That is the question faced by a family of five Segambut tourists when they realized their home stay vacation in Ipoh was less than “homely”. A closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) was found in their bathroom, turning the Hari Raya trip into a horrifying experience.
The entire family took turns to shower and it was only until the very last man whom felt something amiss, just as he removed all his clothes. Upon closer inspection, he realized that they were being spied on, and a confrontation ensued while the home stay manager insisted that these cameras were just to prevent “theft”. Nonetheless, a police report was promptly made and a small room with these video footages was soon discovered and these footages even include the manager’s girlfriend in the shower.
However, the investigating officer at Sungei Senam police station refused to make a statement with the victims and instead told them to settle this matter privately. The incident has since been brought to the attention of Ipoh OCPD Asst Comm Sum Chang Keong.
Travelling can be great fun and a good way to relax but it is important to remember the dangers that one can encounter when letting your guard down. While it is nearly impossible to completely prevent all mishaps from occurring, extra precautions can be taken to ensure a safe journey.
For starters, here are some tips that you can use to protect your privacy:
Sweep The Room For Hidden Cameras
Be on the look out for suspicious-looking walls or furniture that could possibly conceal pinhole cameras marked by black dots from their unusual appearances. Speakers, smoke detectors, flower pots, shelves and lampshades are the usual suspects for perpetuators to hide these cameras with ease. When entering any hotel room, do not let your guard down! Listen carefully for any strange clicking or buzzing sounds that such motion sensitive devices tend to make as they operate. It is also possible that some might have tiny red or green LED lights that could be spotted if one is observing closely enough.
Check The Mirrors
Switch off all the lights in your room and check the mirrors with a torch light. You are looking to see if these mirrors are truly reflective surfaces or are one-sided, meaning that they operate only when the observer’s side has a darker lighting then the observed.
Do Your Homework
Finally, make sure you do sufficient research before making any travel plans. Simply checking the price and location of your hotel/hostel is not enough. Just as there are many great reviews about Couchsurfing or Airbnb, it is good to keep in mind that a few horror stories exist as well. I will highly recommend that females or anyone travelling solo should establish some form of trust with the hosts before accepting cheap accommodation.
Communication is vital to gain a successful stay from any online booking site. For me, I have always relied more on my head than heart whenever I am determining such decisions because I believe that it is always better to be safer than sorry. I have encountered many great hotel promotions before during my trips across Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand) and as much as I was tempted to say “yes” each time, simply to save a few more dollars, I feel that to be penny wise and pound foolish could possibly lead to very negative consequences as well.
After all, for all those Hitchcock fans out there, we all know how it ends up for poor Marion Crane after a few nights at the Bates Hotel.