What’s the easiest way to detect hidden secret cameras in your apartment, house or hotel room? How to find hidden security cameras behind mirrors?

We’ve summed 6 effective ways to help you spot hidden surveillance cameras and listening devices planted in both outdoor and indoor areas, including your hotel room, in the bathroom, at your home, and wherever you are.

Update on Apr. 2, 2019: With the recent news that South Korea police discovering pinhole spy cameras installed in hotels and used to secretly filmed 1,600 people, it has surged the public concern over privacy.

A Tweet that recently went viral among Malaysian netizens showed how easily it is to get the hidden cameras in popular shopping sites.

You will never know how assuming the hidden cameras can be under perfect disguise.

We will specify the latest news and the viral Tweet in Part 5.

Update on Apr. 8, 2019: Another breaking news on hidden cameras. But this time, the hidden cameras targeted a hospital’s delivery rooms that were supposed to be 100% private. Check the details here >>

Content:

Part 1. Top 6 Ways to Detect Hidden Cameras (Video Version)

Part 2. Step-by-Step Guide to Detect Spy Cameras (Text Version)

Part 3. An Overview on Top Ways to Spot Cameras (Infographic Version)

Part 4. Hidden Spy Cameras Frequently Asked Questions

Part 5. Breaking News About Hidden Spy Cameras (Keep Updating)

Part 1. Check the Video Version on Top 6 Ways to Detect Any Hidden Cameras

If you are now using your smartphone to watch this video, don’t need to worry about your data! Only 1-minute video!

The detailed video transcription is in Part 2 below!

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Part 2. Detect Hidden Spy Surveillance Cameras — Top 6 Simple & Useful Ways for You

The below step-by-step guide enables you to find hidden cameras within minutes. Most of the ways are totally FREE! Sometimes just a little trick can make the spy cameras no place to hide.

Quick Navigation
#1. Scan the Environment Carefully
#2. Turn off the Lights in the Room
#3. Use Your iPhone or Android Mobile Phones
#4. Apply a Professional Detector or Sensor
#5. Check the Mirrors at Your Place
#6. Use the Flashlight to Find Hidden Cameras

How to Detect Hidden Security Cameras

#1. Scan the Environment Carefully to Detect Suspicious Hidden Video Cameras

One of the easiest way to detect hidden cameras is checking around the environment carefully. An inch-by-inch search would be helpful to spot “obvious” hidden cameras at the first step.

Most Common Places to Find Hidden Cameras Indoors
• Smoke detectors
• Air filter equipment
• Books
• Wall décor
• Electrical outlets
• Desk plants
• Tissue boxes
• Stuffed teddy bears
• Couch cushions, table tops, and shelves
• DVD cases
• Lava lamps
• Digital TV boxes
• Wall sockets
• Hairdryer holders
• Wall or alarm clocks
• Clothes hooks
• Pens

Most Common Positions to Locate Hidden Cameras & Microphones Outdoors
• House plants
• Holes on the doors
• The roof the house
• The doorbell outside your home

Some objects may reveal suspicious wires, lights or lenses that are hallmarks of hidden spy cameras. If you find some unusual power outlets or adapters, unplug them immediately.

Listen as you walk through the entire room. Some hidden motion-sensing surveillance cameras would make an almost inaudible buzz when in operation.

#2. Turn off the Lights in Your Room to Spot Hidden Night Vision Cameras

You can use the night vision security camera working principle to find hidden cameras in your room. Most hidden security cameras have red or green LEDs. The LEDs will blink or shine when in low-light conditions.

When in low-light conditions, the LEDs around the camera lens will turn on automatically to supplement the lighting for the cameras to produce clear night vision images.

You can follow the below steps to find hidden IP cameras when in dark conditions.

Step 1. Draw the curtains in your room, and turn off the lights.

Step 2. Check whether there are blinking red or green LEDs in your room.

No matter what hidden cameras you want to detect, wired or wireless types, you can use this way to detect surveillance CCTV cameras in your car, in stores, in the living room, bedroom, at your home, etc.

Should-Not-Miss Tip: It’s also an easy way to check if a security camera is on.

#3. Use Your Mobile Phones to Locate Hidden CCTV Surveillance Cameras

Many Quora posters① ask whether they can use their mobile phones to find hidden cameras, and the answer is “Yep”!

There are 2 easy and free ways you can take to find hidden cameras using your iPhone or Android smartphones even without detectors.

Way 1. Use a Phone Call to Check for Hidden Cameras & Microphones

Step 1. Make a phone call with your friends or family.

