Airbnb + hidden cameras | How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras


Senior Billi
Maybe something to consider when using Airbnb...

How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras
It’s not as technically difficult as it might sound.
April 12, 2019
How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras outlets reported that a New Zealand man named Andrew Barker had found a camera, hidden in a smoke detector, in his Airbnb that was livestreaming a feed of the living room. Barker was in Cork, Ireland, on a 14-month trip around Europe with his family when they checked into the rental house. Once they unpacked, Barker, who works in IT security, conducted a scan of the Wi-Fi network and found a camera the owner had not mentioned. He was then able to connect to the camera and view the live feed.

The next day, the Barkers notified Airbnb, but he told the media that the company treated the incident like a canceled booking and just temporarily suspended the rooming post after a privacy investigation that the family found unsatisfactory. It wasn’t until Nealie Barker, Andrew’s wife, posted details of the incident on Facebook that Airbnb removed the listing and admitted that the original response “did not meet the high standards we set for ourselves.”

This isn’t the first time that an Airbnb guest has discovered hidden recording devices in a rental unit. As Ars Technica reported, a woman found a remote-controlled camera in the living room of an apartment she had been planning to stay in for a month in 2013. She sued both Airbnb and the apartment’s residents, alleging that the camera had filmed her without clothing and recorded intimate conversations she had with her partner. In 2017, Florida police arrested a man for video voyeurism after his Airbnb guests reported finding a camera in the bedroom’s smoke detector.

Airbnb’s terms of service dictate that hosts must disclose the presence of cameras to their guests. It’s unclear how common a practice it is for Airbnb hosts to hide cameras in their units, but if you’re particularly worried about prying eyes, there are imperfect ways to search for invasive devices. “Hidden cameras are probably rare but there are steps that an average user can take to increase their chances of finding one if one exists,” Barker wrote in an email to Slate. “Since our incident I will be performing network and ports scans at every accommodation we stay at.”

That seems like a good practice. But it also requires some knowledge. When the story hit the internet, lots of people found themselves wondering how, exactly, to scan a network. The good news is that doing network and port scans for suspicious devices on the local Wi-Fi network doesn’t require as much technical knowledge as you might fear. Nor does it require expensive gear.

Various apps that can perform the scans for you; Barker recommends Angry IP Scanner, NetworkMapper, and Network Scanner by First Row. In his Ireland Airbnb, Barker used Network Scanner for the network scan and NetworkMapper for the port scan, but most apps have both features.

Network scans generally allow users to view the IP addresses and manufacturers of devices connected to the Wi-Fi. In Barker’s case, the manufacturer of the hidden recording device was literally listed as “IPCAMERA.” Once you have the list, it’s a good idea to work backward. “You should in theory be able to tick off each device found through the scan to a device you are aware of and can physically see,” Barker wrote.

If you see a device that looks suspicious, a port scan can help to identify its purpose. The scan will list the different ports for connecting to the device and the services they provide. The services will be listed as short codes; a Google search will generally reveal what the codes mean. For example, the code RDP indicates that users can remotely control the desktop of the computer. The codes RTMP and RTSP are for video streaming.

These sorts of scans will only work if your device and the camera are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If the camera is on a different network, or if it stores the footage on an internal hard drive, you’ll have a harder time finding it. For more details on how the scans work, check out the guide that Barker wrote for travelers after his Airbnb incident.

Good old-fashioned sleuthing can also be helpful for finding cameras. Consumer-grade hidden cameras come embedded in a variety of different commonplace objects. Glance through the website for BrickHouse Security or the Amazon search results for the term “hidden camera” and you’ll find fake alarm clocks, USB chargers, buckets, lamps, stuffed animals, and bottles of Mountain Dew ($429–$519 on the website Covert Law Enforcement, if you’re curious) with discreet pinhole cameras. When you enter a room, you should check around to see if anything looks out of place. “These things tend to stand out like a sore thumb,” says Dan Tentler, founder and CEO of Phobos Group, a cybersecurity firm. For example, he recommends checking to see whether there are inexplicably two smoke detectors in the same room.

Holding an object in your hands can also help to determine whether it’s fake. “If there’s a can of Mountain Dew randomly sat on the kitchen counter … and you walk up and pick up the can, you’re going to immediately know that it’s a hidden camera,” says Tentler. Look for reflections when you shine a light on objects, which may reveal the presence of a lens.

