Ambush!You’ve all seen the movies, but truth be told, actual real-life situations beat out most all of the movies.

Take for instance the situation a recent call brought to International Investigators. The caller was a professional woman in her 40s who we’ll call Mary – and she was beside herself. Mary had received a call from a friend on the other side of the country telling Mary that she’d been featured in an online porn movie.

Mary was VERY certain she had never participated in the production of a porn film and she couldn’t hardly believe there was any truth to it. So her friend sent her the link via email. To her horror, there she was – in her bedroom!

That’s when she called International Investigators. We explained that if spy equipment or surveillance equipment was somewhere in the room, we could conduct a Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM ) sweep. Like a bug sweep, TSCM uncovers listening devices and phone taps. Our equipment is, in fact, mobile electronic bug detection.

We sent an investigator to her home. Using counter surveillance equipment it didn’t take long before a pinhole electronic surveillance camera was found. She not only wanted the camera gone, but she wanted to catch the bad guy behind that camera.

So we did not immediately remove the camera. Instead, we traced the source to a maintenance room adjacent to her unit. There we discovered recording equipment and, surprise, a couple of other cameras set up – one in her shower and one leading to another unit.

We set up a motion-activated, infra-red camera in the maintenance room to see if we could catch the bad guy in the act. We also worked with the apartment complex security officer to check other maintenance rooms in the complex. All together, we uncovered three camera and recording set-ups. Every one of them was set up to view a single woman’s unit.

Within a few days our investigator had enough evidence to turn it over to the police. The bad guy was indeed one of the maintenance people in her apartment complex. He actually admitted he had installed pinhole cameras in several units and was filming residents with their partners. Not only were charges brought against the maintenance man, the apartment complex owners were also sued.

Fact is that covert surveillance equipment is used by bad guys, too, not just the good guys. We’ll share how International Investigators works with clients to use hidden cameras for good another day.

But this is a reminder to be observant about your environment – look for video surveillance signs like lights and sounds and shadows. It’s not funny to be caught “on candid camera.”

-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators