Seven Ways To Detect Hidden Camera In A Hotel Room

A viral video some weeks ago revealed a moment when a guest at a hotel in Ayepe, Odogbolu area of Ogun State became angry after allegedly detecting a hidden camera in one of the hotel rooms.

The guest was heard complaining bitterly that his privacy had been exposed but a man who appears to be the hotel manager called his bluff after attempts to offer explanation were ignored.

The guest said, “This is a room in the hotel we are sleeping in Ayepe; we just found out that there is a camera installed in every room. These are the four we removed from other rooms; this is the fifth room and we just found out that there is a camera inside.

“The cameras have recorded my brother’s and mother’s nakedness. Imagine, you are putting cameras in our rooms, infringing on people’s privacy, seeing people’s nakedness.”

The video generated criticism on social media and later caught the attention of the Ogun State Police Command which said it had commenced investigation into the alleged invasion of guests’ privacy at the hotel.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the owner of the hotel had been invited by the Divisional Police Officer in Odogbolu.

“We are expecting him to come and state his reasons for doing so,” he added.

Whatever the outcome of the investigation is, the memory of the ‘strange’ discovery at a place where he ought to have had a pleasant rest would remain with the enraged guest.

In March 2019, CNN reported that about 1,600 people have been secretly filmed in motel rooms in South Korea, with the footage live-streamed online for paying customers to watch.

Two men were arrested and another pair investigated in connection with the scandal, which involved 42 rooms in 30 accommodations in 10 cities around the country. Police said there was no indication that businesses were complicit in the scheme.

The cameras were hidden inside digital television boxes, wall sockets and hairdryer holders and the footage was streamed online, the Cyber Investigation Department at the National Police Agency said in a statement.

It could be quite creepy to detect a secret camera in a hotel room and one may become paranoid about it. Most times, seeking redress over infringement on one’s privacy via hidden camera could be pretty difficult, making the experience more sickening.

But the disgusting scenario is avoidable by scanning a hotel room for spying cameras immediately after checking in. Below are seven ways suggested by experts in detecting cameras in hotel rooms.

Scan your surroundings

Paranoid or not, it’s always important to familiarise oneself with the place one is staying in. It is advised that a guest in a hotel looks around carefully and see if they can spot anything out of the ordinary. Experts say hidden cameras are usually placed below eye level to make them less noticeable to guests.

It is also said that there have been cases where spy cameras were disguised as clothing hooks which were below the usual height. Some of the common places to find hidden cameras are wall decors, electrical outlets, lamps, tissue boxes, cushions, mirrors, smoke detectors. This method is perhaps the easiest and cheapest as it involves physical inspection of the room for any irregularities.

Mike O’Rourke, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington-based global security consultancy, Advanced Operational Concepts, advised that guests should be looking for any small holes around the room, including in the wall or in objects placed in the room.

“Light fixtures, smoke detectors, clock radios, coffee pots, and electric sockets have all been used to hide cameras,” he said. “I’ve seen cameras in the air conditioner vents in hotel rooms.”

Use a flashlight

According to a CNN report, using one’s phone’s flashlight may be one of the easiest ways to detect a hidden camera. All one needs to do is flash the light against anything that looks abnormal including clocks and smoke detectors. First switch off the lights and shine the flashlight around the room. If the light catches unusually reflective lights or surfaces, this could mean a possible hidden camera.

“Assuming the camera has some form of a lens, you use a device that has a very bright light source and a viewfinder that allows you to scan for the reflections from the lens,” a professor from the Center for Cyber Security at the United Kingdom’s Surrey University, Alan Woodward, told CNN.

Look for blinking light

The best way to detect hidden cameras would be by switching the lights off. It is reported that most cameras have blinking LED lights that are easier to spot in low light conditions or in darkness. If you check into the room during the day and it all looks bright inside with sun rays, there is no cause to worry. Close the windows, draw the curtains shut and switch off the light to create darkness in the room. The blinking light would come alive if there is any hidden camera in the room.

Make a phone call

Another way of spotting a camera in a hotel room is to make a call while walking around the room. It is said that surveillance cameras could create a static noise or interference when a call is made nearby. When you notice an interruption in a specific spot, stop, and start to inspect carefully.

Download an app to scan for recording device

If you’re really feeling edgy over your privacy, you could take it a step further by downloading an app such as Hidden Spy Camera Detector, Radarbot, Detectify, Glint Finder, Hidden Device Detector, Ghost Camera Finder, to scan for frequencies used by recording equipment.

Woodward said, “If it does transmit RF (radio frequency), then you can again buy a standard bug detector that you sweep the room with to search for hidden sources of radio transmission. There are some products out there that combine the optical and RF detection methods.”

Use smartphone camera

Unlike the human eyes, smartphone cameras typically have the ability to view infrared light sources. Infrared lights are used for various purposes, including in many remote controls. Interestingly, they are also commonly found in security cameras to let them work in the dark.

As a result, it is possible to use your phone to detect a hidden camera via the infrared light it emits. The rear-facing camera on most smartphones usually has an infrared filter fitted but the front-facing camera does not have in most cases and that makes it useful for scanning for hidden cameras.

You can test this by turning the lights off, and putting your phone in selfie mode. Using your phone to spot the infrared light from a hidden camera is similar to searching with the flashlight. In a dark room, enable the front camera on your phone or tablet, and slowly pan the front of the device around each room.

Check the mirrors

One of the worst things that could happen is to be filmed during your intimate moments. Another way out of this embarrassing incident is to check your bathroom mirror for any suspicious objects. Experts say that the best way to check is to put one’s hand on the glass. See if there is a gap between your reflection and your hand. If there is, it means you are fine. If not, then there might be something suspicious around the room.

The odds of having a camera in your hotel room might be low to begin with, but if you actually find one, don’t panic. Instead, report it immediately to the hotel management without tampering with it and wait for an official to inspect it for you. If you find one in your hotel room, ask to change rooms and contact the hotel management as soon as possible.


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