If and when you find such a device, make sure to alert Airbnb or the hotel. You might also want to inform law enforcement, especially if you’re in a state where two-party consent is required for recording. “If you find a camera, take pictures of it,” says Tentler. “Make noise, post pictures of the thing on the internet, on Twitter.”


What about these so called researcher's listening to ?

Not Just Alexa: Even Apple & Google Employees Listen To Your Voice
S AADEETYA11.04.19
4 min read
Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Apple HomePod are hearing your conversations and probably recording them as well. But what you might not have known is these companies have humans sitting behind the desk and listening to your chats.
This has been reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, which says that Amazon has thousands of people on board, who’re basically there to listen to users’ conversations, transcribe them and feed it back into software, to help Alexa learn human interaction better.
After all, that’s how machine learning adapts itself, where humans feed information into machines, in this case Alexa, the voice assistant. So, the next time you hear Amazon saying ‘all the Alexa recordings are kept on the cloud’ it’s going to be hard to believe them.

The report further elucidates that Amazon has set up its team across different parts of the world, including India, where most of the Echo smart speakers are available to the consumer.
Speaking anonymously to the news site, these people are said to be working over nine hours, where they end up going through over 1,000s of recordings, check them for mistakes and send it back to respond. But their work patterns end up making them listen to conversations which were supposed to be private, and sometimes even upsetting.

Echo Dot 2017 (left) and the Echo Dot 2018 (right)

Echo Dot 2017 (left) and the Echo Dot 2018 (right)(Photo: The Quint)

Such conversations are shared in the internal chat rooms by the employees, who’re asked to reveal the details to relieve their stress.
In its defence, Amazon says only a small sample of Alexa recordings are annotated, but just the admission is likely to spook users of such devices even more.

Amazon mentions that every time a user activates an Echo device by saying the trigger word ‘Alexa’, the voice assistant records everything you say to it and stores it at the back-end.
The device does not have the permission to record or send any data unless the user says the voice assistant’s trigger word. There must be times when an acoustic aberration might trigger Alexa whereby it starts speaking random gibberish, but that is an anomaly and happens rarely.
Simply saying, two people could be talking about the Tata Hexa or Maruti Nexa and Alexa might get activated out of nowhere. It has happened with many.

More Culprits Out There
But Amazon would say it’s not alone. Another report from BBC cites Apple and Google also have humans at their end who’re listening to conversations of users with their respective smart speakers.
And in case of Google and Apple, not only are speaker conversations being heard, even the Assistant (Siri, Google Assistant) running on phones (including iPhone) are also being reviewed. To make things feel safer, both these companies seem to have fool-proof security measures, to make sure the identity of the said user and his/her conversations are not recognisable.
Speakers equipped with voice-assistant capability are set to become the norm.

Speakers equipped with voice-assistant capability are set to become the norm.(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Siri, according to Apple resets itself as and when the voice assistant is turned off.
While Amazon doesn’t let you opt out of voice recording or human reviews, just like Google and Apple, users get the power to delete the chats via multiple steps which are listed on the company’s support page.
In all, it would be unfair to single out Amazon’s Alexa as a culprit. The fact that it is listening to your conversations and recording data can be considered a necessary evil for the technology to work.
In the end, users have to be responsible and have to be circumspect and vigilant on how they use technology. Because, ‘they’ are listening.

Not Just Alexa: Even Apple & Google Employees Listen To Your Voice


Couple Allegedly Finds Hidden Camera On Fan In Hotel Room In Uttarkhand - NDTV


Couple Allegedly Finds Hidden Camera On Fan In Hotel Room In Uttarkhand
The hotelier was arrested on the basis of a complaint registered by the couple, accusing him of trying to violate their privacy, an officer said.
Cities | Press Trust of India | Updated: May 28, 2019 20:58 IST

A hotel owner in Uttarakhand's Tehri district was arrested on Tuesday after a couple on tour staying at his facility found a hidden camera in their room, police said.
The couple allegedly spotted the camera attached to the ceiling fan in their room last night, Station House Officer Chandan Singh Chauhan said.
He said the couple waited till today morning and then reported the matter to the police.

