To check for phone taps, observe keenly for phone tap symptoms such as low voice, abnormal rings and disturbing hisses. Although difficult, you have some respite in following a few steps:
Carefully Inspect Every Inch of Phone Wire in your Home: Look for phone tap equipment on the phone line like coil taps or induction coils.
Open up the “restricted” Side of the Box and check in there: Receiver, underside of the box is the places where tapping instruments are placed for their insusceptibility. It might spring a surprise or two.
Some of the more advanced Taps can be very small and easily fit inside a phone so that detection is all the more difficult. You have to have a surgeon’s eye to detect them. Alternately, you can use a watchmaker’s glass, too.
Are My Telephone Lines Being Unofficially Tapped?
Check for phone taps, you could be possibly a victim of an unofficial covert surveillance. With modern devices and digital exchanges, a cell phone tap is not unusual these days. However, a phone tap detector lags behind the ever updating phone tap equipment, unfortunately making detection of phone taps inconclusive.
Further what you can make out from these devices is drop in the communication quality due to diversion of signals due to drop in voltage, sounds of phone being lifted or being disconnected and the like:
• Direct Line Taps: Direct line taps require physical connection to the lines near the phone. Now some phone tap symptoms show up in the form of line disturbances and weakening of signal strength due to direct division between the tap and the phone. The other method is to place an induction coil behind or inside the receiver. Induction coil taps are classified under direct taps and these do not share voltage unlike physically intercepted line taps. Induction taps get exposed when they run out of battery.
• Radio Taps: While you check for phone taps, you can accidentally discover a radio tap fitted onto your phone. These bugs are not generally used by the states. They can be fitted on the phone or on the line outside the home. They operate within the 30-300GHz range and get energized by the line being tapped. A good make has a capability of transmitting up to 10 KMs but ordinarily, they work within 1-3 KMs only. The below ordinary radio tap gets exposed due to abnormal sounding disturbances they cause.
• Recording the Conversation: US Federal Laws and many state laws don’t prohibit telephone conversation recording as illegal. Many parties record their conversation for training their staff or proving what has been said by the other party. Where prohibited, like in California, all parties must consent to recording the conversation. Devices used are ‘coil taps’ and ‘in-line-tap with a recording output’. Of late, recordings are done by computers connected to telephones.
Some Devices used to Detect Phone Tap
Most manufacturers claim listening and recording clarity to their tapping devices. But the truth is subjective. A transmitter which can be concealed within the phone socket can’t be detected, including the operation. It has FM modulated circuit with a frequency of 433 MHz. No antenna, no battery required and is priced $350. It can transmit up to a distance of 1500 ft. Model: OR-COM 150.
Another wiretapping device fits into wall socket and connects by clips. Use an FM radio to listen to conversation. Manufacturer claims ‘no distance limit’ and sells for $1,580. Model: AU 488 Tele-Bug. Used for any surveillance including cell phone tap.
Finding whether your phone is tapped is not hard if check for phone taps at least occasionally.