Hidden cameras could be in hotels, room rental
A group of friends staying at an Airbnb in Vancouver found a hidden camera pointed at the shower, prompting them to post a video of the situation on TikTok warning others.
The video, which has been viewed more than 6 million times, had many asking questions about how to find hidden cameras and what to do if they find any.
Tech expert Carmi Levy shares his tips for making sure you’re not being spied on in your vacation rental.
“(This is) incredibly disturbing,” Levy told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday. “Who wants to imagine that you rent something on Airbnb or VRBO and then you find out that they put a hidden camera? It is the worst kind of privacy violation you can imagine.”
The group of friends from Vancouver shared their discovery in a TikTok video, showing how they uncovered a camera, hidden in a bathroom light socket, pointing toward the shower.
Levy says, when arriving at a vacation rental, it’s wise to conduct an initial scan for anything “out of place.”
“On a bookshelf, (if) there are slight gaps where there shouldn’t be, look for things that are installed that may be installed a little bit off, a smoke detector that maybe has some damage around it because they installed it wrongly… electrical outlets, USB ports,” Levy said.
Other items to check include power strips, plug-in air fresheners and night lights.
“If you can turn the lights off, and then use your flashlight, just flash it around the room,” he said. “Sometimes the camera itself will reflect a little bit of light, or there might even be an LED on the camera that you’ll only see if the lights are off.”
Levy also suggests checking the WiFi networks because a wireless camera will show up as its own device.
If there is a hidden camera, Levy says police should be contacted immediately.
“Identify as much information as you can, look for its power source and pull that power. So at least you can stay there without worrying that you’re going to be compromised for the rest of your visit,” he said. “Then contact with law enforcement, let them know, because this obviously is a crime.”
Guests should then contact the platform they organized their stay at which have policies to deal with the behaviour. In the case of the group from Vancouver, Airbnb took down the room listing, refunded the stay, and is investigating further.
“This is one of the most difficult loops to close and it’s one of the most frustrating things about this kind of crime,” Levy said. “There just is no way to know if it’s out there and as a result, it’s incredibly frightening because it kind of lingers with you for years afterward.”
To hear the full interview click the video at the top of this article.
@kennedyallegedly Thank you Tiktok for saving the day #airbnb #stalker #hiddencameras #creepy ♬ original sound – kennedy