Secret, hidden video cameras have been found in Airbnb bathrooms. Here's how to find them. (2023)

Hidden cameras have been found in vacation rentals, invading guests’ privacy. Find and deactivate them or leave the rental.

Secret, hidden video cameras have been found in Airbnb bathrooms. Here's how to find them. (1)A group of women who booked an Airbnb on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast are warning guests about vacation rental homes after they found hidden cameras in their bathrooms.

They were celebrating the 30th birthday of one of the women last month. One in the group had seen a video on the Internet about hidden cameras in vacation rentals. They looked around and found a camera in each of the two bathrooms in the rental. The cameras were hidden in broken power outlets facing each bathroom’s showers.

Celebrations, family gatherings or quiet weekends can be shattered by hidden cameras spying on guests at vacation rentals or hotels.

The group reported what they found to the local police a few days later. It’s been reported that a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer told the group they found the cameras in the rental house and are continuing to investigate.

There have been other cases. In 2021, guests at a Vrbo Texas ranch rental found a hidden camera in the master bedroom. Local law enforcement said the camera was disguised as a power adapter.

(Video) Hidden camera found in cruise ship bathroom

A woman from Chicago has sued Hilton Worldwide, claiming she was secretly filmed in her room’s bathroom while staying at a Hampton Inn and Suites in Albany, NY. She said that she became aware that she was recorded when a video of her was uploaded to a porn website and she began receiving emails about it.

Even cruise lines aren’t immune from spying on guests in compromising or personal circumstances.

There was an incident reported in March on MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia. According to reports, a male crew member secreted himself in a stall in a restroom on the ship and was using a smartphone to make videos of guests in the stalls beside his.

IPX1031 updated their 2019 survey of Airbnb guests, which said that 58 percent of those surveyed were worried about hidden cameras inside their vacation rentals, and 11 percent said they found a hidden camera in the Airbnb in which they stayed. The 2023 survey update showed similar results.

Airbnbs, like hotels, are strictly prohibited from concealing recording devices such as video cameras on their properties.

The hidden cameras that Airbnb renters have found in bathrooms and bedrooms contradict Airbnb privacy rules for security devices.

Airbnb states,

“Intentionally concealed recording devices (such as hidden security cameras) are never permitted.”

In other words, no matter where they are, hidden security cameras or any concealed recording devices (video or audio) aren’t permitted at an Airbnb property, whether in a bedroom, bathroom or common area such as a living room or dining room.

(Video) Hidden cameras found inside bathroom outlets at B.C. Airbnb | Airbnb hidden camera

Airbnb has other specific rules about video cameras in Airbnb properties to preserve guest privacy.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to officials from hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt about privacy and security. Each has similar rules about security cameras and other recording devices in their guest rooms.

I haven’t been generally concerned about hidden cameras in hotels, but recently, with stories of hidden cameras in the news, I do at least a cursory check of any lodging in which I’m a guest, especially checking the bedroom area and bathrooms.

I have a nine-step process that you can use to hunt out and find hidden cameras.

Here are nine steps that you can use to hunt for hidden cameras:

1. Check for lights:
Many video cameras have small LED indicator lights on them to let users know they’re on and operating. Darken the rooms in which you’re looking for a camera by turning off the lights and closing the blinds. Then scan around for anything in the room that’s still emitting light. If you see a light, inspect its source carefully.

2. Check for reflections:
While the room is still dark, shine a flashlight all over each room. Look for small reflections of the flashlight. The reflections can be colored if the camera lens has been optically coated. The reflection could be white, blue, purple or green. If you see a small reflection, inspect its source carefully.

3. Scan for infrared light:
Many hidden cameras emit infrared (IR) light while they’re in use. IR light is invisible to the naked eye, but many smartphones’ main cameras can detect it. If your smartphone is IR capable, with your room still dark, scan it with your smartphone’s camera to see if it detects purple or white light on its screen that you can’t otherwise see. If it’s there, search for the camera. Using a typical TV remote, you can test your smartphone to determine if it’s IR-capable. Please take a photo of it when you activate its signal with one of its buttons, like in the image above.

