How to Determine if a Cell Phone is Bugged

By Contributor

Updated September 28, 2017

If you have been hearing strange noises and weird tapping on your cell phone lately, don't panic. You are probably just a bit paranoid. However a phone bug can be a scary thing and there are ways to determine if you've truly been tapped. Take a look at these tips for pinpointing a pesky eavesdropper.

Monitor your battery. If you are losing unusual amounts of juice or have a dead battery after a five minute call this may be an indication that your phone has been bugged.

Feel the temperature of your cell when it is not in use. A heated phone is normal during use but in periods of down time your phone should be at room temperature. If it is hot after sitting for hours there is cause for concern.

Listen for a constant buzzing. Most cell phones have a low hum while in use but make jumpy, inconsistent noises when hung up. If your phone is making a constant, streamlined buzz sound when you are not on calls you might have a problem.

Check your cell for weird volume changes and scratchy noises. Think of it like the Rice Krispies cereal. If your cell has consistent "snap, crackle and pop," you may be carrying a bug.

Test your cell by removing the battery for 24 hours. By removing the battery, you are cutting off all communication to your phone (hopefully). Replace the battery and watch the phone. There could be a bug if it resumes the strange noises, low battery and heat.

Contact the police. Think carefully before contacting law enforcement. If you decide to go through with this step, most police stations have equipment that can test your phone for a bug.


Think about your recent phone conversations and the information that has been relayed in those discussions. If you begin to notice that people know more than you have disclosed, you may be the victim of a bug.


Remember--the chances are slim that your cell phone is actually bugged. Noises, low battery and heat may be from overuse, bad connections or general interference.