rooms, bathrooms, and other places can be see-through and host spy cameras. To find whether the mirror you are looking into is see-through, place your finger on it 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 watch you or record 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:

  1. Don’t touch the camera as fingerprints on It will help law and enforcement agencies to reach criminals
  2. Step aside from the viewing angle of the camera
  3. Take pictures for evidence
  4. 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 do detectors work?

Hidden camera detectors work on two principles: 

  • RF signal detection 
  • Reflective light detection from the camera lens (1)
Q#3: What are the regulations for hidden cameras?

Per our research and knowledge, spying on anyone using hidden cameras is illegal. Laws also forbid bugging to listen to people. (2)

Conclusion

With technological advancements, cameras are getting longer battery life, the ability to connect wirelessly, and smaller sizes. 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 abovementioned strategies. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say that these strategies work 100% for all hidden spy cameras because cameras are evolving with technology. However, for most currently available versions, these are best to find whether you are being watched.

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 an old phone camera.

References

(1) Reflective light – https://www.britannica.com/science/light/Reflection-and-refraction
(2) spying on anyone – https://theconversation.com/global/topics/spying-1616

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About John Fox

ebbb364ee14268bd3b77496cab3d1d78?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: Certified Alarm Technician (CAT)
Education: Denver Security Academy
Lives In: Denver Colorado

John Fox has worked as a security consultant in Denver for over 20 years.
With Safe Now, he's taken those two decades of experience and decided to share it to help people online make the right security decisions for their businesses and families.

John writes security tips and guides, product recommendations, and prevention guides.

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