Camera technology is getting smaller and smaller, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Police and detectives use these small cameras to record and catch criminals all the time. On the flip side, these new, smaller cameras also mean that creeps are finding new ways to secretly record people.
You have to be extra careful if you're in an Airbnb or rented home. We could have never imagined people would find hidden cameras in coffee cups, pen holders, screws, and wall outlets, but here we are. Prepare to be creeped out.
In A Water Bottle
Portable cameras like this one are great for detectives.
You generally don't see your average, everyday creep walking around with a spy camera like this one, although they could easily use something like this if they wanted to.
In A Smoke Detector
These people were staying in an Airbnb when they saw something suspicious on the ceiling.
They took down the smoke detector and discovered that there was a hidden camera inside.
In A Motion Sensor
Twitter user @textfiles posted this photo online along with the caption: "In 'oh, that's a thing now' news, a colleague of mine thought it odd that there was a single 'motion detector' in his Airbnb in the bedroom and voila, it's an IP camera connected to the web.
(He left at 3am, reported, host is suspended, colleague got a refund.)"
In A Notebook
This person found a hidden camera inside a notebook. This one isn't all that hidden, so it's probably good for detectives on the go.
This is something that a detective could easily carry around with them without raising suspicion.
In A Wall Clock
Can you spot the camera hidden in this wall clock?
Look really closely. It's at the bottom of the clock in the rim under the "6." That's really quite scary.
In A Wall Outlet
Wall outlets are perfect for hiding cameras. You can tuck all of the wires into the wall and nobody ever inspects wall outlets all that closely.
Now we're all going to be looking at our outlets twice.
In A Phone Charger
This person was staying in an Airbnb when they found a hidden camera disguised as a phone charger.
He reported the camera to the police, but the police couldn't do much about it.
In A Flash Drive
This device looks like it could be used by detectives or by your garden variety creeps. It's either useful or awful.
That's kind of how spy devices work. This does look pretty sleek.
In A Coffee Cup
We've seen detectives use devices like this one on TV shows all the time.
It turns out, detectives use these coffee cup cameras in real life too. It's pretty cool.
Another Camera In A Smoke Detector
This smoke detector doesn't actually work as a smoke detector.
Inside, there is a hidden night vision HD camera and a DVR. Apparently, you can pack a lot of equipment in there.
In A Sprinkler
These sprinklers are supposed to keep us safe, but in this case, we're not even sure if this sprinkler has the ability to spray water.
It definitely has a camera in it.
Another Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors seem to be the perfect place for hiding little cameras.
Basically, you should always be checking the smoke detector whenever you get into a hotel or an Airbnb.
In A Digital Clock
This person found a hidden camera tucked away in a digital alarm clock in their Airbnb.
This one isn't even trying to hide. It's just out here in plain sight.
In A Pen Holder
This pen holder has a hidden camera in it. It's not that big circle in the middle, but it's in the little green sticker at the bottom.
That's super sneaky.
In A USB Charger
This Reddit user posted this photo online along with the caption, "Found this camera disguised as a USB charger in the woman's bathroom at the Starbucks I work at.
It was plugged in directly across from the toilet. Please keep an eye out!"
Found In An Airbnb
This husband and father found a hidden camera in the Airbnb he and his family were staying in.
They all posed for this picture and then reported the camera to the authorities.
Another Digital Clock
People love to hide cameras in digital clocks, apparently.
Here's another device that you should always inspect for cameras whenever you check into a new rental place, hotel, or Airbnb.
In An Air Freshener
This one seems especially nefarious. Air fresheners are supposed to smell wonderful, they're not supposed to smell fishy.
Something definitely smells fishy about this one. Can you see the camera in it?
In A Bottle Of Body Wash
This one is particularly scary because you just know that somebody is hiding this one in a shower.
Let's just hope that whoever set this camera up gets punished appropriately.
In A Screw Head
How have cameras gotten so small that they can fit inside the head of a screw? This isn't actually a screw at all. It just looks like one.
There's nothing behind the screw head but wires.
Behind The Screw Head
This is what is actually going on behind that screw head.
It's connected to a bunch of wires and cables that can transmit visual and audio data. It's actually kind of impressive.
In A European Socket
It seems like people in Europe have as much trouble with hidden cameras in their electrical sockets as we have here in North America.
Can you spot the hidden camera in this photo?
