When analog cellular phones first came out, they were vulnerable to cloning and other hacks. While digital cell phones have largely eliminated this invasion of privacy, your cell phone can still be tapped, with unauthorized individuals or groups listening in to your phone conversations.
Here are ways to detect a cell phone tap:
- Feel your handset after a period when you haven’t used it. If your unit feels warm even if you haven’t used it, this is a sign that it has been active, possibly from sending to or receiving signals from the phone tapper.
- Study your battery’s rate of drainage. If you notice that you need to charge your phone more often than before, it may also be an indication that tapping activity has been draining energy from the battery without your knowledge. To eliminate the possibility that your battery is nearing its expiration date, replace it with a fresh battery. If the drainage rate is still significantly faster, then it’s most likely from tapping.
- Listen to the receiver while the handset is on standby. If the unit continues to make noises such as static or hums even when not in use, then it could be that it is sending signals to the tapper.
- Share false information over the phone. This is based on a clever counterintelligence technique used by spy agencies to root out moles and double agents. Talk to someone you trust using the unit and share something controversial about you that is completely untrue. If you overhear others talking about that misinformation, then someone has tapped your phone and unknowingly shared that misinformation. You can even narrow the range of suspects by studying which group of associates is dispersing the information (e.g. your workmates, your friends, your neighbors, etc.). One member of this group will definitely be the tapper or linked to him.
- Listen for background noises during a conversation. If you hear static, volume fluctuations, popping, radio station broadcast, scratching or other strange noises while talking to someone over the phone, it could the result of interference caused by tapping.
- Look for strange phone behavior. If your phone display lights up even when you’re not using it, takes an unusually long time to shut down, rings and shows an unfamiliar number without anyone answering or indicates any other activity while in standby, it could be a side effect from tapping. A higher than expected cell phone bill at the end of the month may also point to unwarranted phone activity.
- Use a phone tap detector. You may use a hobby detector, but this simple device may give out false positives, especially from misuse. You can have your phone professional detected, instead.
If you suspect that your phone is tapped, you can take steps to combat it. Take out the battery when not in use so that individuals cannot listen in even when your phone is only on standby, or use a cell phone jammer to block cell phone signals around your vicinity.