How To Spot Hidden Cameras In Hotel Rooms, Vacation Rentals | News

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If you’re going to be staying at an Airbnb, hotel, or other rental property, you might want to take a few minutes to look for hidden cameras. The idea that someone might be watching you isn’t far-fetched. This happens and many times the hidden cameras are discovered after the renter has been in the house or condo for a few days.

It has become much easier to put hidden cameras all over a rental property. Security cameras are smaller and cheaper. They stream live video and audio to a smartphone app without anyone knowing they are being recorded.

If you take a few minutes and a few steps, you can locate hidden cameras before they record you.

Some security cameras, of course, look like cameras. But there are plenty of others built into alarm clocks, smartphone chargers, photo frames, and smoke detectors. Others are so small that they can be placed anywhere on a shelf without anyone noticing.

I bought a smoke detector with a hidden camera for about $60. It not only streams video to smartphone app, but also can record video, photos and audio to micro-SD card.

Unless someone inspects it by taking it from the wall and removing the back, it might go unnoticed.

Here are some steps to spot hidden cameras that may be placed somewhere to monitor you:

Check electrical outlets. Most hidden cameras, especially the cheaper ones, need power.

Follow the wires to see what is plugged in.

If there is a smoke detector in an unusual location, such as above a bed. Inspect it.

Look for small holes that may be a lens in alarm clocks next to the bed.

Turn off the lights and look around. Infrared cameras will emit red light.

Use a flashlight or your smartphone light and slowly look around bedrooms and bathrooms. Hidden cameras will have a lens and you may be able to see a reflection of the light.

Check baskets, toys, and other items on a shelf or on the floor in bedrooms and bathrooms.

There are several apps that can show you everything connected to the Wi-Fi router.

However, even after paying for a subscription, I haven’t had much luck with them identifying the cameras specifically. Some apps claim to locate hidden cameras by playing a sound on the phone when you get close to the camera. I have used them with mixed success.

When you first arrive, turn off their Wi-Fi router for a few minutes. To stream video to a phone, most hidden cameras need to be connected to the router and the internet. If the host calls or drops by to see if everything is okay, they may have been watching until you turned off the Wi-Fi.

If you find a hidden camera at a property where you are staying, contact the rental company. Airbnb expressly prohibits security camera surveillance that is not disclosed to tenants in advance. It also prohibits the use of cameras in private spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms.

Finally, contact the police if you find a hidden camera that you did not know about.

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