Step 2. Walk around your room. Hidden surveillance normally would give off a special radio frequency that would interfere with your phone call signal.

If you notice that there is signal interference in a specific place or position, stop and check this place carefully to find out whether there is a hidden security camera there.

Way 2. Use Mobile App to Find Hidden Cameras & Listening Devices

Step 1. Install a “detect hidden cameras” app on your iPhone or Android mobile phones. For example, “Spy hidden camera detector” app (.apk) software is a good option.

You can check more apps to detect hidden cameras here.

Step 2. Launch the app on your mobile phone. The detector software will display a red glow when your smartphone approaches a hidden camera. Please note that it will also glow when near other types of hardware with radio frequency.

Helpful Tip: When you are traveling and stay in the hotel room, you can take a portable battery security camera with you. You can put it in your hotel room to see who entered your room without your permission. With a security camera installed in your hotel room, you can also keep tab on your stuff.

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#4. Get a Professional Detector or Sensor to Spot Hidden CCTV Cameras

Professional RF signal detectors or other bug detectors are quite effective to locate hidden security cameras.

A lot of news have reported that people keep finding hidden cameras in their rental Airbnb② homes. If you go on business or a vacation and rent an Airbnb house, you can find the hidden cameras with the detector quickly.

How to Detect Hidden Cameras Using a Detector

1. Buy a professional detector on Amazon or other online shops. The price varies greatly, ranging from several bucks to hundreds of dollars.

2. Turn on the device and do a sweep of your room to detect hidden pinhole video cameras.

Typically the detectors will beep when they detect a signal, giving you an audible indication when you near a potential camera.

Please note that the RF hidden camera detector typically only picks up a kind of frequency. If the hidden security cameras and other bugs use multiple frequencies changing rapidly, the detector might not detect the presence of hidden spy cameras.

Good news is that bad guys would not install hidden cameras with complex frequent network signals, since this type of hidden spy cameras is much more expensive.

#5. Check the Mirrors in Your Room to Pinpoint Hidden Spy Cameras

Remember to find hidden cameras in the mirrors in the toilet, changing or trial rooms, etc. As you may know, some awful guys would install a hidden spy camera on the other side of a mirror that is see-through, while the other side looks the same as a normal mirror.

An active poster asked for help on Quora③ to find whether there are hidden cameras in the bathroom mirror.

There’s a useful tip you can use to detect such two-way mirrors in fitting rooms, toilets, bathrooms, etc.

1. Put your fingernail on the mirror.

2. Observe the gap between your finger and the mirror.

If there’s a gap between your finger and the image, it’s a real mirror. If you finger and the image touch tip to tip, there would be a hidden spy camera in the mirror.

You can also use this trick to know whether there are hidden cameras in your hotel rooms when you travel.

#6. Use Flashlight to Find Hidden Cameras

A straightforward way to detect hidden cameras is using the flashlight (works best in dark conditions).

1. Turn on the flashlight and turn off the lights in your room.

2. Pan the flashlight around the room.

Go slowly and examine any suspicious positions from different angles. If you notice any reflective lights from an object, there might be a hidden camera there.

Part 3. Infographic on Top 6 Ways to Detect Hidden Cameras & Listening Devices

We also sum up the top 6 ways in the below infographic (you can share with your friends and family).

How to Detect Hidden Cameras Infographic

What to Do If You Detect Hidden Spy Surveillance Cameras at Your Place

If you find hidden cameras in your room, you should take the below procedures.

Step 1. Don’t move or touch the hidden cameras. (The police would collect the fingerprints to locate the criminal.)
Step 2. Take all of your belongs out of the viewing angle of the camera.
Step 3. Take pictures of the camera for evidences.
Step 4. Call the police or other authorities to investigate the case.

Part 4. Hottest Questions on How to Find Hidden Cameras & Microphones

We are always trying to answer as many questions as you may have on how to detect hidden cameras.

If you have other questions or any insights, leave them in the comment below! We will feature your ideas in this post.

Q 1. What Do Hidden Cameras Look Like?

A 1: Hidden cameras come in different sizes and shapes, and they can look like almost everything. Hidden spy cameras can be as small as the pinhole or keychain, and they are often placed in our everyday devices, such as smoke detectors, adapters, etc.

There are several popular types of hidden cameras in the market:

• USB flash drive spy cameras
• AC adapter type
• Smoke detector type
• Clock radio type

Q 2. How Do Hidden Camera Detectors Work?