The hotelier was arrested on the basis of a complaint registered by the couple, accusing him of trying to violate their privacy, the officer said.;
Police have seized the fan, the hidden camera, the hotel owner's mobile phone and a laptop, he added.
Last edited:


होटल के कमरे में था हिडन कैमरा, वहां रुके पर्यटकों ने मामले से ऐसे उठाया पर्दा
Publish Date:Tue, 28 May 2019 08:47 PM (IST)

होटल के कमरे में था हिडन कैमरा, वहां रुके पर्यटकों ने मामले से ऐसे उठाया पर्दा

टिहरी जिले में स्थित एक होटल के कमरे में हिडन कैमरा मिला है। पर्यटकों ने इसकी शिकायत पुलिस से की है।

टिहरी, जेएनएन। गाजियाबाद से नई टिहरी घूमने आए पर्यटकों के कमरे में हिडन कैमरा लगे होने की सनसनीखेज घटना सामने आई है। बसंत पैलेस होटल में ठहरे इन पर्यटकों की शिकायत पर पुलिस ने पंखे में लगे कैमरे को बरामद कर लिया। साथ ही होटल मालिक के खिलाफ मुकदमा दर्ज कर उसे गिरफ्तार कर लिया। आरोपित होटल मालिक होटल एसोसिएशन का अध्यक्ष भी है। पुलिस ने जांच होने तक होटल को सील कर दिया है।
दरअसल, बीते सोमवार को गाजियाबाद से दो युवक और तीन युवतियां टिहरी घूमने आए थे। इन लोगों ने बसंत पैलेस होटल में ऑनलाइन दो कमरे बुक कराए थे। एक कमरे में तीनों युवतियां ठहरी थी, जबकि दूसरे में दो युवक ठहरे थे। युवकों को रात को पंखे के सामने बार-बार कोई लाइट जलती दिखी, जिसपर उन्हें शक हुआ कि कमरे में छत पर लगे पंखे पर खुफिया कैमरा लगा हुआ है।
इसकी शिकायत युवकों ने मंगलवार सुबह होटल मैनेजर से की। जिस पर होटल मैनेजर ने अनभिज्ञता जताई और कहा कि कैमरा किसने फिट किया, उसे कुछ नहीं पता। इसके बाद युवकों ने इसकी सूचना नई टिहरी कोतवाली पुलिस को दी। पुलिस ने मैनेजर से पूछताछ की। कमरे की बारीकी से जांच कर जब पंखा निकाला तो उसमें कैमरा, एडप्टर आदि मिला। पर्यटक प्रत्युष सक्सेना की तरफ से कोतवाली में होटल मालिक लक्ष्मी प्रसाद भट्ट के खिलाफ खुफिया कैमरा लगाकर होटल में ठहरे लोगों की निजता भंग करने का मुकदमा दर्ज कराया गया। पुलिस ने होटल मालिक को गिरफ्तार कर होटल को सील कर दिया है।

नई टिहरी कोतवाली प्रभारी चंदन सिंह चौहान ने बताया कि होटल के एक कमरे से हिडन कैमरा बरामद किया गया है। होटल के अन्य कमरों की जांच भी की गई है। जांच होने तक होटल को सील कर दिया गया है। कैमरे में मिली चिप की विशेषज्ञों से जांच कराई जा रही है। आरोपी को बुधवार को न्यायालय में पेश किया जाएगा।

क्या पहले भी बने निजी वीडियो
होटल बसंत पैलेस नई टिहरी में काफी पुराना होटल है। ऐसे में पुलिस इस एंगल पर भी जांच कर रही है कि होटल में इससे पहले भी कहीं लोगों के हिडन कैमरे से वीडियो न बनाए गए हों। पुलिस इस संबंध में होटल के रजिस्टर आदि भी खंगाल रही है। वहीं होटल कर्मचारियों और होटल मालिक से भी इस संबंध में पूछताछ की गई है। होटल के कमरे में हिडन कैमरा मिलने के बाद दिन भर शहर में भी यह चर्चा का विषय बना रहा।

होटल के कमरे में था हिडन कैमरा, वहां रुके पर्यटकों ने मामले से ऐसे उठाया पर्दा


HomeUttarakhandDehradun › Hidden Camera Found In A Hotel Ceiling Fan

उत्तराखंडः फेमस हिल स्टेशन में सामने आया चौंकाने वाला मामला, पर्यटकों के कमरे में लगा था हिडन कैमरा

न्यूज डेस्क, अमर उजाला, टिहरी Updated Wed, 29 May 2019 08:34 AM IST

पंखे के अंदर लगा था हिडन कैमरा

पंखे के अंदर लगा था हिडन कैमरा - फोटो : अमर उजाला

पर्यटन सीजन में देवभूमि में देश और दुनिया भर से आने वाले लोगों का तांता लगा रहता है। ऐसे में उत्तराखंड के फेमस हिल स्टेशन में चौंकाने वाला मामला सामने आया है। दुनियाभर में झील और बांध के लिए प्रसिद्ध टिहरी के एक होटल में हिडन कैमरा लगा होने का मामला सामने आया है।

