Phone tapping may sound like something that's only done in the movies, but the practice is actually quite common in real life, and is done frequently by entities like the government. Phone tapping is usually done when someone wants to keep an eye on your conversations, and catch any sensitive information passed between parties, like credit card and social security numbers. If you are worried that your phone may be bugged, there are several signs to look out for.
Listen for volume or tone changes on your phone. This is the most common indicator that your phone has been tapped or bugged by an eavesdropper. You may also hear background clicks, beeping and high static, indicating that your conversations are being recorded.
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Check your outdoor phone box. Visible tampering at the location of the phone box is another reliable sign that your home phone may be bugged. Look for extra wires or lines that are attached to the box. You can also schedule an appointment with your phone company and have a technician check the box for you. The technician will be able to remove any foreign lines or equipment like recording devices connected to your box.
Check lines, outlets and phone sets inside your house. Phone bugging sometimes occurs during a break-in or burglary. Check each phone outlet and phone set inside your house and look for signs like a changed phone line set up, extra extension cords and small equipment pieces attached to your outlets, like transmitters.
Examine your hand-held phone, a common target of eavesdroppers because they are wireless and easy to get into. Take off the battery cover on the back of the phone and look for any strange signs, like extra wiring.
If your phone is being bugged by the government, you may not be able to tell; the phone company may not be able to give you this information if the government is responsible for the phone tap.