A 2: An OP on Quora④ would like to know about the operation theory of the hidden camera detectors, and we add this question here.

Most spy camera detectors mainly offer 2 ways to find hidden cameras:
• Check for the reflective lights from the camera lens (like using a flashlight).
• Detect the RF broadcast of the camera. Typically the detectors will beef when they find the signal, and give you the audible alerts.

Q 3. How to Deal with My Boss, Parents and Neighbors Spying on Me with Hidden Cameras?

A 3: If you suspect your boss, parents or neighbors are bugging you, you can use the above top 6 ways to find the hidden cameras.

Take pictures of the hidden camera if you find it, and then report it to the police immediately.

Q 4. Legislation on Hidden Cameras

A 4: Laws have strict legislation on privacy. Under no circumstances should anyone use hidden cameras to do illegal spying or surveillance.

Hidden spy cameras are not allowed in the below areas:
• Restrooms
• Other people’s homes
• Dressing rooms
• Locker rooms
• Other areas that related to personal privacy

Laws also require that people cannot gather audio from:
• Eavesdropping
• Remote recording
• Other illegal audio recording methods

Part 5. Breaking News About Hidden Spy Cameras (Keep Updating)

Here you’ll get the latest and most breaking news about hidden cameras. We will keep updating the news here so that you can see how serious the misuse of spy cameras it is.

And,

Most importantly, always pay attention to your personal privacy, and get the prying eyes out of your private life!

Share the post here to let your friends and family know the latest news on hidden cameras, and get the 6 effective ways to detect hidden cameras.

Breaking News 1: Around 1,600 People Secretly Filmed by Hidden Cameras in South Korea Motels

According to South Korea Police on March 20, 2019, about 1,600 people have been secretly filmed by hidden spy cameras in motel, hotel, inn rooms.

4 suspects have been caught and the case is now under further investigated. You can also check more details about the news here>>

The videos were live-streamed online for paying customers to watch. This is the first time the police caught where videos were broadcast live on the Internet.

South Korea police search the motel and inn rooms to detect hidden cameras, and found hidden cameras inside a hotel wall outlet and hair dryer stand.

South Korea Motel Hidden Cameras

* Spy cameras found by South Korea police inside a motel wall outlet (left) and hair dryer stand (right).

South Korea has a serious problem with hidden spy cameras. In 2012, there were 2,400 cases of illegal filming, but the number surged to 6,700 cases in 2017.

Breaking News 2: A Viral Tweet Said Hidden Cameras Can Come As Unexpected Forms

A Malaysian netizen shared a Tweet about how covert a spy camera can be. A spy camera can even be disguised as a screw!

Hidden Cameras Disguised as Screws

In light of the breaking news of South Korea and this Tweet, Malaysian netizens searched online shops and found out it’s dead easy to get these spy cameras on popular e-commerce websites.

The hidden cameras can take different disguises or forms, such as:

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

With the alarming surge in cases like these, you’ll need to stay extra vigilant. Be careful when using a public toilet, hotel, or dressing room. And share the top 6 ways here to let more people learn to detect hidden cameras.

We also hope the authorities can take action to make such spy cameras that are not easily accessible for these potential voyeurs or peeping Toms.

Breaking News 3: About 1,800 Patients Secretly Recorded by Spy Cameras in California Hospital Delivery Rooms

You can’t imagine that there are hidden cameras in hospital’s labor and delivery rooms. The places that should be the most private are installed spy cameras.

On April 3, 2019, CNN reported a piece of shocking news that about 1,800 women were secretly recorded in California labor and delivery rooms.

Patients’ faces and their delivery processes were all recorded, completely and clearly.

California Sharp Grossmont Hospital

“It’s the most fundamental breach of privacy,” said Allison Goddard, a lawyer representing over 80 women who say they are part of the victims.

According to Allison, in the videos, she can see everything clearly including how women were rolled into the operating room, how they were prepped for surgery. And she can even see the birth of the baby.

Everything is just recorded extremely clearly and patients have no any privacy!

It’s even worse that the videos were saved on desktop computers, and some without the need for password. In other words, anyone can access the videos without an effort!

Why did a hospital install spy cameras in 3 of private rooms?

According to the hospital’s document, the installation of the hidden cameras is to catch a thief.

The file states that around May 2012, drugs were stolen from medial carts in operating rooms, so the hospital installed motion-detecting cameras on the carts to captured who stole the drugs.

John Cihomsky, Sharp Healthcare’s vice president of public relations and communications, said, “Although the cameras were intended to record only individual in front of the anesthesia carts removing drugs, others, including patients and medical personnel in the operating rooms, were at times visible to the cameras and recorded.”

