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How to Find Hidden Camera in Hotel Room – Advance Travel Safety Guidance

It’s really enjoyable when you’re staying in the hotel either for vacation or business trip. However, something might cross your mind: Is anyone spying on you in the hotel room? or Are there any hidden camera in your hotel room?

Let’s face it: the answer would be yes, it is very likely to happen! The perpetrators might be the previous visitors that stayed in the same room earlier or it might be the worker who work in that hotel.

In this article we’re going to show you the full guidance on:

  • How to find any hidden camera
  • Common placement of hidden camera
  • What to do if you find one? Any rules that supported this?

First, let’s take a look on some real life case that hidden cameras that are found in the hotel room.

Real Life Cases of Hidden Camera in Hotel Room

There are several cases happened earlier that even an expensive and high stars hotel spied on their guest in their hotel room.

A Woman Secretly Filmed in The Shower in Hilton and Being Blackmailed

According to CNN, a woman from Chicago claimed that she was secretly filmed in the shower in a well-known famous hotel Hilton.

She was blackmailed by an unidentified sender that demanded her to send some money in order to stop publishing her videos on some pornographic websites with her full name. She believes that this person might be the hotel employee because the person have access to her name and other information.

1600 People Secretly Filmed in One Motel in South Korea

hidden cameras south korea

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

About 1,800 Patients Secretly Recorded in California Hospital Delivery Rooms

You can’t imagine that there are hidden cameras in the 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.

Scary isn’t it? But do not worry as we’re going to share you tips to check hidden camera in hotel room:

1. Mirror Checking: Fingernail Gap Method

Travel Hacks: How to Find Out if Your Hotel Room Has Hidden Camera

One of the most common place to put hidden camera is in the mirror. Check every mirror in the changing room and toilet.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Put your fingernail on the mirror.

Step 2: Check out closely if there is any gap between the mirror and your finger.

If you notice there is a gap between the mirror on your finger, it indicates a real mirror.

However, if there is no gap which your finger and the image reflection is touching tip to tip, there might be a hidden camera inside the mirror.

 2. Make a Phone Call and Pay Attention of Any Disturbed Signal in Certain Area

use phone to detect spy camera

One of the way to detect if there is a hidden camera in your room is by making a phone call.

You can try call your friend or family and try to walk around your room slowly.

Normally, the hidden camera has a unique radio frequency that will disturb your phone signal.

So, if your signal keep on have interference in a specific area, there might be a hidden camera around. Try to check that area carefully.

3. Flashlight in The Darkness to Spot Any Reflection

Travel Hacks: How to Find Out if Your Hotel Room Has Hidden Camera

To use this trick, all you need is your phone flashlight. The steps are similar with the point number 1.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Turn off all the lights and close your curtain.

Step 2: Turn on your phone flashlight and point it around the room. Point it slowly and try it on suspicious area with different angles. If you spotted a reflective lights come out from an object, you should check if there is a hidden camera there.

4. Turn Off The Lights and Use Night Vision Security Camera

how to detect spy camera

Almost all of the hidden camera are using green or red LEDs. These LEDs will blink when it has low light situation. This is because the LEDs are trying to supply the lighting for the hidden camera to capture clearer night vision images.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Make your room as dark as possible: Turn off all the lights and close all the window curtain.

Step 2: Scout around carefully and slowly if there is any red or green blinking generated from the hidden camera LEDs.

While infrared rays are invisible to the naked eye, you already have a device that can help—your smartphone.

Use Smartphone Camera

Some smartphones have filters to block out infrared light on their primary camera, but very few of them have filters on the front camera. To determine which camera will work for you, grab an infrared remote like the one you use for your TV. Point it at your smartphone’s primary camera and press a button. If you see the light on the screen, then it can detect infrared. If you don’t, try again with the front-facing camera.

Once you determine the best camera to use, turn off the lights in the room you want to check. Then turn on your smartphone’s camera and start looking for any glowing lights.

IP cameras don’t come in any standard configuration so you might see just one, four, six, or some other combination of lights. They’ll typically be purple but sometimes can look white. You won’t necessarily need to be near the hidden camera. In the above image, the camera is just a few feet away. But take a look at another picture from the other side of the house:

The lights in the center of the image are the same camera, just three rooms away (a dining room, a living room, and a study). That’s bright enough to be noticed and warrant closer investigation. Don’t just look at the center of walls though, point your smartphone at the ceiling, vents, even outlets. 

