Always Check The Electric Outlet In The Bathroom For Hidden Cameras When You Travel

A hidden camera inside a power outlet in the bathroom of an Airbnb is going viral after a group of girls found it on a birthday trip. They were skeptical when one friend was paranoid about cameras in the home they’d rented, but they eventually searched and found that the camera facing the shower – a shower they’d all used.

According to Airbnb,

We ban hidden cameras, and we are investigating these allegations.

@kennedyallegedly Thank you Tiktok for saving the day #airbnb #stalker #hiddencameras #creepy ♬ original sound – kennedy

No one is going to intentionally stick a camera in a hotel room to catch me in the shower, but the video camera might be there anyway, and it’s really creepy. Cameras are often concealed inside of devices you’d expect to find in a room like a clock radio, a smoke detector, or inside an air conditioning vent.

Here’s what to do:

  • Check around the room for devices near where someone might want to record, such as a bed or shower.

  • Check those devices for a camera by shining a light on them.

  • Look for infrared sensors on devices, more likely in a bedroom than bathroom (since people don’t usually shower in the dark)

  • You can also use a radio frequency detector to check for signals from devices

Here’s advice I’ve offered on finding any devices that may be in your room. Check for plaster near the wall or on furniture, because that could be from pinholes that were drilled. Look for unusual placement of objects (to get just the right angle on you). Look for new paint in areas. And listen for static from the phone (which might mean a radio signal).

I’ve written about a woman suing Hilton for $100 million because an employee videotaped her in the shower and used the tape to blackmail her. There’s even been a subscription website where people paid to watch hotel guests being spied on in their rooms. Airbnb has a problem with hidden cameras in homes placed there by owners, too.

Of course in Japan you can rent a room where you’re only charged $1 because they actually adverise that you’ll be livestreamed on YouTube.

I believe major chain hotels – as a brand standard – should conduct regular sweeps to ensure guest privacy. This would be a nice differentiator from Airbnb (but then again so would daily housekeeping).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. maybe it is just a way to monitor so no one puts strange or unusual fluids (bodily or otherwise) into those large wall-mounted reusable soap/shampoo/conditioner bottles in the showers?

  2. How is this for a novel idea, don’t stay at someone’s house. They have to be a little odd or stupid to rent their house out to hooligans and if you rent from these folks you should not expect any privacy

  3. Just wait until someone gets electrocuted while thinking they found a hidden camera in a hotel room or other rented accommodation and want to try to “prove it”.

    There is always the old tactic of only dressing and undressing while wrapped in a towel, wearing a swimsuit while showering, using the toilet and room in the darkness with a mix of simultaneously running battery-operated strobe lights and running water and white noise makers while was always under a burka (even when on the toilet), living under the bed covers the rest of the time in the room, cutting the electrical power to all wired devices, and running an RF jammer after an RF sweep. Ok, who has time for all of that for each and every trip as an ordinary traveler?

  4. If you are so bored that the only way you can get your kicks is to watch my middle-aged ass parade around the bathroom naked…you have at it. If you are so paranoid that you have sweep spaces before entering you might want to consider staying home.

  5. @hal
    No, if there is no camera, you can safely put your bodily fluid(s) into wall-mounted toiletries and tell Gary that you found them – so he can have his “I told you so” moment

    Ht to @m for the idea

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