How to tell if your cell phone is tracked, tapped or monitored by spy software (2023)

There’s somepowerful spy software available for snooping on mobile phones. You might thinknobody would spy on you, but would they?

Well, bugginghappens at all sorts of levels from political figures to anonymous everydaypeople. If you find your mobile phone chewing through battery life or your datausage rockets skywards, these could be signs of snooping.

And, if not, readon to become acquainted with snooping clues. They could be useful.

Why wouldsomeone want to spy on me?

It’s a questionthat is asked a lot especially by people who have been spied on. Maybe you haveinformation that someone else wants. If you’re in business it could be detailsabout sales strategies, new product development, and so on. It could be to findout details about your private life or it could be related to a courtcase.

If you’ve neverspied on anyone, the concept of you being spied upon might seem unlikely. Otherpeople might feel less hesitant. Technology makes spying a lot easier than itever used to be. If your phone has been handled by someone else — for instance,during repairs or for some other reason — a backdoor application could havebeen installed to piggyback on your GPS service, or spy softwarecould have been installed on your mobile device.

There’s a large,legitimate, and thriving industry dedicated to snooping on others via spysoftware. And some of this software is powerful. But it’s not so powerful thatyou can’t spot clues if you know what you’re looking for.


How to tell if your cell phone is beingspied on

There are severaltell-tale signs that suggest your phone is being tracked, tapped, or monitoredin some way. The signs can be quite subtle but when you know what to look outfor, they can also be glaring:

Unusual sounds during calls

If there areclicking sounds, static, or distant voices coming through your phone duringconversations it could be a sign that you’re being snooped on.

This is notnormal for today’s phones on digital networks. It’s a thing of the past andassociated with old-style analogue networks.

If you arehearing fragmentary voices, it’s a possibility that your phone has been tapped.

Decreased battery capacity

Reduced batteryperformance is another indication of a bugged cell phone. If a mobile phone istapped, it is recording your activities and transmitting them to a third party.This leaves a footprint in the form of increased battery usage and as a resultthe battery loses life faster.

A tapped cellphone can also be constantly recording conversations in the room, even when thephone appears to be idle. And as a result it will chew through battery life.

(Video) How to Tell if Your Phone is Tapped and Being Tracked

You can test thisby using your battery in another phone of the same model and compare theresults. Is your phone using more battery power than a phone of the same modeland software? If so, it could be that your phone is bugged, or it’s defectivein some way.

Phone shows activity when not inuse

Is your phonemaking noises or lighting up its screen when you’re not using it? Call andmessage alerts to one side your phone should be silent when not in use.

Does it alsoreboot for no reason at all? If so it’s possible that someone has remote accessto your device.

Phone takes a long time to shutdown

Before asmartphone shuts down it must complete any tasks that are processing. If yourphone is transmitting data to someone it will have to complete the processbefore it shuts down.

As a result if aphone takes longer than usual to turn off especially after a call, text, email,or web browsing, it could be sending information to a third party.

Battery temperature feels warm

A furtherindicator of a possible phone tap is the temperature of your battery. If thephone feels warm even when you haven’t used your phone it could be still in usesecretly transmitting data.

(Video) How to tell if your cell phone is being monitored, tapped, or tracked

Keep in mind, however,that this is only a potential sign.

Receiving unusual texts

Are you receivingstrange text messages containing random numbers, symbols, or characters? Theremote control feature of spy software works by sending secret coded textmessages to your phone, and in some cases these can be seen if the software isnot working correctly. If this happens regularly you could have a spy app onyour phone.

Increased data usage

Some of the lessreliable spy apps use extra data to send the information collected from yourphone, so look out for any unexplained increase in your monthly data usage.

More advanced spysoftware programs data usage has been reduced and will be almost impossible tospot but the poor programs will show significant data use.

How to find spy software on your phone(Android and iOS)


It’s possible tofind spy software on an Android by looking inside the files on the phone. Go toSettings – Applications – Manage Applications or Running Services, and you maybe able to spot suspicious looking files.