टिहरी के एक होटल में ठहरे हुए दिल्ली के पर्यटकों ने पुलिस के इसकी शिकायत की है। जिसके बाद पुसिल ने होटल में छापा मारा। इस दौरान पुलिस टीम हैरान रह गई। उन्हें कमरे में लगे पंखे के अंदर हिडन कैमरा मिला।

रात 10 बजे कमरे की चेंकिंग की
जानकारी के मुताबिक दिल्ली से आए पर्यटकों ने उनके कमरे में हिडन कैमरा लगे होने की शिकायत पुलिस से की। दो युवक और तीन युवतियों ने सोमवार रात 10 बजे कमरे की चेंकिंग की। इस दौरान उन्हें पंखे के अंदर फिट किया हुआ कैमरा मिला।

जिसके बाद उन्होंने पुलिस को इस बात की सूचना दी। पुलिस मौके पर पहुंची और जांच में जुट गई। पुलिस ने पंखा, कैमरा समेत अन्य सामग्री जब्त कर ली है। होटल मालिक से इस बाबत पूछताछ की जा रही है।

कहीं आपके कमरे में कोई कैमरा छिपा तो नहीं...
गर्मी के मौसम में उत्तराखंड की वादियों में भारी संख्या में पर्यटक आते हैं। ऐसे में अमर उजाला की गुजारिश है कि कहीं भी रुकने से पहले अपना कमरा जरूर चेक करें और इन बातों का खास ध्यान रखें...
- जब आप रूम में जाए तो सभी लाइट्स बंद करके पूरे रूम की ठीक से जांच-परख कर लें कि कहीं कोई रेड लाइट या फिर कोई ग्रीन लाइट तो नहीं जल रही है।
- रूम में इस बात का ध्यान रखें कि कहीं रूम के दरवाजे के हुक या हैंडल, पंखे के अंदर कोई कैमरा तो नहीं छुपा।
- कमरे में अगर कोई आवाज आ रही है तो ध्यान लगाकर सुनें क्योंकि हिडन कैमरा में कुछ मोशन सेंसिटिव होते हैं जो खुद ब खुद ऑन हो जाते है।

- रूम में जाएं तो सबसे पहले सामने लगे शीशे और ऊपर की ओर दिए गए कोनों को ठीक से चेक कर लें।
- रूम के शीशे में कोई कैमरा छिपा तो नहीं इसका पता लगाने के लिए सबसे पहले शीशे में एक ऊंगली रखें। अगर शीशे में रखी ऊंगली और शीशे में दिख रही उंगली के बीच में अंतर या गैप रहता है तो समझ लें कि शीशा ओरिजनल है और अगर आपकी ऊंगली जुड़ी रहती है तो वहां कैमरा है जोकि सब रिकॉर्ड कर रहा है।
- आपका स्मार्टफोन भी हिडन कैमरा का पता लगाने में हेल्प कर सकता है। इसमें बॉडीगार्ड नामक एप को डाउनलोड करें और जैसे ही इसे ऑन करके आप अपने स्मार्टफोन को रूम में घुमाएं। अगर रेड कलर का निशान ब्लिंक दिखने लगें तो समझ लें कि रूम में कैमरा छिपा है।

उत्तराखंडः फेमस हिल स्टेशन में सामने आया चौंकाने वाला मामला, पर्यटकों के कमरे में लगा था हिडन कैमरा


How to Find Hidden Camera in a Room
Check everything with suspicion !

1. Pay attention to all objects

Nowadays, the cameras are incredibly small and it is possible to hide them in almost any object.
There are pens, watch, Goggles, buttons etc with built-in cameras.
So check out wall clocks, alarm clocks, potted plants, mirrors, light bulbs, fan, Chargers, AC Power Point, USB Charger Points may have a camera !

2. Use a flashlight to better identify the lenses

Cameras have lenses usually covered with glass. When hidden in objects of plastic, wood or other material other than glass, the lens is detached. One trick that facilitates their visualization is to turn off the ambient lights and point a flashlight minutely in all directions in order to try to perceive some suspicious reflection. Small Reflection can be seen of a camera.

