How to spot hidden cameras

Security experts have tips to prevent someone from spying on you

ROANOKE, Va. – Security experts warn that the latest technology and online shopping make buying and placing hidden cameras easier than ever.

"That's the scary part: is, they can put them anywhere," said John Absher, the owner of Hometown Security in Salem.

So, how do you prevent someone from spying? Absher said first, look for anything out of place. Then, look for a lens.

"What I like to do is to take a flashlight and just run across the face of it and then see it reflect off the glass of the lens," Absher said.

Private investigator Jeff Spar said you should watch for blinking lights, "which means it's active and that it's sending a signal or receiving a signal or recording."

Hidden cameras aren't easy to spot. They can be disguised in clocks, chargers, flower pots, teddy bears or speakers.

"They can be extremely small," Absher said.

They can plug directly into a power source or use memory cards and don't need to be checked for hours or days at a time. Spar said you could look for wires.

"If you think there's a camera in the smoke detector, there's going to be a wire attached to a lens that is viewing you and that wire is going to be attached to a power source, which is then going to be attached to something that is sending the signal," Spar said.

Some hidden camera uses Wi-Fi. The experts said you can check for suspicious network names, especially ones including a long sequence of numbers. The best defense is to be alert in public places, such as bathrooms, gyms or dressing rooms.

"It is a problem and it's a serious one," Spar said. "Just be vigilant."

"Be aware that there could be a camera there and position yourself accordingly," Absher added.

They recommend that you report anything suspicious to police and never touch a device that could be a hidden camera so you don't tamper with any evidence.

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