How to tell if your phone is being monitored

Written by palmer owyoung
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How to tell if your phone is being monitored
There are ways to detect a phone bug. (telephone image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from

In some ways, technology has made our lives much easier; in other ways, it has caused more problems. One downside is that there is less privacy today than in year's past. You used to have to be James Bond to tap a phone, but now all you need is £19 and a device from Radio Shack. Fortunately there are signs that you can look for if you believe that your phone is being monitored.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phone bug detector

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  1. 1

    Listen for things like static or voices in the background when you are talking on the phone. Take note if your phone rings but no one is there when you pick up the phone. These are all signs that your phone may have been tampered with. On a cellphone you can look for these clues and others, like your phone flashing for no reason or remaining warm in between calls.

  2. 2

    Inspect your home or office phone. Look for an electronic device approximately the size and shape of a large pack of chewing gum. It will be connected to a phone line either inside or outside the home. To remove it, you just need to unlatch it.

  3. 3

    Use a bug detection device. You can purchase these from spy and gadget stores such as BrickHouse Security, Spy Associates, or SpyTechs (see Resources). As of 2010, these devices cost £32 to £195.

  4. 4

    Install the device by unplugging the phone line from the wall and plugging it into the counter-surveillance device. Then run the line from the device, and plug it into your telephone.

  5. 5

    Turn the device on by flipping the switch. If your phone is being monitored, a warning light will turn red.

  6. 6

    Check to see if your cellphone is bugged by turning on a radio and turning your phone off. Place your phone near the radio; if the phone interferes with the radio, then your phone may be bugged. You would it expect it interfere if you are receiving a call. However, if the phone is turned off and it still interferes with the radio, then it means that it is transmitting, according to the Corpa Group, a private investigation firm.

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