3. Use apps that detect WiFi devices

If the camera is not possible to detect visually, use an app that tracks wireless devices.
Since cameras usually connect to the WiFi network,
using an app that detects wireless devices can be a good solution.
Check your mobile's wifi in detail to find some strange names.

4. Use a radio frequency detector

If a cameras is attached to other than main wireless network and then
you can search for hidden cameras using a radio frequency detector.
Mostly a pro only can find such cameras.

4. Wired Camera
Wired Cameras are difficult to find and your instinct is only thing that can help you.
Be careful.

What should you do if you find a hidden camera?

Without hesitation, contact the owner of the property and the Booking App to file a complaint.
If you feel too harmed, you can go to the police, but be aware that laws may vary by state or country.
If you can not reach the owner immediately,
you can try to interrupt the operation of the camera by unplugging a power cable or by covering it with a tape, cloth etc.
Also, keep an eye on possible smart speakers, as they can record everything you talk about.
And, if you decide to turn off some equipment,
talk to the landlord beforehand to avoid misunderstandings.
Hope this will help you.
If comfortable, put this issue on Social Media.
You will get Moral Support even if the concerned agencies do nothing.
Last edited:


How to Find Hidden Spy Cameras and Audio Bugs (The Professional Way)


Sentel Tech

Published on Aug 8, 2018


Part 2: How to Find Hidden Spy Cameras and Audio Bugs (A Deeper Look)


Sentel Tech

Published on Aug 8, 2018

For a step by step list of these procedures, along with more in-depth techniques, go to our blog:
Last edited:


How To Find Hidden Cameras & Spy Gear Like a Professional: The Definitive Guide

How To Find Hidden Cameras & Spy Gear Like a Professional: The Definitive Guide

This is without a doubt the most thorough guide to detecting hidden cameras and covert spy gear that you will find online.
The simple strategies that we are going to show you will effectively clear most rooms for hidden cameras and bugs without having to use super expensive countersurveillance gear or an outside company.
Most of the processes and steps that we are going to show you are adopted from some of our best government agencies, where countersurveillance is of a grave concern to them. These techniques have been tried and tested by some of our best and brightest and provide a solid foundation when detecting covert spy gear.
And the best part about this guide?
Anyone can do it!
This blog will reveal the exact step-by-step process that we use to sweep for covert spy gear and cameras.
So let's get started!
Sweeping For Hidden Cameras & Devices Is Becoming A Necessity
Just in the past couple of years, we have seen a rise in hidden cameras and spy gear being used in nefarious ways. From targeting guests that stay on cruise lines, in hotel rooms, Airbnb houses, the list goes on. Unfortunately, this trend does not seem to be going away anytime soon, but you can, however, take measures to ensure that you are not a victim. In this post, we will show you exactly how to do that.
What Type of Device Could Be Used Against Me?
Before sweeping the room in question, you should first try to determine what type of surveillance equipment, if any, would be used against you in your specific situation.

Probability of finding a Hidden camera

For example, if you find yourself staying at a bed and breakfast or a hotel, chances are you would find surveillance equipment that would utilize video to capture compromising clips or photos of the occupants.
If you are in a business meeting environment, like a conference room, you could assume that the intelligence being gathered would encompass important conversations and interactions between parties. The most likely device to be used in this situation and environment would be an audio recorder.
When sweeping a room for surveillance equipment, Keep this in the back of your mind and pay close attention to the areas of the room that are the most vulnerable and compromising.

Break Your Bug Sweep Down Into These Steps:

Step 1: Enter The Room Assuming You Are Under Surveillance
If this is your first time staying in a new hotel or an Airbnb, automatically assume that you are currently being recorded and surveilled.
But relax! No need to panic.
Odds are in your favor that you are not being monitored, but you still want to sweep your location to be 100% sure.

Probability of finding a Hidden camera

Think of it like riding in a vehicle and putting your seatbelt on. Chances are you won't need it, but you will be glad you put it on if you do.
So it is always best to assume you are being recorded until you are 100% certain the room is clear of all surveillance equipment.

Step 2: Split The Room Into Quadrants
Start off by standing in the center of the room.
Next, split the room into quadrants.
Once you have identified your quadrants and your start points, go through each quadrant one at a time and clear it, using the techniques in this guide.
Splitting the room into sections will help you to systematically and meticulously go through the room and clear each section without skipping over any of the fine details.

