“You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)

Air B&B Rentals Have Hidden Cameras

It isn’t easy to constantly think up exciting topics to email you about.  

I read hundreds of articles weekly and select the ones that catch my attention. 

After additional research, I try to summarize what I have learned and then email you.  

Man in a dark blue suite sitting around a bunch of crumpled up paper with light bulbs going off above his head.

Hotel Owners Plant Hidden Cameras In Rooms

So, imagine my surprise when I read the last sentence of an otherwise dull Readers’ Digest article which suggested hotel owners plant hidden cameras in hotel rooms.  

Well…I almost fell off my chair. 

I have financed, managed, and owned hotels and never heard of hotel owners planting hidden cameras in hotel rooms (other than owners who wanted to go to jail for a long time). 

According To Readers Digest

According to Readers Digest, hotel owners want to see what guests are stealing from hotel rooms, and they put in hidden cameras to sleuth out their hangers, robe, and towel thieves.  

Two white robes side by side on wooden handers in a bathroom hanging up.

It simply does not make sense that hotel owners would risk years in prison to capture video of people stealing robes and wooden hangers.  After all, what would they do with the video if they found someone stealing?  Since the video would have been illegally obtained, there is nothing that they can do.    

If you want to read the article, click here.  

Don’t Believe Everything You Read On The Internet

Hotel Rooms Do Not Have Hidden Cameras – But Readers’ Digest Was On To Something – Air B&B Owners Often Bug Their Property

Readers’ Digest was on to something but still blew the story.  

While I am confident that somewhere in the U.S., dishonest hotel operators have bugged their rooms and planted hidden cameras, that is an anomaly I wouldn’t worry about. 

However, it would be best to be careful about Air B&B rentals.  

10% of Air B&B Rentals Have Hidden Cameras

According to multiple news outlets, it turns out that more than 10% of Air B&B rentals have hidden cameras.  

It makes sense that owners would do this, even if it is illegal.  

After all, owners of rental units want to protect their property, and it makes sense that the best way to discover if a renter is causing property damage is to get a live feed of what is taking place in the rental unit.  

Of course, this is massively illegal, but if you are a renter, how would you know that there is a hidden camera in the sitting area, bedroom, or bathroom?  

Readers’ Digest Has The Answer

Anyone With A Smart Phone Can Detect Hidden Cameras – Too Bad It Is A Wrong Answer

Warning and Error messages on a green board.

And that’s where things get really interesting (which is why I am writing about this) and where Readers’ Digest really missed the mark.  

If you want to read their article, click here

I have never before heard of this particular cell phone function!!  And that’s because it doesn’t exist.

Detecting A Hidden Camera Using Only A Cell Phone – It Won’t Work

A cell phone camera can potentially detect certain types of hidden cameras, assuming the cell phone doesn’t have an infrared (“IF”) filter. 

However, all cell phone cameras have IR filters that cannot be disabled.  

Readers’ Digest’s theory is that most hidden cameras emit infrared light.  While humans cannot see infrared light, cell phone cameras should be able to pick out infrared light in a dark room. 

But Readers’ Digest didn’t check cell phone camera specs and apparently didn’t know what cell phone cameras have IR filters (so that the colors of pictures taken are accurate).  

So, in a made-up fantasy universe where cell phone cameras don’t have IR filters, Readers’ Digest’s advice is spot on. 

Unfortunately, we live in a different reality, and their advice is wrong.  

Another Solution Suggested By Readers’ Digest Is Better

There is a program called Fing that you can download to your cell phone, and it will tell you about all devices connected to the wifi network at your Air B&B.  The Fing starter plan is free, and a Fing plan that supposedly finds hidden cameras costs $2.09 per month.  

An internet ad for a network & device blocking app for internet security.

Fing is a network scanning and device discovery app that allows you to monitor and manage devices on your network.  It helps you identify devices connected to your network, detect network vulnerabilities, and perform basic network troubleshooting tasks.

While Fing is a valuable tool for network management, for Fing to work, the hidden cameras must be connected to the wifi network.  

Now, most Air B&B owners that break the law probably connect their hidden cameras to the internet to get a live feed of what’s happening in their unit. 

But that is my speculation, not fact.  

So, while Fing is not a perfect solution, it is a pretty good workaround that I think should work (but am not certain).  

The Ultimate Solution

Purchase A Spy Detector Device On Amazon.  They Cost Less Than $100

Amazon sells multiple devices for less than $100 that purport to find hidden cameras and other devices that an unscrupulous Air B&B owner might have installed.  Below is a screenshot of just a few of the many choices.  All you have to do is search for “spy detector device,” and scores of options will appear.  

Amazon ad for multiple type of hidden camera detection devices.

The devices have pretty good reviews, and customers swear by their results.  I have never used one, but I am considering trying it.  

However, if you purchase one of these devices and properly use it, you should be able to detect hidden cameras wherever you are.  

Again, Don’t Believe Everything You Read On The Internet!!

While Readers’ Digest was on to something, it still got the story wrong and gave terrible advice to its readers.  

Before believing anything you read, including from me, please check it out.  Do your own research.  And, if something sounds too unusual to be true, it probably is false.

Mark Sunshine

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