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Remote listening devices

I would like to know if anyone knows how these work, a neighbor has been recording my conversations in my whole house (different rooms), I did not know anything about these listening devices until I have googled them apparently anyone can buy them and survey you, this is creepy as I live alone, and their lives must be pretty boring, I know they had a professional investigator put a listening device in their yard something about a dog that I had that they did not like, but he found nothing, since then they have bought their own, bug. detectors do not work is there anything I can buy that will give me privacy in my whole house, I have used a bug detector but it didn’t find anything so I think it is remote


They could be using a very sensitive microphone, perhaps with a parabolic reflector and listening from their own property. They would have to be pointing it somewhere near the direction of your voice though, but as you say, their lives must be pretty boring, so maybe that is how they spend their days!

You could make it hard for them by playing loud music, or making very loud noises when you think they might be listening.

If there were any bugs in your house, someone must have been in there to install them.


Just a question, how do you know and have you heard them to validate they exist.

Was it your neighbour making such claims to impact on you enjoyment in your home for some reason.

For sound to be heard, it must be able to penetrate walls and also be able to be filtered out from other background noises.

Most states have laws about covert recordings (without consent of those being recorded), and if you have evidence that they have bugged your house and/or recording you without your consent using spy type equipment, I suggest you lodge a complaint with your local police,


Hi and welcome to the community.

Sounds like you have one of those neighbours everyone dreads.

How do you know that they have been recording your conversations?

Is it your phone calls or generally your private conversations?

Have a read of Use of Listening Devices in Victoria for information on the law in Victoria. If you are elsewhere you can search using terms like “is recording someone illegal in xxxxxx” and put in your location.

As a first step, you can turn radios or music on as suggested above.

If you are worried about your privacy or your safety you may need to consult a lawyer.


If you have evidence, report the situation to the police.

If not, get evidence - check first but in some states it is legal to covertly record a conversation you are directly involved in - if they have told you they have recordings or listening in, get the evidence of them admitting to it.

It is also a possibility they are simply messing with your head - I personally know of a case where this happened - they were told they were being surveilled and yet nothing was being done, it was just said to make them paranoid … and it worked, not surprisingly.

Another thought is to set a trap - if the evidence points to them actually listening in, then there may be things you could say that could backfire on them or cause them to act in a way that could only be the result of surveilling you. I’d be careful with this approach, as it could go both ways :wink:

There are a number of ways they could be listening - obviously planting a bug is the stereotypical ‘spy’ approach, but as @gordon mentioned, directional listening devices can be effective. There are also devices that can ‘listen’ by detecting vibrations on surfaces such as windows/etc which can be done remotely - some cordless phones are fairly trivial to intercept as well, and consider whether there are items you take into the house that could have been tampered with and had ‘functionality’ added - the pot plant that lives on the porch by day and taken inside at night, or unexpected parcels etc … one might never know what the payload might be …


You may need to get someone in who specializes in detecting devices, a bug detecting device can range from poor/useless to very good and the one you used may be at the wrong end of effective.

But first how do you know, as @phb asked you. Is it because they play the conversations back at you or made it known some other way?

If you are sure you should apply for a Personal Safety Intervention Order if you are in Victoria, as this may be considered as Stalking by the neighbour. You really need to get Legal Advice and this cannot be stressed enough, we are not legally trained nor can we give anything but general advice and this matter is beyond that level of being general… Once you have good legal advice and the needed proof you will be able to apply for an Order.

If you aren’t in Victoria there may be other avenues you can follow but a complaint to the Police with the proof may be a useful step.

For Victoria (I assume you are in Victoria from your IP address resolution by this site’s software) please visit the following:


See the prior replies.

If you have wireless security cameras or a baby monitor they can be hacked into and monitored by almost anyone.


They could also be using a laser pointed at a glass window or other reflective surface.

High security buildings use double glazing with a vacuum between the panes to overcome this.

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I thank you all for your help I am most grateful, if I put double glazing windows in my house would this counteract the listening device, as this is expensive and I am a pensioner, is this a good idea. I think if I go thru the courts it won’'t stop the problem if they want to do it again,

They say words that I have used, this has been going on for a long time the woman has a distinctive voice, and has even driven around to my home and yelled out something loudly and got into the car, I feel they want me to go to the police and then the will deny all.

Have you tried recording them with your snartphone or other device?

I posted about laser devices as a possibility of how people might be spying but you would need to be confident that it is being used before going to that expense although it would improve your thermal insulation.

Hi @saneve186,
It is concerning that you have a neighbour listening in.
The community has offered so much advice already.

Are you able to share a few details about your house and the neighbours property? It’s up to you.
Are you on a large block with a large yard or a small block with the house taking up much of the site?
Is your house double brick with a tile roof, or a wooden older house with tin roof?
How close is the neighbour to your nearest window?

We’ve lived in inner city apartments and now live on a large rural block.
We were surprised at just how far from our timber and tin roof house we could hear the phone ring, or my partner chatting to our mum at the other end. I could be 20-30m away in the yard and still make out the conversation because my partner always uses the hands free speaker on her mobile.

Sometimes sounds travel a long way, and to someone with keen hearing nothing is private. When we lived in the city on closer quarters there were many many night time voices, TVs and other goings on that carried.

As for difficult neighbours, we have many adjoining little blocks along our boundary. I can now tell by the voices and sounds from up to 200m away who is doing what. That includes the arguments across the fence which are often easily understood. Having a neighbour who does not see things the same way is not what any of us want or need.

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I stress that you should get some Legal Advice, there are many free Community Legal Advice centres in all States. They will give you an idea of what are your rights, any proof that would be needed and what you can do. They may also help you get representation if it needs to go to Court. As I wrote if you go to the Police to complain you need to go with proof, the Legal Advice people should be able to tell you what proof is needed.


Thank you to all who contributed, as it appears we can’t offer fresh help the topic is being closed. It may be re-opened in the future if needed. This contact can be done by email to