Be AWARE if you see this in your changing room or in a public restroom!

Last year, police in Florida warned the public about hidden cameras found in restrooms and changing rooms throughout the Florida Keys. These nearly invisible, motion-activated cameras are hidden inside coat hooks. The recordings are then downloaded to the perpetrator’s computer.

According to the Miami Herald, miniature camera coat hooks were found in three different locations in the Upper Keys over a three day span last year.  At the time, Deputy Becky Herrin, information officer for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, told the Herald that business owners with public restrooms that have coat hooks should check them thoroughly.

“Anyone who has a public restroom on their property needs to check them closely.”

Some of the more common spots for hidden cameras are inside hotel rooms, public restrooms and dressing rooms.

“All the devices found so far look like simple white coat hooks with the camera mounted behind it and utilizing a very small hole in the top portion of the coat hook [base] for the lens of the camera,” stated the deputy.

A recent search on a major online store’s website had a similar item available for less than $25 and touts its “covert design” and states “the images produced by this camera are great quality.”  A similar coat hook style product is listed as a “spy camera” and one reviewer commented,

“I don’t think anyone would notice what it was unless they were really looking at it,” one reviewer commented.

Other items listed in the “hidden camera” category include smoke detectors, photo frames, alarm clocks, thermometers and a camera that looks like a plug in a socket that allows one to remotely view the video in real-time.

On the other side of the lens, there are a handful of apps that claim to help you detect hidden spy cameras by detecting the reflections off the camera lenses or picking up the “red eye” given off by a tiny camera.

As always, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, and this is just one more thing to be on the look out for.  If you spot one of these devices, don’t touch it, and call the police immediately.

[Feature Photo: Monroe County Sheriff’s Office]