13 Signs That You May Be ‘Bugged’

With technology becoming more compact, concealable, affordable, and readily available for purchase the potential for those with nefarious intentions of  eavesdropping on you to steal valuable intelligence increases.  “Spy” devices available today on the internet were only available to government operatives a few years ago.

Common situations that increase your susceptibility to being bugged include:


  • Involved in a lawsuit
  • Have plans to or have recently downsized
  • In a competitive industry that relies on insider knowledge (marketing, fashion, automotive, product development, medical, technology, advertising, etc.)
  • Involved in government affairs or politics

Personal affairs:

  • Filing or in the middle of a divorce
  • Involved in a custody battle (it is common for the children to have devices hidden in their things or on them during visits)
  • In the process of getting married
  • Filed an insurance claim
  • Is or previously was in a position of power or influence, in business or politics
  • Is a minister or religious leader
  • Suspects the person eavesdropping is someone close to them who work in law enforcement, security, or the judicial system.

If you fall into one of the above categories and people have found out about your personal matters or confidential business secrets, or just seem to know too much about your activities a bug sweep or technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) inspection is advisable.  The most telling sign that you’ve been bugged is that you’ve noticed people you have never disclosed information to know about your personal and business affairs.  If your business is involved this may indicated that a competitor or vendor has obtained the internal information through electronic surveillance tactics. If you have bug-related concerns, please contact us for a free consultation at 719-301-3931 or complete the form on this page.

Clues Pointing To Possible “Bugging”

In the Home and Office

#1) Evidence of a break-in, but nothing was stolen

Even if there is no overt evidence, you notice that something “seems off,” such as furniture or objects slightly moved, closets and drawers are rummaged through, or dusty areas are disturbed. Additionally, you may notice that a new object suddenly appears in your home after the break-in, such as clocks, signage, picture frames, tissue boxes, lamps, and radios.

#2) Wall fixtures have shifted slightly

Some of the most popular hidden surveillance devices are designed to go inside or behind electrical outlets, light switches, smoke alarms, and lighting. Hidden camera lenses can be as small as the head of a screw, making them ideal to conceal in common wall fixtures.

#3) A strange vehicle parked near the home or office frequently with no one inside

Devices that transmit the recordings via Wi-Fi or radio frequency may require the eavesdropper be stationed nearby. Service or delivery trucks are commonly used: if you see the same or similar vehicle more than three times, there may be an eavesdropper. Vehicles with black or tinted windows allow the perpetrator to conceal themselves in the back of the vehicle to monitor the devices. Ladders or pipe racks on a vehicle can help conceal an antenna or beacon.

#4) Common objects have a small hole or reflective surface

Many spy stores sell popular, common home and office products such as lamps, clocks, tissue boxes, plant boxes, or exit signs, with a camera or microphone pre-installed, containing a small hole or reflective spot to hold the camera lens.

In the Office

#5) Disturbed Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling tiles appear disturbed, discolored, or damaged, or there is ceiling dust on the floor or a piece of furniture.  A common installation location for hidden electronic devices is above the ceiling tiles.

#6) Bump in a vinyl baseboard

A small bump or deformity in the vinyl baseboard along the floor is a sign that someone may have hidden a wire or microphone behind the baseboard. The vinyl-style baseboards are more popular in offices than homes.

#7) An unexpected gift arrived recently from a vendor

A common eavesdropping tactic is to acquire a device outfitted with a transmitter or to create a custom device using a gift as a concealment.

In Your Vehicle

#8) The car appears broken into, but nothing was taken

Something inside the vehicle seems “off”, but nothing was stolen. You may have noticed that the seating was moved even though the vehicle hasn’t been driven by anyone else.  Items inside the vehicle may appear to have been moved or rummaged through or there are new items in the vehicle. This may have occurred multiple times, as the eavesdropper may need to retrieve a device to download the collected data or recharge the battery.

#9) Your car is taking longer to start or the battery seems weak

Some tracking and eavesdropping devices are connected to the car battery, using the power source when the engine is off. While it may not completely drain the battery, it can cause the car to stutter a bit as the remaining power tries to start the engine. This is not as common now as devices have moved more towards using internal batteries, going into standby mode when movement or sound is not detected to conserve power.  Some devices have battery standby times as long as 30 days or more.  Using internal battery power also greatly simplifies the placement of the device.

#10) Electronics in the car are behaving erratically

The electronics in the car, including the radio and displays, are acting strange, which could result from interference from a covert surveillance device.

#11) Others seem to know your whereabouts

You have noticed that others seem to know too much about your travels and driving habits. Tracking devices can be attached to a car with something as simple and discreet as a strong magnet. Common areas include on the undercarriage frame, in the engine compartment, behind the rear bumper, inside the dashboard, and behind license plates and exterior rear-view mirrors.

#12) You hear an intermittent “chirp” inside or around your vehicle

Apple AirTags are increasingly being used by criminals to illegally track persons and vehicles for illicit purposes.  If the AirTag is away from the phone it’s paired to for an extended period of time it will give off an occasional random chirp sound.

#13) You suspect you are being followed while driving

If there is a hidden microphone or camera in the car, the suspect may need to stay within a certain range of the device to acquire the recordings.

Start Your Investigation

While this list is not exhaustive or definitive indicators that you are bugged, it is enough to warrant further investigation. If you feel you are experiencing any of the above noted indicators please reach out to us for a complementary confidential consultation.

About Technical Surveillance Solutions (TSS)

TSS is a company that specializes in providing Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) services and training. The firm is based in Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado with personnel distributed throughout the United States prepared to travel on short notice. The company is comprised of skilled professionals who have vast experience in law enforcement and military backgrounds, accumulating over a century of combined expertise. This team includes retired military personnel, seasoned police officers, former members of the Seal Team, and Special Forces operatives specializing in national security. They possess knowledge in both offensive and defensive electronic surveillance tactics, providing insightful insights into protective and investigative countermeasures.

To schedule a free consultation, call 719-301-3931 or complete the form on this page.

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