4. Check for suspicious items:
Once you turn the lights in the room back on and open any blinds, walk your rooms and look for anything that appears suspicious, out of place or something that shouldn’t be in the room. Pay particular attention to clocks, smoke detectors, wall decorations, USB chargers, and clock radios. They’re known to have been used to secret video cameras.

(Video) British Columbia women find hidden cameras inside Airbnb's bathroom

5. Check all mirrors:
Next, check to see if any mirrors in the room are two-way. They can hide a video camera behind them. Place the tip of a finger on the surface of the mirror. Look at the gap between your fingertip and its reflection. If there’s a visible gap between them, it’s a real mirror. If your fingertip and its reflection touch tip to tip, it may be a two-way mirror.

6. Scan the local WiFi network:
Download a network scanning app to your smartphone. Connect to the local WiFi network, then see if any device names are listed on the scan that you don’t recognize or are suspicious. If you see one, try to find the device to determine what it is.

7. Listen for interference on phones:
Some hidden cameras emit radio waves that can cause annoying sounds when you make a cellphone or cordless phone call. Call someone and walk all over your rooms to listen for interference. If you hear any, look for a hidden camera near where you heard interference.

8. Use a hidden camera detector app:
Most smartphone detector apps aren’t free. Many have a monthly charge, but they can give you a leg up as they typically use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth scanning, and infrared detection to find a camera in your room(s).

9. Use a hidden camera detector:
There are many hidden camera detector devices available for purchase. Prices for the devices run from about $20 to more than $1,000. According to the model, they use multiple scanning methods to detect hidden cameras.

I don’t know if purchasing an expensive hidden camera detector or an inexpensive one will work. If you’re worried about your Airbnb or hotel room, using the first seven methods I’ve listed above has a solid chance of finding a hidden camera, if there is one. While each person has to decide if they’re concerned about hidden cameras, when I get to my hotel room, I typically check the room for bedbugs first and often, at least for the bathroom, look next for signs of a hidden camera. There are too many crazy people these days to ignore them.

(Image: Successful iPhone camera test to determine if it can photograph infrared light. Copyright © 2023 NSL Photography. All Rights Reserved.)

(Video) More victims come forward after man hid camera in AirBnB

Travelers United $1 a week: Fly Rights App, Secure WiFi, Password Manager
Resort fees may end deception at Marriott this month

Secret, hidden video cameras have been found in Airbnb bathrooms. Here's how to find them. (4)

Ned S. Levi

After many years working in corporate America as a chemical engineer, executive and eventually CFO of a multinational manufacturer, Ned founded a tech consulting company and later restarted NSL Photography, his photography business. Before entering the corporate world, Ned worked as a Public Health Engineer for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. As a well known corporate, travel and wildlife photographer, Ned travels the world writing about travel and photography, as well as running photography workshops, seminars and photowalks. Visit Ned’s Photography Blog and Galleries.

(Video) Hidden camera found in BC Airbnb bathroom prompts warning for renters


Secret, hidden video cameras have been found in Airbnb bathrooms. Here's how to find them.? ›

According to Airbnb, hidden security cameras are not permitted, especially if they are intentionally concealed, but they are allowed if you follow the platform's policies on location and how to disclose them. For example, cameras are not permitted in private spaces such as sleeping areas and bathrooms.

Are there really hidden cameras in Airbnbs? ›

According to Airbnb, hidden security cameras are not permitted, especially if they are intentionally concealed, but they are allowed if you follow the platform's policies on location and how to disclose them. For example, cameras are not permitted in private spaces such as sleeping areas and bathrooms.

What app detects hidden cameras Airbnb? ›

Free app for hidden camera detection

Fing is the expert in device Intelligence because our accuracy of device detection and recognition is second to none. Over 100 million users recommended Fing as a tool of choice for detecting Airbnb hidden cameras by CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable and Fast Company.

