Richie Alan  Naggar, agent & author  (people first...then business Ran Right Realty )

Spam prevention
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Sorry that happened to you!  There are likely larger issues than just that though, as they'd need access to your system first.  Best to run an anti-virus program.  Boot to safe mode and run it or get a program that will create a bootable CD/USB drive that you can boot to and scan from (so your operating system won't start and load the virus which may have countermeasures).  A dedicated malware scanner is also advisable to run in the same more.


Yes, it's been going on as long as webcams have been around.  I remember one over 20 years ago now where a guy was playing video games on his computer and had a very "willing" girlfriend.  She was naked on the bed behind him begging him to log off.  A hacker was in his system and brought up notepad and said "If you don't take care of her, I will."


In Texas a year ago, maybe two, a school district gave all the high school students laptops to use.  The IT guy had installed a remote access software to covertly access the webcam and make sure the kids weren't smoking, violating school rules, etc. in their houses.  When he busted one kid for smoking, it was discovered that he'd also been watching the female students as they were dressing, showering, etc.


I disable all my webcams at the system level, at the Microsoft level and I put tape over the cameras.  I disable the microphones as well.  There are devices you can plug into the microphone jacks to make the computer think a device is plugged in, but it has no actual sound recording capability.

I have tape over my phone's camera as well.  I only use external USB connected webcams (on the VERY rare occasion that I actually connect one) and even then it's almost impossible to get it to work!  Those are the only ones I use, because they can be physically disconnected after a meeting.


It's actually very common in companies to cover up the laptop cameras too.  One local company I presented at gave out stickers to all their employees and taught them about these types of attacks.  A former FBI director taped over his cameras.


And now you all have a very long winded reason why I don't have my camera on during the weekly zoom calls!

Feb 04, 2022 09:19 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Yes. Privacy and Security are why I do not have/use the camera on Zoom calls. 

On my laptop which I no longer use for business, the camera is turned off and it is also taped. 

We are being watched and listened to.

Feb 04, 2022 09:15 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Yes... my camera is turned off except for when I need it.

Feb 04, 2022 10:32 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I did not know.  How do you find out that is going on?

Feb 04, 2022 10:25 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Richie- I use an external webcam and remove it as soon as I've finished with a Zoom call. I'm sure I've left doors open but that's the best I'm willing to do. 

Feb 04, 2022 10:04 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I have little sliding door type covers over all of our webcams.

As far as your issue, likely nothing to do with the zoom call, you probably picked up some malware somewhere else.

Need to update your anti malware and anti virus software and do some scans.

Feb 04, 2022 12:54 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

There is a piece of tape over my camera lens.  

Feb 04, 2022 11:57 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Yes. We have camera shutter on all our webcams and Peloton. 


Feb 04, 2022 10:54 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Richie so sorry to read your post/question... you do a good thing and you get kicked in the you know where so gal Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA  gave you the right scoop. one more thing to be concerned about...Endre

Feb 04, 2022 11:30 PM
Caroline Gerardo
Licensed in 20 states - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

Tape has been on my laptops since ten years ago. I won't put an Alexa, Siri, or Echo listening devices in my home.  I don't need to tell them all my gardening, snoring, and such tips and tricks for free. Your phone also can "listen" even when powered off. I'm super big on my and my family's privacy.   Richie Alan Naggar   change your banking, credit cards, amazon passwords from  different device - go to library if you have to do this. Bad guys are out there.

Feb 04, 2022 03:01 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That's creepy... so I checked my privacy settings and also noticed that Zoom had access to my downloads folder!  Not any longer.

Feb 04, 2022 02:16 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Yes I am.  It's been an issue for sometime thus we close it all down after each call.

Feb 04, 2022 01:47 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Don't use Zoom, but nothing surprises me when it comes to technology!

Feb 05, 2022 05:06 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

My camera is taped and only open it when on a Zoom call.

Feb 04, 2022 09:35 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We never ever leave the webcam on...I remember Bill gates saying that.  A

Feb 04, 2022 01:58 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Yes, Richie, anyone who Zooms is being monitored, tracked whether permissions are on or off. 

Guess who's collecting that data and metadata?  Not just China.

And not just the content of the meeting, or what you and others are doing.  Note Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA screen on Zoom - no access.

On a volunteer effort I'm working with a radio show host for whistleblowers. Our next episode is titled, "Identify your Hackers and Attackers, Become a Digital Forensics Expert."  I was surprised when Catherine Austin Fitts, Planet Lockdown, Asst. Secy. HUD under Bush Sr., kept my mmail thread going all night back and forth with episode presenter. What you're talking about Richie is a huge issue.

Feb 05, 2022 02:46 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I have always put a sticky note over my camera unless I'm using it.

Feb 05, 2022 11:43 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

My laptop has a slider to block the camera lens. It is covered unless in a zoom meeting.

Feb 05, 2022 07:25 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I have always kept the camera covered unless I'm literally using it at that moment.

Feb 05, 2022 05:18 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

It is likely to happen that's why people watch Zoom. As a newbie, I guess you have learned a new valuable lesson!

Feb 04, 2022 03:29 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, that is WILD, Richie! This is the very reason I use a Mac - I use my camera for all sorts of calls and have never had an issue with this. I'm so sorry you did. I would say, beef up your computer's security - or go for a Mac!! ;-) 

Feb 06, 2022 09:22 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I use my desktop mostly, only when I need the webcam do I use my laptop.   Have no camera on my desktop.    There was one time I remember seeing the light come on with the laptop, scared me!  

Feb 05, 2022 08:12 AM