How To Spot A Hidden Camera
Review the photos of your Airbnb or rental property very carefully. Read the reviews and the description of the property to make sure there isn't anything fishy going on.
Technically, Airbnb owners have to disclose if there's a camera on the property.
Get To Know What Hidden Cameras Look Like
Now that you've seen some of the places where cameras can be hidden, you're better equipped to know what to look for when you get into a new Airbnb.
Don't forget to check the smoke detector.
Ask About Cameras
Always ask your Airbnb host if there are any cameras on the property.
It's even better if you can ask the host in person because it's harder to lie to someone when they're standing in front of you.
Search The Property
Do a full sweep of the property when you check in to make sure that there aren't any cameras lurking in hard-to-see places.
Use a flashlight to check for any reflective surfaces.
Use An App
There are a lot of apps available that can help you detect hidden cameras. These apps will find any cameras that may be connected to the Airbnb's wifi network.
It doesn't work for cameras that aren't connected to wifi, though.
Use A Handheld Camera Detector
To find cameras without wifi capabilities, you can use a hidden camera finding device that detects radio frequencies that some cameras emit.
You can find these handheld devices on Amazon.
Use Your Phone At Night
A lot of hidden cameras start recording at night. Turn all of the lights off and then use the camera on your phone to scan the room.
Your camera may pick up tiny flickering lights that you can't see with your eyes.
Young Woman Shares Her Scary Experience Of Finding A Tracker In Her Purse After A Night Out
Sheridan Ellis is the young woman pictured above on left, smiling alongside her mother in a photo shared on Instagram.
Recently, Sheridan posted a video on TikTok that quickly went viral and racked up over one million views and 2,800+ comments.
Sheridan Has A "Quick Story Time/PSA" That Starts With Going Out For Dinner With Friends
The video begins with her saying "quick storytime/PSA" before she describes an experience she had over the weekend.
"This weekend, on Saturday, I went to dinner with a group of friends for this girl's birthday." So far, the story is normal enoug
She Doesn't Usually Carry A Purse, But She Needed To That Night
Sheridan explains: "If you know me, I don't normally carry a purse, but on Saturday I did because we had decorations and stuff for the table."
She continues "At the end of the night, I'm cleaning my purse out, and I find this."
She Found A Bluetooth Tracking Device In Her Purse
She holds up a small white plastic square that most smartphone users can immediately recognize as a Tile Tracker.
Clarifying, she says, "If you don't know what this is, it's a Tile. It's basically a tracker."
The Tile Tracker Is Advertised As "The Easiest Way To Find Your Things"
The Tile is currently the best-selling Bluetooth tracker on the market, designed to work in sync with your mobile device to offer location tracking using a small Tile chip and an app on your phone.
The Tile is advertised as "the easiest way to find your things," and is intended to be attached to house keys, backpacks, wallets, remotes, and basically anything else you can lose.
She Immediately Took The Battery Out To Disable It
Sheridan's video continues as she nervously says: "It's not mine, I don't know how it got in my purse."
She also lets people know, "I immediately took the battery out, don't worry." This means that whoever owned the tracker would no longer be able to connect to it.
"Check Your Purses And Stay Safe Out There"
Her short clip ends with her saying: "So, check your purses and stay safe out there."
People in her comments section immediately began discussing their theories, sharing similar experiences, and thanking her for bringing awareness to the risk.
People Loved The Idea Of Setting Up A Sting Operation
Some people suggested using the tracker to "lure" the owner to a location so they could be brought to justice. Others pointed out how dangerous the situation could have been if she hadn't found the Tile.
TikTok user Kiley said: "The police can definitely find out who purchased that and who downloaded the app and registered it."
Would The Tile Actually Track Her Location?
People in the comments section fought back and forth about whether the Tile would have the capacity to actually transmit her location to the owner of the tracker.
One TikTok user writes: "Even if it didn't work, the fact that someone tried is very scary."
"We've Used Them To Track Things Down Hundreds Of Miles Away"
According to TheTileApp.com, when a person is outside of Bluetooth range, they are able to view the Tile's "most recent location."
However, you can also "enlist the secure and anonymous help of the Tile Network to aid in your search" which is why some commenters said she had every right to be on high alert.
Most Users Were Thankful Sheridan Was Safe And Sharing Her Warning
One mom commented that she was thankful to have found the warning but fearful for all the things she has to worry about when it comes to raising her daughters.
Another user encouraged Sheridan to go to the police. Especially because there may be other potential victims.