Hospital is a private zone. “There are a very long list of reasons why taping, recording, videoing for anything other than medical or treatment purposes has to be strictly off-limits, because you’re trying to protect people who can’t protect themselves.”, said Art Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at the New York University School of Medicine.

And a lot of people have commented on this case: it’s totally unacceptable for a hospital to install hidden cameras in private rooms recording patients’ most fragile times. It’s undoubtedly a severe violation of patients’ privacy.

Currently, the case remains ongoing and the hospital was unable to comment further about this case.

We will keep updating the case here once the authorization updates the process of the case.

Join in the Discussion

How can you detect hidden cameras in TV or laptop? Do you have other easy tips to spot hidden spy cameras? Share your ways with us below ↓.

Reference

① Quora posters’ questions: How to detect hidden cameras using iPhone and Android mobile phones? How to detect hidden cameras and microphones in hotel bedroom using cellphones?

② An Answers.Yahoo poster’s question: How to detect spy cameras in my hotel/Airbnb room?

③ Reddit OP’s question: How to detect a hidden camera that I suspect is in the bathroom mirror at my job?

④ Quora OP’s post: How do hidden cameras detectors work when spotting spy cameras?

  • Anthony Clark

    I have spy cameras/ hidden microphones in my hotel in Florida and I presuming 2 way communication I can hear them and they can hear me 5 years now in a row @ the magic castle inn & suites rm 347 I try to ignore these wall whisperers s it just ticks them off my 2 year old daughter privacy is now being invaded

    • Elvia

      Hello Anthony, it would be illegal to put up a hidden or spy camera in the areas that may invade people’s privacy.

      You can remove the security cameras with two-way audio so that no one can eavesdrop on the conversations between you and your family.

    • OneSeattleBoi

      Are u high on meth?

  • Elvia

    You can use a RF signal detector or other bug detectors to locate hidden security cameras in the wall. Typically the detectors will beep when they detect a signal, giving you an audible indication when you near a potential camera.

  • Steven tober58

    I believe I’ve been watched and recorded and also exsplotted by unsavory people. My images shared amongst the criminals I unfortunately got caught up with due to my drug addiction. These people slipped me drugs and set me up and planted hidden cameras in my apartment. I found one prior to moving but the damage was already done. I have much more to share but I need help to have these people answer for what they did. I don’t know where to go from here.
    Please help

    • Elvia

      Hello Steven, you can take pictures of the camera for evidences, and then report it to the policemen.

      There should be footprints on the camera. So you’d better not touch and move the camera. The police would collect the fingerprints for investigation.

  • Elvia

    Hello there, you can try a RF signal detector or other bug detectors to check if there are any hidden security cameras in your room and other rooms of your house. Typically the detectors will beep when they detect a signal, giving you an audible indication when you near a potential camera.

  • Hello Elva, Such a Detailed Post…I think You’ve covered all the Ways for detect hidden cam.

    • Elvia

      So glad you like this post 🙂 You can share this article with your friends!

      • Already did.

        • Elvia

          Great 🙂 Thanks

  • Annie McNamara

    There were recently several drug busts in my apartment house. U heard voices discussing my own actions (yes!). I later noticed ‘poluce surveillance van” listed under close wifi choices in my smartphone. Pili Am I crazy ir police spying?

  • Jerry

    Dear Elvia, are the cameras available in Canada?

    • Elvia

      Dear Jerry, yep, most security cameras are available in Canada 🙂

      So may I know which camera you are interested in please?

  • Michelle Renee

    Hi Elvia! Recently I have come across a situation where I had a feeling I was being watching in the shower at the gym so I used my phone to scan for RF. There was a small part of the drain that had a high reading and 1 nail in the towel hook that had a high reading as well. I took a video and I immediately drove to the police station and let them know what was going on. The officers told me it can’t be possible for my phone to detect radiation and wrote it off as if incredible. I went back to the gym and the lady at the desk had an angry response when I told her I suspect cameras. That set off a terrible alarm in my head and couldn’t believe she would have such a response as I can only imagine myself concerned if I were in charge. I did some research later that day and learned everything from RF to GHz & MHz on the spectrum and transmitting signals! I was the only one in the locker room that morning so I couldn’t have picked up heavy signals from everywhere else. I returned the next day and the screws that I had UHF readings were not only reading different, but had very visible damage as if someone turned too hard with a screw driver. I am frustrated not only with the law but myself as I should have trusted my gut feeling before I gave someone a chance to tamper with evidence. It’s been on my mind and Idk what to do. I do still have the videos. Thank you for taking the time to read this novel lol I apoligize!