Using quadrant method to find Hidden cameras

Step 3: Start Off By Making Basic Observations
Perform a general scan and pay attention to anything that looks out of place or appears suspicious.
Are there duplicate items in the room? Such as clocks, smoke detectors or coffee pots.
Are there any unusual holes in the walls or ceiling?
Are any of the items in the room positioned in an unusual way?
Check all of the appliances like televisions, clocks, phones, hair dryers, and coffee pots for exposed wiring, suspicious lights, or anything that looks abnormal.

Look around for hidden cameras

Step 4: Check Every Outlet And Identify What Is Plugged Into Each Socket
All surveillance devices require some type of power source. Whether that power source is powered by an electrical outlet or a wireless battery may depend on how long you are expected to occupy the room and if the perpetrator has access to your room.
Devices that run on batteries have limited lifespans, however, those that run on electrical power can be used for constant and long-term surveillance.
Conduct a sweep of the outlets and identify everything that is plugged into them. Pay close attention to anything plugged in that may seem out of place.

Using quadrant method to find Hidden cameras

What About Video Surveillance And Audio Recorders?
Any type of video surveillance device would be positioned in a way that would provide the best opportunity to capture footage.
For example, a video surveillance device would be aimed at the bathroom, in front of the dresser where one would get changed, or aimed at the bed. It is important to be aware of all choke points or high traffic areas in the room that would force occupants to take a certain path or occupy a certain area in the room.
Some areas to pay attention to are the bathroom door, the front door, and all hallways.

chokepoints for Hidden cameras

It is important to pay special attention to locations where conversations would take place.
If someone wanted to plant surveillance equipment in a room with the specific intent of capturing crystal clear audio of a conversation between parties, they would place the device(s) in any area people are expected to gather.
Some areas to pay close attention to are beds, tables, couches, chairs, desks, and balconies.
Objects Or Amenities That Could Be Vulnerable To Surveillance Equipment:
Do the devices and appliances in your room match the other devices and appliances in the rest of the room or house?
Are any of them placed in peculiar positions or locations?
Are these devices different from room to room?
Always keep an eye out for smoke detectors, thermostats, outlets, fixtures, and bulbs. Normally, common sense would suggest these devices should all match and remain relatively similar since they are usually original to the construction of the room or building.

 Hidden cameras sockets

If they are different, this could suggest an anomaly that should be inspected further. More importantly, are there similar devices found from room to room that are placed in peculiar positions or locations?
If they answer is yes then you should do a further inspection. During your sweep, you should always ask yourself these questions and inspect further if warranted.
Does the artwork in the room match the décor or the theme of the room or house you are occupying?
It is more common than not for hotels and rented rooms to have a common theme or décor pattern.
For example, a modern hotel would have mostly modern décor, fixtures, furniture, and appliances. A rustic Bed and Breakfast might have older furniture with an old world charm. Keep an eye out for fixtures and pieces of décor that seem out of place.

 Hidden camera beach pictures

Know The Ammenties That Are Offered
It is always recommended to be very knowledgeable and aware of the services and amenities being offered to you where you are staying. Compare those known amenities and devices to the devices and appliances in your room.
For instance, if the room is listed to have one coffee pot, but you see two in your room, inspect them both for anomalies.
If coffee is offered downstairs, is the coffee pot in your room supposed to be there?
Do you see more than one clock in your room?
Most websites will list expected room amenities and devices, but you can always call the front desk and ask if you are unsure of what devices and amenities should be in your room.

 Hidden amenities

If your room has ceiling tiles, are they part of a drop ceiling system or are they build into the ceiling?
Are there any holes in them?
Do any of the tiles seem to stick out above the others or sit differently?
If your room has a drop ceiling where the ceiling tiles can easily be pushed up, inspect them and make sure there are not any surveillance devices hidden above them if you are suspicious.
Check The Mirrors
It is always recommended to inspect every mirror in your room to ensure it is not a two-way mirror.
The best way to check for a two-way mirror is by using your fingertip. On most mirrors, if you place your fingertip on the mirror, the reflection of it will not touch. Instead, it will leave a quarter inch gap or so.

 mirror without spy camera

If you put your fingertip on the mirror and the reflection is touching your finger, you should inspect it further.