Good spy programsusually disguise the file names so that they don’t stand out but sometimes theymay contain terms like spy, monitor, stealth, and so on. Some of the poorerquality software programs are still quite easy to spot.

(Video) Detect If Ur Phone Is Tapped, Intercepted or Tracked By Police

Don’t worry, ifyou are only looking for confirmation of spy software you won’t do any damageto the phone, but it’s probably best not to remove or delete any files unlessyou really know what you are doing.

And if you do find suspicious software it’s agood idea to take your device to someone who does know what they are doing.


Generally, if youhave an iPhone and someone wants to install spy software they have to jailbreakthe phone first.

That said,vulnerabilities have been discovered in the past that allowed someone withaccess to a network used by the device to download significant amounts ofpersonal data. These holes have been patched but you can never be too certainabout new vulnerabilities emerging.

Sometimes youmight find software on your iPhone that you don’t remember downloading. You cancheck the Apple store and see if that software is available. If not, then it’slikely your phone has been jail broken.

Looking deeperinside the iPhone directories is more difficult than with Android but there isan easy way to remove spy software from the iPhone. Simply upgrade to thelatest OS version, which will remove the jailbreak and any external softwarenot from Apple. But make sure to back up any important data on your phonebefore you do this.

(Video) Does *# 21 tell you if your phone is tapped?

Factory resets

Resetting yourphone to its factory settings, whether Android or iPhone, will remove any spysoftware, but again be sure to back up your data such as contacts, photos, andmusic or you will lose them.


How do you know if you have spy software on your cell phone? ›

How can you detect spyware on an Android phone? If you look in Settings, you'll see a setting which allows apps to be downloaded and installed that aren't in the Google Play Store. If this has been enabled, it's a sign that potential spyware may have been installed by accident.

What is the 3 digit number to see if your phone is tapped? ›

Code to check if phone is tapped: *#21#

Is my phone being tracked or monitored? ›

Call *#21# or *#62#

They may not work for every type of spyware, but you can learn a lot by dialing *#21# or *#62#. These numbers can reveal to you whether or not your calls or messages are being redirected elsewhere, which is a major sign that your device is tapped.

Can you tell if your cell phone is being tracked? ›

Yes, there are signs that will tell you when your phone is being monitored. These signs include overheating of your device, the battery draining fast, receiving odd text messages, hearing weird sounds during calls, and random reboots of your phone.

Is My phone Tapped or Bugged? ›

Decreased battery capacity

Another indication of a bugged cell phone is reduced battery performance. If a mobile phone is tapped it is recording your activities and transmitting them to a third party. This leaves a footprint in the form of increased battery usage and as a result the battery loses life faster.

How do I block my phone from being tracked? ›

Turn off location services (iOS and Android)
  1. Go to Settings > Privacy and tap Location Services.
  2. You can toggle off Location Services for all apps or scroll down and turn off location services only for specific apps.
  3. Go to Settings > Location, and toggle the location button to Off.
Nov 4, 2022

Does *# 21 tell you if your phone is tapped? ›

When you dial *#21#, it will display the various sorts of diversion status which is happening with the number. This will display the information and you will come to know if your calls or messages are tapped.

How do you know if you are under surveillance? ›

Spot Common Signs of Surveillance
  1. Electrical fixture wall plates are slightly out of place. ...
  2. Check your vinyl baseboard – where the floor and wall meet. ...
  3. Look for discoloration on ceilings and walls. ...
  4. A familiar item or sign in your home or office simply looks off. ...
  5. You notice white debris close to a wall.

Can you stop someone from spying on your phone? ›

Can You Block Someone From Spying on My Cellphone? Yes, one of the most effective ways to achieve this objective is to use strong antivirus software. Antivirus apps can help stop malicious apps, code, and spyware from wreaking havoc on your phone and stealing your data.

