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How to Tell If Your Phone’s Been Tapped

A phone tap is one of the signs you’re under federal investigation. And since it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer as soon as you know something’s amiss, it’s not a bad idea to know some of the signs that someone is listening in on your calls.

These can include:

  • Beeps, clicks, or static in the background of your calls.
  • Strange sounds that happen when you’re not on a call.
  • A battery that drains really quickly.
  • A phone that’s harder to shut down.
  • A phone that turns off and on by itself.
  • Weird text messages.
  • Pop-up ads.
  • Apps that start downloading without your prompting or permission.
  • A sudden spike in your phone bill.
  • Spikes in text or data usage.

Of course, you don’t want to automatically assume that any of these signs points to a phone tap. Your battery can drain really fast because of another background app, for example. Or because your battery is going bad. You should try to verify if there are any technical issues before making any assumptions.

You also should avoid assuming the federal government is the only one that might tap your phone. There are other entities that tap phones, including identity thieves and other criminals. Some spouses do it just to see if their spouse is cheating on them. It’s not legal (doing this could in fact ensure you need a criminal lawyer), but they do it.

It’s also worth noting that the absence of any of these signs doesn’t mean much either. For example, if you have an AT&T phone the government may be getting all of your web browsing activity anyway, without having to do anything special to your device. Federal officials can also get a warrant to just work with the phone company to intercept your calls.

Still, if you’ve been involved in anything you think the federal government may take issue with, or are close to anyone who is, you might want to take these signs as an early warning that you’re under investigation. If you’re the spouse or employee of someone who is under investigation, it’s a good idea to assume all your calls are being tapped anyway.

Watch what you say. It’s never a good idea to discuss any criminal case with anyone else.

While you’re watching your words, start thinking strategically, too. It may be time to retain a federal criminal defense lawyer. Even if you never use the lawyer’s services, it can be helpful to know exactly who to call if federal agents do knock on your door.

If you call Koch Law, you’ll get a free consultation. This gives you the chance to discuss your concerns, and to decide how worried you need to be.

See also:

How to Protect Yourself from Criminal Charges When You’re a Victim of Identity Theft

Small Acts, Big Trouble: The Meaning of a Federal Conspiracy Charge

5 Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Under Investigation