 mirror with spy camera

It is important to note that some establishments like bars or gas stations may use a metal back with a mirror tint instead of using a real mirror, which will give the appearance of it being a 2 way mirror. This is meant to prevent the mirror from shattering and becoming a liability for the business.
Another technique is to shut off the lights and shine a flashlight through the mirror to see if there is anything behind it.
Let's Take A Deeper Look:
Once you have completed a visual and physical inspection, it is suggested to take a closer look at all suspicious objects, devices, or locations, using a few countersurveillance tools that are easy to use and best of all, affordable. They will be used to find the surveillance devices that you were unable to locate with a visual inspection.
Step 1: Purchase A Radio Frequency (RF) Detector
Most long-term surveillance devices will need a way to transmit the information back to the surveyor.
An RF detector works by scanning the area in search of devices emitting radio waves. Once a frequency is detected, the scanner will produce an audible tone for the user, that fluctuates as the device is detected closer or further away. This will continue until the user is ultimately able to locate the device emitting radio waves.
Commercial spy devices usually transmit in a range of 500 MHz to 6 GHz. Most RF detectors will detect them and scan from 400 Mhz all the way to 24 GHz. Professional Grade RF detectors have an even broader RF range in addition to a ton of specialized features. However, these devices are expensive and could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Your specific situation will determine the level of detection you would need. The average person using an RF detector to simply sweep a hotel room or an AirBnB room can get away with a simple device that will detect and locate unknown RF transmissions. You can purchase a quality RF detector, such as the one below, that will get the job done for a little over $100.

 Rf detector

Step 2: Pick Up A Camera Lens Detector
RF detectors will only detect wireless devices that transmit information.
What about stand-alone devices that save the information to an SD card?
For that, it would be beneficial to have a camera lens detector at your disposal.
A camera lens detector works by detecting the reflection of light off of the lens of a recording camera.
When using a camera lens detector, the lens of a camera will sparkle or illuminate on the viewing screen indicating to the user that a camera may be present.
If you are looking for an all-in-one device that has the ability to detect both RF and a camera lens, the Lawgrade Defender DD802 would be an excellent choice. This is a professional grade device that will be very effective in detecting and locating both RF and camera lenses.

 Rf detector with lens detector

Step 3: Turn Off All Emitters Before Sweeping
Before beginning your sweep with an RF detector, it is important for you to ensure all devices that could possibly emit an RF signal be fully and completely powered down.
Be sure to power down all cell phones, Bluetooth devices, laptop computers, tablets, etc.
It is also a good idea to test your RF detector before your sweep by turning it on and sweeping over your cell phone. If your RF detector is able to detect the frequency being emitted from your cell phone, it is functioning correctly.

electronic devices

Step 4: Conduct Your Sweep "Painting" The Walls
Pick the edge of one of your quadrants and start "painting" the walls.
"Painting" the walls simply means to slowly and methodically walk up and down the walls and scan them visually and with your RF detector in a painting motion.
While completing this process, you should also be visually inspecting the walls looking for any sort of disturbances or unusual anomalies, while at the same time keeping an ear out for your RF detector.
You will paint the walls until you have reached the end of your quadrant. If nothing was detected on that pass, you should mark that quadrant clear for any transmitting devices and move to the next one.

paint the walls for hidden cameras

Step 5: "Paint" The Walls Using A Camera Lens Detector
Following the same "painting" method as before, repeat the same process in each quadrant using your camera lens detector.
Step 6: Turn Off The Lights
Turn off the lights and look for any tiny lights that seem out of the ordinary.
Most spy cameras have indicator lights that will tell the user if the camera is recording or powered. If the surveyor neglected to turn these indicator lights off, you can use their mistake to your advantage by easily detecting and locating them.

recording lights

Step 7: Use Your Phone
In order to record video at night, most spy cameras will need some type of Infrared (IR) technology to effectively illuminate the scene digitally so that the footage being recorded is visible in complete darkness.
True Infrared Radiation (IR) lighting is ideal for use in covert surveillance because it is not detectable by the human eye. The visible wavelengths are from approximately 390 to 700 nm while the Infrared spectrum range is 700 nm to 1000000 nm.

Ir visible spectrum

One quick and cost-effective way to detect IR light is by using the front-facing camera on your phone.
Unlike the rear-facing camera, the front-facing camera does not have an IR filter and can easily pick up IR lights in the dark.
To try this at home, grab your TV remote, which uses IR light to send information to your TV, and open the front-facing camera on your phone. Next, point the front end of the remote at the camera and press any of the remote buttons. The IR light that is normally not visible will be completely visible on your camera screen. IR light is easy to conceal and hide from unsuspecting victims of surveillance. Keep this in mind when conducting your sweep.
What About Thermal Detection?
One more device to be aware of that will aid in the detection of surveillance equipment is a thermal imaging camera.
Any type of surveillance device, whether it is video, audio, or IR, it will emit some sort of heat signature that would be easily detected with a thermal imaging device.
Most surveillance cameras emit a fair amount of heat. Their small size and the fact that they are normally enclosed in a small discreet space means that does not provide much ventilation. You can capitalize on this with a thermal imaging camera.
FLIR® offers an outstanding device called the FLIR® ONE Gen 3, that connects to your smartphone and allows it to be used as a thermal imaging camera.

