How to Know You’re Under Surveillance

Are you worried that you’re being watched? It might not be anxiety or paranoia. If you fear that you’re under surveillance, it’s important to trust your gut and start investigating. Otherwise, someone could be gathering information that they could use against you later. This person could be a business rival, an estranged partner, or a virtual stranger. 

If you’re not familiar, surveillance involves closely watching, monitoring, or eavesdropping on another person. It can essentially be people-watching taken to an extreme and, at times, illegal extent. An individual person, group, or business can be surveilled at one time through a variety of methods.

Do you want to launch an investigation but aren’t sure where to start? We’re here to help you. Below, we’ll discuss why someone would be surveilled, the different types of surveillance, how to know you’re being spied on, and what to do in response. You’ll have all the knowledge you need to protect yourself from prying eyes.

Why Would Someone Be Under Surveillance?

If you’re under surveillance, that means someone is invading your privacy and monitoring your activities in some way. There are many reasons why someone would be motivated to do this. Perhaps you’re in the midst of a messy divorce or a contentious child custody hearing. In these situations, your ex-partner may be trying to access private information to use against you in court. 

You may also be under surveillance for business purposes. If a competitor wants to learn more about your products, strategies, clients, or other protected intel, they may try to bug your workplace. Most frighteningly, you could be being watched by a stalker who intends on harming you in some way. In any case, it’s essential to know the signs that you’re under surveillance so you can protect yourself. 

How Do You Know if You’re Being Watched?

To determine whether or not you’re being watched, you’ll need to hire a private investigator or perform your own investigation. For most people, the idea of searching for a hidden camera or a recording device feels like a fool’s errand. The truth is, you can locate these things if you know what to look for. First, however, you’ll need to know about the different ways someone can be surveilled. 

The Various Forms of Surveillance

There are several ways to spy on someone. You can be followed physically, watched via a hidden camera, eavesdropped on, and more. Knowing about these different types of surveillance will help you determine if you’re being watched or tracked. You can also learn specific countermeasures for each form of surveillance to protect yourself going forward. 

Physical Surveillance

Physical surveillance is when you’re being physically followed by an individual or a small team of three or more. If you’re worried about being physically surveilled, try to remain aware of your surroundings. You may notice people loitering around you, possibly in a car or van. If you keep seeing the same vehicle over and over again, there’s a chance you’re being watched. 

So, what do you do if you’re certain you’re being physically surveilled? If you’re being watched by a professional, they likely know how to surveil you while staying within the law. In this case, you should consider contacting a private investigator of your own. They can use their skills to find out who is surveilling you, who hired them, and for what purpose. 


Tracking is a common surveillance tactic in which a transmitter is planted on your phone or vehicle. These transmitters are very small and difficult to spot if you’re not actively looking for them. They’re usually placed in hidden areas where you may not normally look, such as your glove box or wheel well. If your phone is being tracked, they may opt instead to download a spy app of some sort onto your device. 

You can find transmitters in your vehicle through close examination. For your phone, however, you should keep an eye out for new apps that you don’t remember downloading. If you spot them, you can manually delete them, update your device OS, or perform a factory reset to get rid of them. 

Other less obvious signs that your phone is being tracked include a faster draining battery, hearing strange noises while making calls, and the device overheating quickly. In these cases, you can call *#21# or *#62# to learn whether or not your calls or messages are being tapped or redirected.

Hidden Camera

The idea of being watched by a hidden camera is very disturbing. If you have reason to suspect that someone is surveilling you with a hidden camera, it’s important to conduct a search right away. 

So, how can you find a hidden camera in your house or business? There are a few signs to watch out for, but the most notable is the appearance of new items that you haven’t noticed before. This could be a clock, lamp, phone, or some other object. If no one else knows where it came from, it could have a hidden camera inside of it. In this case, remove it from the building or call a private investigator for guidance ASAP. 

You should encourage others in the household or workplace to help you sweep the premises. Hidden cameras can be hidden in a wide variety of places, so you may need help to cover more ground. Pay special attention to objects like smoke detectors and other electronics. Both hidden cameras and microphones tend to need a power outlet of some sort.

Recording Device

Another form of surveillance is eavesdropping, typically via a recording device of some sort. A room in your house or workplace could get bugged, meaning a recording device was hidden somewhere on the premises. Through this device, someone could learn your business’s trade secrets or collect other private info you don’t want getting out. 

Thankfully, there are a few ways to tell if a room is bugged. Many spying devices have small LED lights on them, so you may be able to detect them by turning off all the lights and looking around. You can also tell if a room is bugged by listening carefully, as some devices give off a hum, buzz, or clicking sound. 

Finally, you should hire a professional to do a bug sweep, or manually search the premises yourself. You’ll want to check under tables, smoke detectors, furniture, and everywhere else someone could hide a recording device.

Barefoot PI Is Here to Protect Your Privacy

For the last 35+ years, Barefoot Professional Investigations has helped protect the privacy of people throughout North and South Carolina. We perform a wide variety of expert services for people who fear they’re being surveilled, including debugging and other countermeasures. We also offer background checks, computer forensics, child custody investigations, and more.

If you have any questions or are in need of our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can get in touch with our team by calling 704-377-1000 (Charlotte, NC) or 803-973-8999 (Columbia, SC), emailing, or filling out our online form. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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