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Tell Tale Signs Of Being Under Electronic Surveillance
Concerned about listening devices hidden in your home, office or vehicle? If you suspect that you’ve been bugged, there are ways to detect hidden cameras and microphones without hiring a professional service. But if you are looking for peace of mind that the bug sweep is effective and not missed anything, then a professional bug sweep is the only way to go. Here we discuss some of the tell tale signs that your privacy maybe being monitored and recorded.
How to Tell if Your Home, Office or Car Is Being Bugged
There are a number of signs that your home, office, vehicle or even telephone have been “bugged” by someone using an electronic listening device. Although this type of crime is not in the news that often, with our 25 + years experience we have seen the number of instances whereby secret bugs being used are actually increasing, particularly because of the easy availability of covert devices that are purchased over the internet. They no longer are the domain of someone who who has significant resources and motive to engage in illegal eavesdropping. Nonetheless, each year we successfully locate electronic eavesdropping devices planted in businesses and private residences alike.
People seem to know your activities when they shouldn’t.
Others know your confidential business or professional trade secrets.
This is the most obvious indicator of covert eavesdropping activities. Theft of confidential information is a multi-billion pound underground industry in the UK. Often the loss of your secrets will show up in very subtle ways, so you should always trust your instincts in this matter. When your competitors know things that are obviously private, or the media finds out about things they should not know, then it is reasonable to suspect technical eavesdropping or bugging.
You notice small pieces of ceiling tiles, or “grit” on the floor, or on the surface area of your desk.
A prime indicator that a ceiling tile has been moved around, and that someone may have installed a hidden video camera or other eavesdropping device in your office or near your desk. Also look for cracks or chips in the ceiling tiles. Amateur and poorly trained persons tend to crack or damage acoustical tiles. The ceiling tiles in any executive areas should never contain any cracks, nicks, gouges, or stains. Any ceiling tile that becomes damaged (for what ever reason) should immediately replaced and the cause to the damage documented.
Secret meetings and bids seem to be less than secret.
Confidential meetings and bids are very popular targets for corporate spies. How would you like the plans for the corporate takeovers you’re planning to become public knowledge? Would copies of your product designs be of any use to your competitors? Would it be beneficial for your competitors to know how much you’re quoting for the same project?
Unusual sounds or volume changes on your phone lines.
This is commonly caused by an amateur eavesdropper when they attach a wiretap, or activate a similar listening device. Surveillance devices often cause slight anomalies on the telephone line such a volume shift or drop-out. Professional eavesdroppers and their equipment usually do not make such noises; so if this is going on it could indicate that an amateur eavesdropper is listening in.
Static, popping, or scratching sounds on your phone lines.
This is caused by the capacitive discharge which occurs when two conductors are connected together (such as a bug or wiretap on a phone line). This is also a sign that an amateur eavesdropper or poorly trained spy is playing with your phone lines. It could be nothing more than a problem with your phone line or instrument, but a TSCM person should evaluate the situation to make sure.
Sounds coming from your phones handset when it’s hung up.
This is often caused by a hook switch bypass, which turns the telephone receiver into a eavesdropping microphone (and also a speaker). There is probably somebody listening to everything you say or do within twenty feet of the telephone (if this is happening).
Many amateur and spy shop eavesdropping devices use frequencies within or just outside the FM radio band, these signals tend to drift and will “quiet” an FM radio in the vicinity of the bug. Look for the transmissions at far ends of the FM radio band, and at any quiet area within the FM band. If the radio begins to squeal then slowly move it around the room until the sound become very high pitched. This is referred to as feedback detection or loop detection and will often locate the bug. The “stereo” function should be turned off so the radio is operating in “mono” as this will provide a serious increase in sensitivity. If you find a “squealer” in this manner then immediately contact us.
How to tell If your Car is Being Bugged
You car radio suddenly encounters some type of interference.
The battery on your vehicle is losing power over short periods.
People are appearing in places they shouldn't know about.
Vehicle trackers are being sold by the hour through the internet. They are a cost effective and very easy to use. Within seconds of the tracker being attached, a person can track the movements of someones vehicle very easily.
For as little as £50 a person can attach a tracker to someones car and see where they are going 24/7. Covert trackers use the GPS network to pinpoint the movements and position of a vehicle, identifying where they live, work and where they visit.
How to Know if Your House is Being Bugged
You have been the victim of a burglary, but nothing was taken.
Professional eavesdroppers often break into a targets home or office, and very rarely leave direct evidence of the break-in; however, occupants of the premises will often “pickup on something not being right” such as the furniture being moved slightly.
Electrical sockets appear to have been moved slightly or the paint on the screws is chipped.
One of the most popular locations to hide eavesdropping devices is inside, or behind electrical outlets, switches, smoke alarms, and lighting fixtures. This requires that the front plate be removed. Look for small amounts of debris located on the floor directly below the electrical outlet. Also, watch for slight variations in the colour or appearance of the power outlets and/or light switches as these are often swapped out by an eavesdropper. Also note if any of the screws which hold the wall plate against the wall have been moved from their previous position.
A small discolouration has suddenly appeared on your wall or ceiling.
This is a tell tale sign that a pinhole microphone or small covert video camera has been recently installed.
Certain types of items have “just appeared” in your home, but nobody seems to know how they got there.
Typical items to watch for and beware of are: clocks, soft toys, alarms, radios, picture frames, and lamps, electrical equipment and new white goods.
White dry-wall dust or debris is noticed on the floor next to the wall.
A sign that a pinhole microphone or video camera may have been installed nearby. It will appear as if someone has dropped a small amount of powdered sugar either on the floor, or on the wall.
If any of these clues appear to be familiar to you, call us today to discuss how we can help.
We have over 25 years of experience of dealing with covert and clandestine devices in all types of situations and environments.
If a device is there, we will find it.
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