When the lights are on, look for anything unusual. Does a room have more than one smoke detector? Is there a USB hub in a place with no other electronics? 

5. Scan Networked Cameras With Fing Mobile App

Most of the hotel or places that you stay offer you access to the local network. You can use this advantage to scan if there is any hidden camera.

Now, download an app named Fing. This app works for both Android and iPhone. And the best thing is, this app is free!

The main idea here is to look at all the devices connected to the local network. We recommend disconnecting all your devices except the phone or tablet running Fing so that you’ll have fewer things to sort through. Connect your phone or tablet to the network and then open Fing.

On Android, tap on the “Refresh” button at the top-right of the app’s screen to get started and agree to give the app location permissions. The iPhone app performs this step automatically.

Wait for the app to finish scanning, then look through the list of found devices. You’re looking at devices on the network the app identified, you’ll want to keep an eye out for anything that shows a camera manufacturer (like Nest, Arlo, or Wyze), or lists as “IP Camera.”

Even if you don’t spot a camera on this list, take stock of how many devices you do see listed and what you can find around the place you are staying. If something stands out as unusual (perhaps with no recognizable details), and you can’t locate a good source, write down the IP address. The next step is scan for open ports.

If you find any suspicious devices on the network, you’ll want to scan for any open ports those devices are using. First, tap the “Network” button at the bottom of the screen.

Then tap “Find Open Ports.”

Type the IP address you wrote earlier and then tap the blue “Find Open Ports” button.

The list will show what ports are open, and what services they use. Keep an eye out for RTSP and RTMP; those are common for streaming video. Anything with HTTP or HTTPS as a service you can try to connect to with a browser, which may reveal video streaming. Just type the IP address into your browser, followed by a colon, followed by the port listed (i.e., 192.168.0.15:80).

6. Use Hidden Camera Detector Tools

Thanks for those who has invented these tools to detect if there is spy camera around. This detector will scan if there is any magnetic field, signal, camera lens around. You can purchase these professional hidden camera detector from Amazon.

Below are the best hidden camera detector recommendation:

1. Anti Spy Hidden Camera Detector

2. Spy Hawk Detector

The Most Common Placement of Hidden Camera in Hotel Room

When you just occupied the room on the first day, it is better to do some scanning with your naked eyes.

An inch-by-inch search would be helpful to spot ”obvious” hidden cameras at the first step.

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.

Below are the most popular spot of hidden camera that might bugged in your hotel room:

Mirror

Spy hidden camera on mirror

Wall decoration

hidden spy camera on wall painting

Smoke detector

spy hidden camera on smoke detector

Tissue Box

spy hidden camera on tissue box

Pen

Hidden spy camera on pen

Clock

spy hidden camera on clock

DVD Case

hidden spy camera on dvd player case

TV Box

spy hidden camera on tv box

Air Diffuser

hidden spy camera on air purifier

What You Need to Do If You Find One?

If you manage to find the hidden cameras, here is what you need to do:

1. Don’t touch or move the camera as it will get your fingerprint there and the police will use it to find the criminal.

2. Take picture or video of the hidden camera as the evidence.

3. Call the authorities or police to investigate the case.

4. Don’t proceed to continue to stay in that hotel. If you find one camera, there might be other hidden cameras that you haven’t found yet. You can sue the hotel after the authorities confirmed the case.

What are The Legislation Rules on Hidden Camera?

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

Bottom Line

Although it takes a long time to do scanning, it is still worth the time.

Based on the existing cases, the spy camera is more likely placed in Airbnb’s hotel or villa. But still, you can’t just assume that four to five stars hotel do not have these hidden cameras.

The reason is that the person who place the hidden camera might be the previous visitor that stayed in your room earlier.

You won’t regret for sacrificing your five to ten minutes time to do the tips above. Always remember travel safe and smart!

Written by Jonathan Snyder

Jonathan Snyder is the author for 5 best selling books on Amazon (Development as Service) and part time contributor at Life Hack Solution. Reach out at info@lifehack-solution.com.