Can you detect hidden cameras with cell phone? ›

Some hidden cameras emit radio frequency (RF) signals, which can be picked up by an RF detector app on your phone. These apps can detect the presence of hidden cameras by identifying the RF signals emitted by the camera. Some popular RF detector apps include RF Detector, Fing Hidden Camera Detector, and Glint Finder.

Is there an app that can detect hidden cameras? ›

Hidden Camera Finder is a security app that helps you detect and locate hidden cameras in your home, office, or any other location. With this app, you can scan for hidden cameras using your smartphone's camera and identify their location with the help of augmented reality (AR) markers.

How do I find hidden cameras listening devices? ›

Download a Smartphone App

Some of the best apps for detecting hidden cameras and microphones include Hidden Camera Detector Free for Android and Hidden Spy Camera Detector for Apple. Most apps scan the area using an infrared scanner and/or visible light emitters.

How often are hidden cameras found in Airbnbs? ›

Indoor cameras in Airbnb accommodations

Nearly one in three Airbnbs with cameras record guests while they are inside of the residence. These cameras film guests while they are dining or watching television in the living room, for example. In addition, some Airbnbs contain multiple cameras (36.5%).

Can you sue Airbnb host for hidden cameras? ›

Can I Sue an Airbnb or Vrbo Host for Secretly Recording or Injuring Me? Civil lawsuits for damages may be filed against Airbnb/Vrbo hosts and/or the respective company directly depending on the circumstances of your incident.

Do airbnbs have cameras in bathroom? ›

Airbnb doesn't prohibit cameras in rooms like living rooms and kitchens. ¹ But it does prohibit hidden cameras and cameras used in more private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms. Here's how to see if your Airbnb, or another rental like VRBO, has hidden video cameras.

Can Airbnb put cameras in bathrooms? ›

Airbnb prohibits security cameras or recording devices that are in or that observe private spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, or sleeping areas. You must indicate the presence of all security cameras or other recording devices in or around a listing, even if they're not turned on or hooked up.

Why do people put hidden cameras in Airbnb? ›

As an Airbnb host, video surveillance may also help you identify if your guests are trying to sneak in more people than they have paid for. Having video surveillance can also be a crime deterrent. Most folks will think twice about committing a crime if they know they are on camera.

How do I block hidden cameras? ›

A camera jammer is a device that disables spy and security cameras based on wireless LAN, wireless video, and Bluetooth bands. It is an excellent way to block spy cameras from recording things on your property and maintain your privacy. It can block signals across a frequency range covered by the jammer.

Do smart TVs have hidden cameras? ›

Yes, some smart TVs have built-in cameras, but it depends on the model of the TV. If your smart TV has a camera, it will be listed in the owner's manual — you don't need to worry about covert cameras concealed in your device. If your TV offers facial recognition or video chat, then yes, your smart TV has a camera.

How to find a spy camera in a hotel room? ›

Use a flashlight

Many modern cameras have a lens that will reflect bright light. So, turn off the lights in the room and then turn on your flashlight. Move the flashlight slowly around the room, focusing specifically on areas where you suspect a camera may likely be hidden.

How to find a spy camera in a hotel? ›

What is the best way to find hidden cameras?
  1. Conduct a physical.
  2. Use your mobile phone camera.
  3. Use your phone's flashlight.
  4. Purchase a spy camera device.
  5. Keep suspicious devices covered in your room.
  6. Install an app to scan the recording equipment.
Oct 27, 2022

What is the best app to detect hidden devices? ›

10 apps for Android and iPhone to help you find hidden camera
  • 310. ...
  • 410. ...
  • 510. ...
  • 610. ​No hidden - spy camera finder (Android) ...
  • 710. ​Hidden spy camera detector (Android) ...
  • 810. ​Camera Detector: Find Spy Cam (Apple iOS) ...
  • 910. ​Hidden Pinhole Camera Detector (Apple iOS) ...
  • 1010. ​Hidden Camera & Device Finder (Apple iOS)
Nov 1, 2022

