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How to Tell If Your Phone Is Being Tapped or Tracked by the Police?

Have you been recently interrogated by the police? Sometimes, you may suspect that you are being tracked by someone or an organization like the police department. In personal and family disputes, your phone conversations may be listened to and monitored. Perhaps you have seen in some movies a scene where police technicians with large headphones are listening to the phone conversations of a criminal suspect. This might make you wonder if it is really possible to eavesdrop on cell phones and if it is happening to you as well. The truth is yes, someone with the right tools can listen to your phone calls and know how to penetrate your phone and listen to your conversations. Remember that call monitoring is not very difficult, and individuals can do this with a little research. In this article, we will introduce you to methods to identify whether your cellphone is being tracked by the police or not.

In the following article, we will discuss ways in which people can infiltrate your phone and listen to your conversations. Stay tuned.

What is cell phone eavesdropping by the police?

Eavesdropping means that a legal entity such as the police has the ability to put your cellphone number under surveillance if they deem it necessary for any reason. In a broader sense, all phone calls, text messages (SMS) and, multimedia messages (MMS), internet communication (GPRS) that reach or are sent from that number are subject to eavesdropping.

  • Eavesdropping can be simultaneous or only recorded and archived and then investigated.
  • Eavesdropping is undetectable, and the person being monitored does not realize that they are being monitored. There is no delay or sound in the conversation, and the quality of the conversation remains unchanged. Statements that some people make that others have come on the two-person conversation and said things are more like a joke. Security agencies never show their presence.
  • The numbers and positions of those who call the monitored number are also recorded. Any other activities, such as call forwarding (Call Divert) or three-way conference calls, etc., are also registered in the protocol.
  • Changing the geographical location and changing the radio cell does not interfere with eavesdropping, and all these activities are recorded.
Can the Police Tap Your Cell Phone Without Your Knowledge?

Can the police activate the cellphone microphone? Is this possible?

Yes, it is true. This is possible. If the cellphone is on (in standby mode), its microphone can be turned on from the center and listen to conversations. The cellphone owner can only detect abnormal activity by the device when the battery is empty or when the device tries too hard to find the nearest antenna.

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The solution is to remove the battery. Removing the SIM card alone does not solve the problem because it is not just the phone number (MSISDN) and IMSI that are registered in the network but also the IMEI number, which makes the device itself identifiable. Therefore, a cellphone without a SIM card, if turned on, is still connected to the network and traceable.

Is mobile phone tapping (Crime) legal?

Yes, mobile phone tapping is considered illegal in the law, and individuals engaging in such activities will be dealt with seriously. In this regard, it is important for you to be aware of your social rights. Only in certain situations, with permission from the judiciary, may the police be granted the authority to eavesdrop in order to track the activities of criminals and bring a case to a conclusion. Otherwise, no one has the right to violate your privacy.

The Reason the Police Might Tap Your Cell Phone?

How can someone listen to my phone calls?

Keep in mind that eavesdropping for the purpose of spying is completely illegal, and if proven, it is considered a crime. There are several tools and methods that people can use to listen to your phone calls. Some tools are installed to hack your device, while others are malware and are used to bypass security.

For example, using a SIM card, other people can track and eavesdrop on you. Also, by installing spyware apps that are easily accessible and require little technical knowledge to work with, eavesdropping and infiltration are possible.

In general, eavesdropping is done in several ways: systemically via telecommunications, through software by installing malware and spyware apps, and hardware-wise by placing special chipsets and hidden microphones.

There is an old way to eavesdrop on landline phones. Access to your telephone communication cable provides the opportunity for eavesdropping. In this case, a third party who intends to infiltrate connects a telephone to your line. Detecting eavesdropping in this situation is easy; because you will notice the third person in such a way that during the conversation with your contact, you will feel a sound between yourself, and your contact’s voice will be very weak.

How can we prevent phone tapping?

Preventing legal wiretapping, which is authorized by court order, is not possible, and this type of wiretapping is completely legal as the court has taken it into account.

Software eavesdropping that is activated through installing spyware and malware can be managed to a great extent. To prevent mobile phone software eavesdropping, download apps that you install on your phone from reputable sources such as Google Play, App Store, and the app’s own website. Do not click on anonymous links that are sent to you on social networks and text messages, as they may be harmful.

To prevent hardware eavesdropping, avoid buying used phones, and if your phone needs to be repaired, go to a trusted place.

How do we know if our mobile phone is being tapped?

Despite all phone malware, there are specific signs that need to be monitored as they can indicate suspicious activity.

How to Recognize If the Police Is Tracking Your Cell Phone

Cryptic messages:

One of the simplest signs is receiving mysterious and incomprehensible messages. For example, you may see messages on your phone containing characters or even numbers and think that your phone has hung up, but in fact, such messages can be similar to tracking codes for people’s location, so be careful about this issue.

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Has anyone had access to your phone?

Installing spy apps and software requires physical access to your phone, so the easiest way to prevent it is to keep your phone safe. When you cannot carry your phone with you, make sure you have put a password on your phone. The password should not be your date of birth, wedding anniversary, address, or something similar.

Check your bills:

If there is tracking or spyware installed on your phone, your bill amount will increase significantly. These apps usually use your mobile phone’s GPS to send your location data through roaming data to those who control them. If you notice a sudden increase in your bills, investigate this immediately.

