Thanks to modern technology, many have developed that uneasy feeling of being watched. Pop culture has done nothing but fuel that feeling as well. A lot of films have featured sophisticated surveillance equipment, making us fear for our privacy in real life. While movies may have stretched out the truth behind spy devices, it never really hurts to make sure if such equipment is used on us without our consent.
Tracking devices are the most common and easily accessible form of surveillance. In the United States, the FBI has used this to monitor criminals they are trying to clamp down. But civilians have gone to use these GPS devices to do some tracking on their own. So if you are understandably worried that your vehicle may be bugged, then the first thing you should do is gather your resources. Ask yourself, Who might want to track me? What could be their motive in doing so? Second, be familiar of the laws relating to GPS tracking in your area. Multiple states declare that tracking without consent is illegal, that information alone will be enough for you to press charges in case the situation calls for it.
If you want to do some sleuthing on your own, here are guaranteed ways in determining if there is a GPS device attached to your car:
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1. Inspect the vehicle
Along with a trusted individual who will serve as a witness, do a thorough inspection of the vehicle. You can start by checking the wheel wells, rear axle, and bumper recesses. All these places have hidden nooks and compartments, but they are not enough to completely obscure the device’s vision of the sky. GPS devices need a clear view of the sky in order to receive and transmit satellite signals, and while some are designed to work inside buildings with weak reception, they are less likely to function in completely hidden areas.
Another good thing to note here is that GPS devices are held in place by magnets, so search through metal areas of your car. Do not rule out the dashboard, consoles, or underneath the carpets as well.
2. Consult a lawyer
As mentioned above, it is illegal in some states to use tracking devices. An exception is made for vehicles belonging to a certain person. Remember that states may vary when it comes to GPS laws, so it is best to seek advice from legal counsel first.
3. Use a radio frequency scanner/electronic sweeper
These devices are used to check for the presence of a radio frequency/cellular signal transmission. They immediately alert users of its existence. They generally come in a variety of shapes and size, from small, pen-shaped devices to cassette tape-sized units. Note that you’ll most likely need to completely disconnect your car’s battery to limit noise.
4. Have a professional scan the vehicle for you
Industry professionals may complete the task if you continue to feel unsure about your own findings. Professionals who work in the electronics industry can identify GPS tracking devices that you may have missed. You can also hire a private investigator to check your vehicle for tracking devices.
5. How to deal with a tracking device
Once you have discovered that a tracking device has been planted on your vehicle, it is time to remove it. Nearly all GPS devices planted on a vehicle can be removed without any problem at all. Check that there are no wires attached to the unit and disconnect it. If the device happens to be taped or tied, carefully cut it loose, make sure you don’t damage your car’s wiring. If it is magnetic, simply tug it gently.
If you have done the steps above and still find nothing, chances are you are not being tracked. The best option you have now is to take our advice and contact a professional to help ease out your paranoia.
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