How do I block listening devices? ›

Open the Settings app on your phone. Then, scroll down and tap Account Services. Tap Search, Assistant & Voice. Then, tap Google Assistant.
  1. Open the Settings app. ...
  2. Locate the menu labeled Microphone and tap it.
  3. Find Google Assistant in the list of apps and toggle the green switch to the off position.
Apr 1, 2023

How do I find a hidden microphone? ›

Apps To Detect Hidden Microphone In Your Home
  1. Conducting a physical search for surveillance equipment.
  2. Searching for electrical and RF signals using a hidden microphone detector app.

Is there an app that can detect listening devices? ›

Android users have the app Detectify.

Detectify also says it can detect infrared spy cams. The app is free for android.

Can Airbnb host come in unannounced? ›

What we don't allow. Physical intrusions: Hosts, guests, and those affiliated with them or working on their behalf must not access or attempt to access any private spaces without prior permission.

How do you install a hidden camera in a room? ›

Connect your new hidden camera to a computer using its USB cable and the computer's USB port. If the cable is too short, attach it to a USB extender. Install the webcam spy software of your choice and check to see if your camera is working. Test your camera by waving your hand in front of it.

Can Airbnb hosts watch you on cameras? ›

To help provide Hosts and guests with peace of mind, security measures like security cameras and noise monitoring devices are allowed, as long as they are clearly disclosed in the listing description and don't infringe on another person's privacy.

Can an Airbnb guest sue you? ›

One of the greatest risks is that guests will sue you because they're injured, they become ill or their property is damaged in your home. Despite taking every precaution to make your home safe, you can't predict everything. And even if a lawsuit is baseless, defending yourself can be expensive and time-consuming.

How can I find hidden cameras using Wi-Fi? ›

Scan the Wi-Fi Network

Scanning the local Wi-Fi network for a hidden camera works only if it's wireless and is on the same network as you. This means you only have a partial chance of detecting a spy cam this way, but it's worth a shot. You need to install a network scanner app for this method to work.

How can you tell if there are hidden cameras in a hotel room? ›

Use a flashlight

Many modern cameras have a lens that will reflect bright light. So, turn off the lights in the room and then turn on your flashlight. Move the flashlight slowly around the room, focusing specifically on areas where you suspect a camera may likely be hidden.

Can Airbnb host videotape you? ›

Intentionally concealed recording devices (such as hidden security cameras) are never permitted. Airbnb prohibits security cameras or recording devices that are in or that observe private spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, or sleeping areas.

Does Airbnb sue guests? ›

Yes, Airbnb hosts can sue guests if they feel they have been wronged. Airbnb hosts can file a suit in small claims court if they feel the guest has caused damage to their property or has violated the terms of the rental agreement.

Are hidden cameras WiFi or Bluetooth? ›

Some hidden cameras broadcast live video to the person who placed them. These cameras can operate either by wi-fi or Bluetooth. Both methods of transmitting video use radio waves.

How do you tell if a smoke detector is a hidden camera? ›

The lens of the hidden camera is similar to the lens of the mobile phone. You can turn on the bright lights in the room and spot the light from your mobile on the smoke detector. If there is a small camera present in the smoke detector, you will be able to see the lens as a tiny dot in black color.

Can iphones detect hidden cameras? ›

If there is a bright, white light on your phone's camera app, you may rummage through the place further. Some spy cameras use infrared lights, which your eyes may not see. But your iPhone camera can catch that infrared light. The famous example of infrared light is the one that you find on a TV remote.


1. How to find a hidden camera in an Airbnb
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5. Investigation Discovers Some Hotel Rooms Have Hidden Cameras Installed
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6. Rossen Reports: How To Spot Hidden Cameras In Hotels, Vacation Rentals | TODAY
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