    • Elvia

      Hi Michelle, you’ve done a great job upon you suspected the hidden cameras in the shower room.

      I’m afraid that the bad guy has noticed the cameras have been detected by you, so he or she “cleaned” all the stuff.

      The police may not know about the RF signal. That;s why they didn’t trust you at the beginning.

      You can show the whole process to the police and let them see how you can distinguish the RF between cameras and other electrical devices. By doing so, the police would trust you:)

  • Sanjana

    Help: Actually there is a beep sound when I scan Stabilizer. I’ve covered all the area inside my room. There is only sound only from Stabilizer. I’ve scanned TV, AC, Refrigerator stabilizer. Everything sounds like this. Is that Camera or other signal. Please give me a reply as soon as you can. Kindly give a reply.

    • Elvia

      Hello there, may I know what detector or sensor you use to scan the room?

  • Queen B

    I have this weird feeling that I am being watch…especially in the bathroom in my apartment. For example, every time I am in the bathroom…I here very faint shifting noises in the vent. Am I hearing make-believe noises or what?

    • Elvia

      Hi there, perhaps it’s the sound of your water heater.

      If you still feel like you are being watch, you can try #Way 3 in this post to use your smartphone to check if there is a hidden camera in your bathroom.

  • Kyed Mipy

    Well you can’t goto the police if the governments the one doing the spying. Here is what you could do.
    First, locate the camera discreetly as to not tip off the person or people who are watching you.
    Next, Instal your own cameras- not the wireless ones that transmit using RF. Use the cameras that save to an SD card whenever it detects movement.
    Then cover up the camera with something discreet. For example if the camera is in a mirror, throw a towel over the mirror, covering the camera.
    Go about your normal day to day activity. If it really is the government spying on you your going to need to speak to a Private investigator and a lawyer as you collect as much evidence as possible. If you goto the police and it turns out the FBI are the ones spying on you then you will end up in a black body bag in no time.
    Check your camera every day for addition of new cameras or the repositioning of the object which you set up to block the current camera.

    If it turns out there are no cameras you need to goto bed and stop tweaking.

  • Arturo DV

    Which spy camera detector should I buy ?

  • ThrowAway

    Most of the info I’ve obtained deals with finding cameras in your home. I live in a fairly rural area and I’ve discovered that hunters are placing cameras on my property without my permission. I’m thinking these guys are looking for trophy class animals. (I don’t hunt so my property is pretty safe… or so I thought.) Can you recommend any devices or utilities that can be used to detect cameras illegally posted on someone’s property? Many thanks.

    • Elvia

      Hello there, you can try a detector or sensor to detect if there are any cameras illegally put around your property. You can take a look at this detector here >>

  • Heather Morissette

    I bought an RF detector, its not a professional one as I couldnt afford a very expensive one I scanned my apartment and I have alerts that are going off in wall behind my headboard and in blue tooth speaker next to my bed and surround sound speakers in living room (detection even went off after i turned off all power going to them) but I have not been successful in locating a camera yet cause I don’t know what parts are for speaker vs what might be a camera. Do you have any suggestions for me? I also here click/pop noise like a speaker often when coming home and there is a definate delay on my cell phone calls which didnot use to happen.

    • Elvia

      Hello Heather, have you tried using an app to detect if there are any hidden cameras in your room?

      You can get the steps in Way 3 to get the steps to use your smartphone to detect spy cameras: /how-to-detect-hidden-cameras/#way3

  • Elise

    Hello Elvia, My name is Elise and l have a serious concern that has been ongoing for a long time. My problem began a few years ago with a ex partner ( a daughter conceived) who is now incarcerated pending 57 charges. His family all other 4 sisters on observation are involved not only what l’m going to expose but with drug making too. I only heard through conversations. l am currently living in a unit with my daughter. All l can state is l hear a speaker of some sort saying negative disgusting statements about my daughter and l. Did call the police but they made me to be crazy then gave me a number to call, lifeline because l’m supposed hear voices. That made me feel defeated. I know someone has implanted spy cameras as I am not only hearing but my laptop buffering always and no reception on my phone. Also my phone has a bleeping sound when l try to call. Am hoping you mite be able to help as l live in Victoria Australia . Thank you

  • Elvia

    Hello Mitchell, have you reported to the police? You should apply for physical protection from the police!

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