How to Detect Phone Tapping

By Stephen Lilley

If your phone is "tapped," a third party is listening in on your private conversations. This is normally done through alterations to the phone line (either inside the home or outside) or by placing a small device inside the receiver or the phone itself. Because phone tapping is often used by the authorities to gain sensitive information, tapping devices are usually well concealed and hard to spot. But it can be easy to find a phone tap if you know what to look for.

Things You'll Need

  • Phone

Step 1

Consider whether there's a reason for someone to tap your phone. Are you engaged in activities that the police or some other law enforcement agency may want to know about by listening to your calls? Is somebody around you exceptionally intrusive and annoying? Are you a celebrity?

Step 2

Look closely at the cord that connects your phone's receiver to the base, and then at the cord connecting the base to the wall phone jack in your home. Look over every inch of these two cords for anything that shouldn't be there. Most phone taps literally tap into the line by using small coils.

Step 3

Listen to the quality of your phone calls. If you hear an unusual amount of static or hissing noises, or the volume drops in and out, there could be a tapping device on your phone line. Listening to these disturbances is a key way to check for taps, given the way a tap will split and then transmit a phone signal.

Step 4

Unplug your phone from the phone line and remove the cover on both the phone and the base. These are prime places to put tapping equipment because they are so rarely accessed. Check for any small pieces of equipment that look as if they shouldn't be there or that you know shouldn't be there because they weren't present the last time you checked. Type your phone's model number into a search engine on the Internet and look for a design schematic. Compare the components listed in the schematic to what is present in your phone to check for any suspicious additions.