Quick battery drain:

This can happen for various reasons, but one reason that can cause quick battery drain of your phone is using background apps that consume your phone’s charge, like eavesdropping apps.

Although rapid battery drain can be due to high battery usage, if you see such signs, do not easily ignore them and investigate the exact cause so that if there is a problem with the app, you can completely delete it from your phone.

Be aware of horn-like sounds during calls:

If you are concerned that someone is listening to your calls, you must pay attention to strange noises during calls. Usually, users hear a simple horn sound during phone calls, just like what exists about call recording apps. If your connection is weak, you should wait for much lower call quality, but if you hear strange sounds or the sound quality deteriorates during the call, most likely, your calls are being recorded.

Sudden shutdown and restart of the phone:

Another sign that you should suspect if you observe it is the sudden shutdown and restart of your phone, which, if it is unreasonable, you should doubt espionage signs and allow the possibility that the reason is your phone tracking and control.

Finding tracking apps:

Not all users search their folders and files, but if you use file explorer apps such as ES File Explorer, take a look at your message, photo, and app folders. Often spyware apps are not very accurate. They may create files like ‘stealth’, ‘spy’, and ‘mobilespy’. Delete any files that look like these. But before deleting files that you are not sure about, seek specialized advice.

Constant heating of the phone:

Sometimes you may notice that your phone is getting hot for no reason, and it stays hot all the time, even when you are not playing games or using any specific application on your phone. In such cases, it is possible that your phone has been exposed to spyware threats. However, if your phone is being charged and gets slightly warm, this is completely normal, and there is no need to worry about it.

Note: Apart from what we mentioned, if the battery life of your phone has ended abnormally or you have had continuous calls with parasites, you should be careful.

Ways to prevent police wiretapping:

One of the methods of wiretapping mobile phones by the police is after turning off the mobile phone. Avoid buying second-hand and used phones.

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Be careful when buying a mobile phone, and after purchasing, check the hardware and software vulnerabilities of the phone.

Check your battery, case, phone, headset, bag, personal belongings, and vehicle to make sure no eavesdropping devices are installed in them.

Avoid bringing your mobile phone into sensitive and important places, especially meetings.

If your phone disappears for a while and suddenly reappears, be sure to check its security and content.

Make sure to install antivirus, anti-malware, and security software on your mobile phone to prevent spyware.

Command codes for tracking

Mobile phones are equipped with the ability to track and spy on activities using specific codes. Below are some examples:

61#: This code is used to get information about call interception and eavesdropping by others.

62#: This code is used to get information about access to and viewing of text messages by others.

004#: This code is used to obtain complete information about espionage and others’ access to the user’s mobile phone.

If you realize that your device is being controlled by someone else by entering these command codes, enter the following command codes to cut off access by unauthorized individuals:

  • #61##
  • #67##
  • #004##

Conclusion:

Sometimes the police might decide to track someone’s activity using their cell phones without letting them know. Of course, if you’re not involved in any serious crime, you can almost be certain that the police do not tap your phone. But if you’re suspicious of being tracked by the police or other authorities, you can factory reset your phone or even go to the phone service provider. There are several signs of being tapped by someone, like batteries’ frequent drains and unwanted apps. In such a case, you can ask the police to make sure they’re tracking your phone or someone else. You can also read our other articles, such as Best Phone Tracker Apps Without Permission.

FAQs

Here are some common questions related to hacking phones by the police.

Can the police tap my iPhone?

Yes! Despite what many users think, even an iPhone can be tapped by the police or other organizations that can obtain Wiretap Order. Remember that all the internet service providers have to let the police see your phone’s activities with this order. So it doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an Android device; the police can easily hack your phone without your permission.

Is there a specific code to check if my phone is tapped?

Yes! Fortunately, there are some codes to check if your phone is being tracked. Here are the details:
*#21#: To check if your calls and SMSs are being diverted.
*#62#: To check where your calls and SMSs are being redirected to.
##002#: To deactivate all diverts.

How to prevent my phone from being tapped?

VPNs are the best option you have to prevent your phone from being tapped. You can also prevent this by changing a couple of settings on your cell phone. You can also change your IP address using preferences. Last but not least, you can reset your phone to the factory settings to make sure no spyware is installed on your device.

Can my phone still be tracked after a factory reset?

No! Once you factory reset your phone, all of your previous data will be deleted, so there is no way to track the device. Of course, if the police track your line using the phone number, they can still track your calls and SMSs.

What to do if my phone is tapped?

First, you can factory reset your phone and see if the phone’s performance changes. After that, if you’re still suspicious of being tracked by someone, you can take one of the following measures:

  1. Ask the phone services provider.

If you ask them to help, they’ll perform a line analysis using advanced equipment to detect any phone tapping.

  1. Go to the police

The police are the last option you have to make sure that your phone is not being tracked illegally. You can also tackle any problems if the police are tapping your phone legally. 

keleis andre

Keleis Andre is A tech writer specialising in cybersecurity expert, author, and Manager at SPY24 Company. On this and several other GDPR, MDR, and ethical hacking projects. Hacking, Social Engineering, and Security Awareness Training: My goal is to educate, inform and entertain as I write about my journeys in the tech and cyber space.

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