Sherlock's Case Files

Sherlock's Case Files contain miscellaneous postings from Skipp Porteous, president of Sherlock Investigations. Here you'll find investigative tips, testimonials, and tantalizing topics. Feel free to respond anonymously to any posting. NOTE: If you want to contact Sherlock Investigations, do NOT do it through this blog, use our email address at: www.sherlockinvestigations.com

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Locating Wiretaps and Bugs...Without Any Special Equipment!


In the days ahead, I'm going to reproduce the entire PDF I wrote titled "Bug Off! Locating Wiretaps and Bugs...Without Any Special Equipment!"

Bug Off! Locating wiretaps and bugs –
without any special equipment.

By Skipp Porteous

Can you imagine what people are learning about your personal life or business if they've tapped your phone, bugged your home, car, or office, or are secretly watching you on a hidden video camera?

• Do people know your secrets or personal business?
• Does someone always know where you go in your car?
• Are you scheduling highly confidential meetings or conferences?
• Is confidential information about your business leaking out?
• Does your phone often ring once and then stop?
• Did you have a break-in at your home or business and nothing was taken?
• Do you have an overly suspicious spouse or significant other?
• Do others know about your conversations even when you talk from the privacy of your vehicle?
• Do you think you might be under video surveillance?
• Are you going through a divorce?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your home, office, vehicle or computer may be "bugged," or otherwise compromised. Don't order a "bug detector" or "phone tap detector" off the Internet. This equipment is mostly junk. And even the good equipment is useless unless you are trained to use it.

A little-known secret

Any honest TSCM (Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures) expert will tell you that most wiretaps and bugs in homes or small offices are found with visual inspection, not with high-tech expensive equipment.

In this manual I’m going to show you how you can locate clandestine listening devices without any special, high-tech equipment. The key is to know what to look for. When you finish reading this manual, you’ll know what to look for, and you’ll be ready to check out your own home, vehicle, or small office for bugs, wiretaps and hidden cameras.

When I conduct an electronic sweep in the New York Metro area, I typically charge up to $600 an hour, and most sweeps take two to six hours! While I employ advanced electronic equipment, the most important part of any assignment consists of a very thorough visual/physical search.

You, too, will be able to conduct your own sweeps, saving you hundreds, and even thousands of dollars.

This manual will not teach you how to install wiretaps or bugs, as this is against the law in every jurisdiction in the United States. And, if you have reason to think that any kind of law enforcement agency has you under electronic surveillance, your best bet is to purchase a pre-paid cell phone. Use it for a month, then toss it out and get another one.

Why? Law enforcement agencies wiretap a landline telephone at the phone company’s central office, not in a home or office. There is no way that you or I, or anyone else can detect it. They will even tap the pay phones in your neighborhood, or anywhere else that you’re known to hang out. If you have cell phone service, they have the authority and equipment to tap your cell phone too.

Buy a prepaid cell phone with cash so that there is no paper trail to you. If you find yourself in this position, this manual will not help you, and neither will any legitimate TSCM person.

We constantly receive inquiries from people who think that their cell phone is tapped. I’ll go into that later, but the chances are that your cell phone is not tapped. (Increasingly, smart phones, such as the iPhone and Blackberry, are vulnerable.)

Wiretaps, “bugs”, and video cameras

There is a difference between wiretaps and bugs. A wiretap is a device attached to the telephone or telephone line that either records both sides of a conversation, or transmits the conversation to a listening post, where it is usually recorded. A wiretap always involves a telephone, and may or may not have a microphone. A wiretap either picks up the conversation directly from the phone line, uses the self-contained microphone in the telephone, or uses a special microphone that is installed in the phone.

In this booklet you will learn how to locate wiretaps on the telephone line, or in the telephone set.

A “bug” is a listening device placed in a room, vehicle, etc. A microphone is always one of its components. The microphones in these devices can be very small. A simple example of a bug is a tape recorder, utilizing a built-in microphone or an external microphone. A bug can record the conversation in the room or vehicle itself, or can transmit the conversation to another location, where it can be recorded or simply listened to.

In this booklet you will learn how to locate bugs whether placed in a room, vehicle, or some other location.
Color video cameras can be as small as a dime, but you usually don’t see the camera itself. If anything, all you see is the lens, or the hole it sees through. The hole can be as small as 1/16th of an inch. The 9-volt battery is often larger than the wireless camera! While some cameras can easily be found, others are so cleverly hidden that they can only be found after a careful search. They are typically found in clock radios, lamps, plants, smoke detectors, books, stuffed animals, etc.

Although video cameras can be hard-wired, they usually are wireless. In some places that I’ve swept, there were large potted plants. It was evident that something was peculiar about the plants, as they had a black wire coming out of the back. It wasn’t hard to find the video camera hidden among the leaves. I followed the wire and found a hidden long-play VCR that recorded everything that transpired in the room.

Hard-wired cameras are more difficult to install, since the wires need to be hidden. The wires usually lead to a monitor somewhere and a video recorder. Hard-wired cameras are powered by the house current.
Wireless video cameras are often harder to find. They can be put in almost anything and placed quickly.
In this booklet you will learn how to locate hidden video cameras, regardless of where they are hidden.

(To Be Continued)

If you want to download the fully illustrated PDF, click here www.sherlockinvestigations.com and click on the photo labeled Electronic Sweeps and Wiretap Detection.

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