 Flir thermal imaging

A thermal imaging device like this will help you locate hot spots in the room directly on your phone.
If you locate a hot spot behind a wall, a picture, a smoke detector, or behind any other device or location that seems unusual or peculiar, you should be able to detect the anomaly. At that time, it would be appropriate to take a closer look and inspect for surveillance devices.
What To Do If You Locate A Surveillance Device:
If you do encounter a surveillance device, do not disturb it. Immediately walk out of view of the camera and call the authorities.

 call the police

Most of the newer surveillance cameras use motion detection with a loop-recording feature when recording to the SD card. There have been quite a few cases of the perpetrator inadvertently recording themselves placing and walking away from the device because of this feature.
By staying out of the camera view, you reduce the chance of recording over any of the old footage should the SD card become full. If the perpetrator did record themselves on the camera, it is obviously best to minimize the chance of that footage becoming recorded over.

You may ask yourself what are the legalities of a hidden camera?
Check out this Blogpost for more info.

How to Find Hidden Cameras and Spy Bugs (The Professional Way) - Sentel Tech Security
Last edited:


Can you find hidden spy cameras with a cheap spy camera detector or free app?



Published on Nov 9, 2018

Can you find hidden spy cameras with a cheap spy camera detector or free app?
In this video we test a cheap camera detector for under $10 and we also test a free app designed for finding spy cameras using your smartphones hardware.
Detector on Amazon
Cheapest on Gearbest
WiFi Spy Camera on Amazon
Read the article on our website

Links above are my affiliate links to Amazon Associates or other related programs.
I may earn a commission if you purchase through my links.



Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app?
By Chris
You have probably heard in the news about people finding hidden spy cameras in the most awkward places like this couple who found a hidden camera when they rented an apartment.

In South Korea, over 6,000 cases of spy cameras was reported last year, mostly from hidden cameras in public toilets.

Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app?

So what if we could just download an app to our smartphone and scan a room for any hidden cameras and be able to find them?
Or buy a hidden spy camera detector for under $10?
Wouldn’t that be great? The thing is you can actually do that. But the big question is do they actually work?
We decided to test if they work or not, one free app that you can download from Google Play Store and one spy camera detector that you can buy online for under $10.

The camera detector is basically a Radio Frequency detector and should be able to find any camera that are using WiFi.

Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app?

It also comes with something called laser detection which is red led lights on the back that are flickering while you look through the peephole and any lens that you look at are meant to reflect back for you to easily detect it.

Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app?

You have probably heard that there are apps, claiming to be able to find hidden spy cameras, using your phones hardware. So we are going to try one of does apps as well and once and for all find out if they really work or not.
Most of these apps are free to use and the one we are using in this test is the first one we found seaching for “find hidden cameras” in google play store.

Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app?

We used a few different cameras for this test.
First one is a very small wifi spy camera with battery, the other one is mini-camera that using wifi as well and the last one is a usb charger with a built-in spy camera which dosen’t use wifi.

Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app?

So after a few hours of testing we can definitely say that the app is just a waste of time for finding hidden cameras.
It didn’t detect any of the three cameras that we used in this test. We did try it before we started on a much bigger security camera just to make sure the app and phone worked, which it did.

The camera detector did ok, and could actually be used to find a hidden camera under the right circumstances. What I mean by that is, if there are no other devices interfering with the signal you could actually pinpoint where a hidden camera might be.
Just remember it won’t find hardwired cameras.
Now you might wonder if we recommend you to buy a cheap spy detector like the one we used in our test?
It’s really up to you but we think your money is better spent on a little more expensive one since the built quality is really bad on the one we used in our test. The antenna fall off our device just after two days of testing.

Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app?

If you feel you want to check this RF detector out on Amazon you can just click here.
Don’t forget to follow us on social media if you liked this test so you don’t miss out on new stuff.

Can you find a hidden camera with a cheap spy camera detector or app? | SecurityBros