There could be hidden cameras in your Airbnb
And here’s how you can spot them
Dec 6, 2017
Airbnb is still a fairly new concept for most Filipinos, although it’s not that difficult to grasp. It’s similar to booking a hotel room except you’re booking somebody else’s home or condo unit instead. You meet the host, discuss house rules, and enjoy your stay.
However, this viral tweet might sway your plans on booking a place for the holidays. Apparently, people keep finding hidden cameras in their Airbnbs.
A man named Jason Scott tweeted a photo of a single motion detector which had a tiny hidden camera attached to it.
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 refund.) pic.twitter.com/6KgkDmEZXB
— Jason Scott (@textfiles) November 28, 2017
But that wasn’t the only case.
Last October, a man from Florida was arrested (but later released on bail) and charged with one count of “video voyeurism” when a married couple reported that they found a hidden camera stashed inside a smoke detector in the master’s bedroom. According to a statement, Airbnb has since suspended and ‘banned’ those who put up hidden cameras in their homes.
We’re not discouraging you from booking an Airbnb (it’s still cheaper and more convenient for some), but here are a few tips on how you can spot hidden cameras just in case:
Be vigilant and take a look around
Consider this an SOP as soon as you enter the room. Look for tiny holes (where you suspect a camera could be), check common room items like mirrors, light bulbs, smoke detectors, and even house plants. Don’t forget to check the bathrooms, bedrooms, and closets, too.
Do the mirror test
You’ve seen this in the movies, who says it can’t happen in real life? To check if the mirror is two-way, you can always do the fingernail technique. Put a fingernail up against the glass. In a normal mirror, you wouldn’t reach your finger in the reflection. But if you do, chances are that it’s a two-way mirror and someone could be on the other side.
Put your phone’s flashlight to good use
This technique is 92 to 95 percent accurate, but you can still try it nonetheless. Turn all the lights off and turn your phone’s flashlight on. Scan every inch of the room with the light—any camera lenses will reflect it right back.
Photos courtesy of Unsplash