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Find a hidden GPS tracker on your car

Imagine you’re trying to get away from a person or situation that’s making you miserable when suddenly, out of the blue, they appear right where you were heading. It’s a nightmare scenario, but in today’s digital world, tracking a car is not only possible — it’s easy!

Miniature GPS trackers are commonly used to help locate objects or animals that stray from a single location. Wildlife agencies track mountain lions and bears with this technology, and amateur drone pilots keep track of their crafts with these tiny radios.

However, malicious people or groups can misuse this equipment for sinister purposes like stalking or abuse. Technology, after all, is only as good as the people who use it.

If you’ve ever wondered how to protect yourself from being physically tracked, you’ll want to read through these steps. GPS trackers can be hard to find, but if you do find one, don’t panic. We’ll show you what to do.

Where to find a GPS tracker on your car

To start, you’ll need some basic mechanic’s tools like a flashlight, a mirror, and a creeper mat so you can look below and under the hood of your car. Typically, you’ll want to begin your hunt with an exterior inspection. This means checking the outside and underside of the car for any potential threats.

 

Related: Who’s watching you? The threat of hidden cameras in the digital age

 

Because GPS trackers need to be placed by a person, they’re normally in a place that’s hard to see but easy to access. Primary candidates are the inside of your car’s wheel wells, up and under the bumpers, in the trunk, and on the underside of the car. Any trackers in place will likely stand out as not a part of the vehicle, but they may be hard to spot due to dirt and grime. A flashlight will help you pinpoint any problem devices a lot easier than with your eyes alone.

Where to find a GPS tracker inside your car

For complete peace of mind, it’s also advisable to check the interior of your car as well. A stalker may have an easier time blending their device with ordinary components inside your car, such as your audio equipment behind the dashboard. Alternatively, another good hiding spot is inside the spare tire port. Make sure to check both of these areas with your flashlight. If a device is present that you don’t recognize, that’s good cause for alarm.

How to locate a GPS tracker with a bug sweeper

Technology doesn’t only have to work against you. To turn the tables against any tracking threat, you can deploy a “bug sweeper” to find and remove them. These miniature devices use a radio receiver to catch unwanted transmissions in the act.

Keep in mind, a bug sweeper will only be useful for detecting what’s called “active transmissions.” This means beacons that only work when your car is moving won’t be found except by locating them manually. You can purchase a variety of GPS bug sweepers from Amazon, but I personally recommend the Anti Spy RF Detector. Not only does this device find GPS trackers, but also hidden cameras and microphones that might be lurking around.


What to do if you find a GPS tracker

If you happen to find a tracker, you can usually just pull it off and throw it away. These devices are typically powered by battery and attached by magnets or tape, so removing them won’t harm your vehicle. If you find one hooked into any of your car’s electronics, you’ll want to play it safe and visit a certified mechanic to help you. Most importantly, you’ll want to contact the police and tell them any information that might help them identify who placed the tracker.

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