How to counter hidden tracking devices

TSCM: How to counter hidden tracking devices
TSCM: How to counter hidden tracking devices

In two recent posts Valkyrie highlighted the rise in ‘tech abuse’ and how technology was being used to control and coerce people. In another post we highlighted the use of vehicle tracking devices to monitor peoples activity. This month there was an article in the Mail newspaper detailing a court case where Michael Williams, a retired builder had placed a ‘black box’ (tracker) in his wife’s car to monitor her activity, he believed she was having an affair. Williams admitted to ‘stalking’ and was given a restraining order, he was also handed 12-month community service order. The duration of Wiliams’ stalking activity was at least 6 weeks in which time he reportedly ‘tormented’ his wife.

Valkyrie has seen a steady rise in this behaviour and the Williams case is a good recent example of both topics covered in previous posts. These tracking devices are made with good intentions; however With easy access to technology allowing non-technical people to increasing use tech items to assist in their malicious activity.

Due to the nature of our work, we are routinely asked about how to counter this threat. Tracking technology has advanced considerably in recent years – very small, covert, battery powered tracking devices can be quickly fitted to a vehicle and monitored instantly from a mobile phone. There are plenty of places they can be fitted to the exterior of a vehicle. Devices are often magnetically attached. And very bland in look – a ‘small black box’ that doesn’t look out of place on a vehicle.

We encourage vehicle owners to regularly conduct a basic search of their vehicles to check no devices have been fitted. Most tracking devices will be fitted on the exterior of the vehicle unless someone has managed to gain access to the vehicle or has access e.g. a partner. We will cover internal searches in a separate post.

Common places to hide a trackers on the exterior are:

1.inside wheel wells – this is also an easy location to inspect. Using a torch, check inside both the front and rear wheel wells. You may need to use a telescopic mirror to get a good look, and you can also feel around with your hand in places that you can’t see

2.under the vehicle, focus on areas someone could easily and quickly hide (plant) a tracking device without taking too much time or effort, and keep in mind that the tracker could be covered in road dirt.

3.inside/under bumpers. In some cases, you may have to reach up inside and feel around

While trackers can be hidden inside the engine compartment, it’s not common. If someone can get access to the inside of a car to open the bonnet, they are more likely to hide the device somewhere else inside the car. That said its still good practice to at least give the engine compartment a visual check.

As always, if you want any advice on your security needs, please get in touch with us.

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