By Brad Robinson, Private Investigator
People who are in a relationship with a sociopath, or who recently escaped from such a relationship, often get the feeling that their ex is watching them, listening to them, spying on them. This might be your imagination getting the best of you, but often these suspicions are correct.
With the increasing online prevalence of readily available, inexpensive listening devices, spycams, phone taps, etc., and YouTube instructional videos on how to secretly install them, this is a growing threat to anyone who values their privacy. There are warning signs.
Here are a few that may be of use:
- People seem to know too much regarding your private and/or business activities.
- You have noticed strange sounds (static, scratching or popping) or volume changes on your phone lines.
- Your television or AM/FM radio has suddenly developed strange interference.
- Electrical wall plates appear to have been moved slightly or “jarred.”
- A dime-sized discoloration has suddenly appeared on the wall or ceiling.
- White dry-wall dust or debris is noticed on the floor next to the wall.
- You notice small pieces of ceiling tiles, or “grit” on the floor, or on the surface area of furniture. Also, you may observe a cracked, chipped, or gouged ceiling tile, or ones that are sagging, or not properly set into the track.
- Your door locks suddenly don’t “feel right,” they suddenly start to get “sticky,” or they completely fail.
- Furniture has been moved slightly, and no one knows why.
- Things “seem” to have been rummaged through, but nothing is missing (at least that you noticed).
Suspicions are correct; now what?
If any of the above seems to apply to you, what can you do? You have a few options.
You can accept the likelihood that your privacy has been compromised and resolve to never again say or do anything in your home that your suspected eavesdropper can use against you.
You could try a do-it-yourself sweep of your home. However, without the proper equipment and training, you are very unlikely to discover one of today’s tiny, well-concealed devices.
You can hire a semi-qualified professional. Many private investigators and security agents claim to be able to perform bug sweeps. For a small (or sometimes a large) fee, they will show up with a small “detector” they purchased on eBay, take a quick walk around your home and proclaim it “safe.” This false sense of security can actually be more damaging than switching your brain to “acceptance mode,” as described above.
Hire a professional
The best solution is usually to contact a specialist in Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures (TSCM). These professionals have the experience, up-to-date training and cutting edge gear (often retailing at $100,000 or more) to do the job right! A genuine TSCM inspection is a tedious and time-consuming process (often taking 4-6 hours or more), but it is the only way to provide true peace of mind if one has serious concerns that they are the target of illicit eavesdropping.
Brad Robinson is an ex-CIA operative and currently Senior Partner with The Millennium Group, a full-service investigative and security consulting firm staffed by former federal agents. They offer a variety of romance fraud-related investigations nationwide, including TSCM inspections of residences, offices and vehicles. Visit their website at MillenniumGroup2001.com or phone them at 855-SPY-TEAM.