Can you tell if someone is watching you through your phone? ›

The following signs may indicate that someone is using your phone's camera to watch you: Suspicious background apps. Camera misbehaving. Odd files and inexplicably low storage space.

What is the code for tapped phone? ›

Our ruling: False. We rate the claim that dialing *#21# on an iPhone or Android device reveals if a phone has been tapped FALSE because it is not supported by our research.

What is *# 62 code? ›

With the *#62# settings interrogation code, you can see if calls or texts are being forwarded to another number whenever you're unreachable. If the "Voice Call Forwarding," "Data Call Forwarding," and "SMS Call Forwarding" all say they're disabled, good. If numbers are listed, they could be put there by someone else.

How can I know who is tracking my phone? ›

How to Know If Someone Is Tracking Your Phone
  • Unknown Apps. Look out for applications that you didn't install. ...
  • Excessive Background Data Usage. Monitor the background data usage of your device. ...
  • Browser History Mismatch. Check your browser history for entries that you do not recognize. ...
  • Battery Drain. ...
  • Abnormal Reboot.
Apr 22, 2022

What does ## 002 do to your phone? ›

##002# - If your voice call or data call, or SMS call has been forwarded, dialling this USSD code will erase them. *#21# - By dialling this USSD code, you would get to know if your calls have been diverted somewhere else or not.

What does *# 0 *# do? ›

Accessing the Secret Diagnostic Menu

To get the ball rolling, simply open your Samsung's phone app. From there, enter *#0*# using the dial pad, and the phone will immediately go into its secret diagnostic mode. Note that the process is automatic, so there's no need to tap on the green call button to enter the command.

What are the 4 types of surveillance? ›

Types of Surveillance in Criminal Investigations
  • Electronic Monitoring. Electronic monitoring, or wiretapping, refers to the surveillance of email, fax, Internet and telephone communications. ...
  • Fixed Surveillance. ...
  • Stationary Technical Surveillance. ...
  • Three-Person Surveillance. ...
  • Undercover Operations.

What are examples of active surveillance? ›

Active surveillance is a process whereby state or local agencies actually look for evidence of disease risk. For example, when trying to find if a certain virus carried by mosquitoes is in Texas, mosquitoes are collected and sent to the lab for testing.

Can someone listen to you through your cell phone? ›

The truth is, yes. Someone can listen to your phone calls, if they have the right tools and they know how to use them – which when all is said and done, isn't anywhere near as difficult as you might expect.

Can someone control your phone without you knowing? ›

Yes, unfortunately, people can access and even control your phone remotely. There are plenty of spyware apps and bugs that let people hack into your phone without you even knowing about it. It's usually through certain links or credentials that hackers do this.

How do you know if a hacker is watching you? ›

How to know if your camera is hacked
  • Check if the camera indicator light is on. ...
  • Check browser extensions. ...
  • Check known and unknown applications. ...
  • See if your webcam process is running. ...
  • Try running the webcam. ...
  • Look for audio and video recordings. ...
  • Run a malware scan. ...
  • Enable firewall.
Jan 19, 2022

Who is reading my text messages? ›

Look for the checkmarks: A single gray checkmark indicates a successfully sent message. The appearance of a second gray checkmark shows your message was delivered to the recipient's phone. The two checkmarks will turn blue if the recipient has viewed your message.

What spy apps are on my phone? ›

Comparing Best Cell Phone Spying Apps
NameBest ForCompatibilty
mSpyParental Monitoring ApplicationAndroid and iOS
XNSPYOnline and Offline Phone Tracking.iOS and Android
CocospySimple Remote Smartphone MonitoringAndroid and iOS
uMobixReal-time monitoring of activities on smartphone & tablet.Android OS 4+ and iPhones & iPads.
7 more rows
Jan 24, 2023

What do spyware apps look like on Android? ›

You'll see a small teardrop symbol in your phone's notification bar when an app is using your device location. If you see this appear when you're not using apps allowed to access location data, this could indicate spyware is running and tracking your location.


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