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How to Find a Spy Camera?

Updated On June 9, 2021

In 2019, Forbes reported that many Airbnbs had spy cams installed in the rooms. Customers found such cameras fixed inside alarm clocks, smoke detectors, and whatnot. This begs the question; how can you find a spy cam? Read on to know the tips and tricks to detect a hidden camera and protect yourself from malign forces.

And before you proceed, you may check the best spy camera here!
pointer finger mirrored
Spy cameras are tiny devices that can virtually be installed anywhere. It would take much more than an attentive eye to detect such tiny instruments. If you don't know where you can get one, check out this learning article answering the question, "where can I buy a spy camera"

1) Scan All the Likely Locations

There are certain common places where you’re very much likely to find a hidden camera, and what does a spy camera look like? Some of them are;
  • Alarm clocks
  • Smoke detectors
  • Books or bookcases
  • Pen stands
  • Air filter
  • Lamps
  • DVD players
  • TV boxes
  • Electrical sockets          
As soon as you enter an accommodation, be sure to scan these spots and see if you find anything odd. Look for subtle signs, such as a blinking light or a buzzing sound, the ones even common cameras make. If you notice anything funny, that’s your cue.

2) Spot the LEDs

Virtually all cameras are equipped with LEDs, especially the ones that support night-vision. These lights usually emit either red light or green. To detect the blinking LEDs, switch off all the lights in the room. Draw the curtains. Scan every nook and cranny of the room to see if you can spot a rolling LED. Check all the devices in the room, all the places that could possibly hide a tiny camera. (1)

3) Use a Flashlight

Flashlights can come in handy while detecting a spy cam. They can make reflective surfaces shine, such as mirrors and lenses. Switch off all the lights in the room, and scan it with the flashlight. See if you notice anything reflective from the corner of your eye. If yes, investigate the spot. If there’s anything to worry about, you’d know through the glare.

4) Use Professional Hidden Camera Detectors

You can also purchase a professional hidden camera detector designed specifically to find spy cams. The state-of-the-art devices use RF signals. The general protocol of using such devices is to switch them on and sweep the room with the instrument. If it detects something, the device will issue an audible alarm. Check the spot where it started beeping and see if you can locate the camera. These devices can be bought from e-commerce spy stores or even retail shops at highly affordable prices. (2)

5) Use a Detecting App

woman holding a smart phone
You can also find a handful of apps that can detect hidden cameras. “Hidden Camera Detector” is a useful app supported in both iOS and Android phones. The application was developed by actual security experts, so you don’t have to worry about its inefficacy. It uses a lens detector and WIFI scanner to locate hidden cameras in hotel rooms, Airbnb homestays, changing rooms, and more. It is also simple and free to use. If you indeed find a spy cam installed in the room, disable it and report to the authorities immediately.

6) Detect the Two-Way Mirror

Two-way mirrors are more common than people realize, especially in Hotel and Airbnb rooms. It is essentially a panel of glass, which can be seen through from one side, while the other side consists of a regular mirror. Such mirrors can be used to spy on or record customers.

The good news is, you can detect the presence of such cameras with ease. All you have to do is, place your finger on top of the mirror. Examine your finger’s reflection on it, and see if you can notice any distance between your actual finger and its reflection. If yes, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if there’s no visible distance, report it to the authorities. It’s likely a two-way mirror, with a spy cam installed on the other end.

7) Detect the Buzzing Sounds

A lot of CCTV cameras and even spy cams emit buzzing sounds when they come close to electromagnetic signals, which mobile phones usually expel. If you suspect any innocent-looking device to be a camouflaged camera, bring your phone close to the device and notice if you hear an odd noise.  

References
(1) LEDs - https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/led.htm
(2) RF signals - https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/radio-frequency-signal

About the author 

Angela Otero

Angela Otera is a spy camera professional that has been in the industry as a advisor for security and camera installations all around the Los Angeles Area. Over the years she has developed a unique technical expertise in the sector that allows he to write and give suggestions on services and security related issues. She enjoys hiking and spends her free time with her 2 children.


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