The South Korean National Police Agency’s Cyber Bureau is now investigating four criminals for installing micro-sized hidden cameras in motel rooms across the country, recording the guests’ private activities, and broadcasting the footage live on the internet.
The police reported that the criminals have installed internet protocol cameras in 42 rooms in 30 different accommodations around 10 cities. Over 1,600 guests who have stayed in these rooms have been affected by these hidden cameras. The videos, containing the guests’ private activities, have also been broadcasted live on a website the criminals have set up to share such illegally recorded footages.
Since June of 2018, two of the four criminals began day-renting motel rooms and installing the cameras. The other two would be at a remote location, making sure the cameras are positioned and working correctly.
These cameras used by these criminals were under 1mm (0.04 inches) in size, which allowed them to be installed anywhere which a small opening, from TV control boxes to wall mounted hair dryers.
By November of 2018, the criminals created a foreign server website and began live streaming the videos from the cameras, using wireless internet connection. The website totaled 4,099 users, with 97 of them having paid membership. Between the months of November 2018 to March 2019, the criminals shared 803 videos, making a profit of around 7,000 USD.
Koreans are distraught by how complex these hidden camera crimes are becoming and continue to petition for heavier sentences to penalize such criminal activities.
The police warned all accommodations across the country to be on the lookout for suspicious “small holes” in the rooms. A hidden camera specialist pointed out that these hidden cameras are nearly invisible and can fit almost anywhere, so they are often installed in the least likely places.
The specialist also shared that the best way to prevent being recorded on a hidden camera is to test and block all suspicious holes. Something like a paper clip, a bobby pin, or as simple as a rolled up piece of toilet paper can do the trick. By poking any suspicious holes with pointy objects like a paper clip or a hair pin, the camera lens can fall out of angle or be disconnected or damaged from filming. Simply blocking the hole with toilet paper will also work.
Another trick to detecting any hidden cameras is to use a cellphone camera. The specialist demonstrated how covering up both the camera and the flash with a piece of red cellophane sheet and aiming the flash-on camera at suspicious holes or areas can actually pick up the reflections of the hidden camera lenses.
Watch the full clip on how to spot a hidden camera: