Archive for the ‘Bug Sweeping – TSCM’ Category

NYC TSCM – The 5 Types of “Bugs” Listening To You

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

TSCM (technical surveillance counter-measures) is the process of locating eavesdropping devices within in area.
While providing NYC TSCM services, we are wary of five primary categories of “Bugs”: Acoustic, Ultrasonic, RF, Optical and Hybrid. Each type has its purpose and optimum environment. Below, the 5 types are listed with some information on how they’re used and what they are.


The most primitive is without the use of electronics, such as, placing a glass or rubber tube into an area directly intercepting the communication with the naked ear. This also applies to soft spots, such as around windows, vents, power outlets, all where sounds leak through.


A technique used to convert the sound into an audio signal above the human range of hearing. The signal is intercepted and converted back to audio.

RF (Radio Frequency)

Most commonly used and known device. It’s a radio transmitter placed in a device or in an area. This is what you typically think of when thinking about bug sweeping.

Optical Bug

This type of bug is rarely used and expensive. It converts sound or data into an optical beam of light, such as a passive laser listening device.


Any of the above mentioned devices can be combined to make a hybrid listening/eavesdropping device.

It takes a person trained in TSCM (technical surveillance counter-measures) to know what to look for and identify the different bugs. As a private investigation company, Gold Shield Elite Investigations regularly sweeps for listening
devices in NYC.

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Being bugged? 8 Signs To Look For

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Who would bug my NYC office /home? Even though it is illegal to do so, you would be surprised how often it occurs. Bugs and wiretaps are regularly used to spy on people involved in a divorce, businesses with sensitive or secretive information, custody disputes, litigation just to name a few.

Eavesdropping Device Warning Signs To Look For

1. Others know your confidential business.

When others know things that are usually private, then it is reasonable to suspect technical eavesdropping or bugging. Often the loss of your secrets is very subtle.

2. You have noticed strange sounds on your phone line.

This can be simply experiencing a flaw on the line, but it should be checked out.  Amateur eavesdropper can commonly cause this when they attach a wiretap, or activate a listening device. Professional eavesdroppers use equipment that usually does not make such noises.

3. You have noticed static or scratching sounds on your phone.

This occurs when there are two conductors on a line, such as a bug and a wiretap.
Usually a poorly trained amateur is playing on your phone line. It could also mean trouble on your phone line or equipment. It should be evaluated.

4. Your car radio suddenly gets interference.

There are different ways in which bugs are hidden in vehicles. Bear in mind that the antenna your car uses can be compromised by an eavesdropper and may interfere with radio reception.

5. You have been the victim of a burglary and nothing was taken.

Eavesdroppers often break into a targets home or office and in most cases leave little or no evidence that a break in has occurred. But you get that sense that something isn’t right, such as furniture that was slightly moved, dry-wall dust or debris on floor next to a wall, electrical wall plates slightly jarred. These are all signs that Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) may be necessary to evaluate your privacy.

6. A dime-sized discoloration has suddenly appeared on the wall.

This is a tell tale sign that a pinhole microphone or small covert camera might have been installed.

7. Utility workers show up at your home or office unannounced.

A ruse used to fake a utility problem and while working on the “problem”, they install eavesdropping devices.

8. A small bump or deformation has appeared on a vinyl baseboard.

An indicator that someone may have concealed wiring behind the baseboard.

In the end…

Wiretaps, “bugs”, eavesdropping devices, etc. aren’t just in the movies. Nor are they used solely by authorized government agencies that have explicit permission. These devices are used by unscrupulous parties in homes, cars, offices, research facilities, and more.

How common are they? That’s an interesting question, you see. The problem is that it’s unknown how many bugs go undetected for every device that is actually found.

Take a look at our own Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM).

If you suspect you have been bugged, call us immediately from your cell phone. Do not use your home or office phone.

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