What is Phrogging (And How to Avoid It Happening To You)

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Like a scene straight out of a horror movie: You’re walking around your home one day, and suddenly begin to notice things like objects moved around, food taken out of your refrigerator, or even missing objects.

For lucky homeowners, these incidents could be attributed to an issue with bad memory or even a ghost!

For other homeowners, phroggers might be to blame! So, what is phrogging?

Photo showing a dark room with a person's shadow by the door

A phrogger is someone who lives a phrogging (pronounced frog ging) lifestyle, which involves living in another person’s home without their knowledge. They try to hide from homeowners in an attempt to live in their homes rent-free and as a means of survival. Phrogging spans decades in the United States, and is a crime.

Why is it Called Phrogging?

For those wondering “What is phrogging,” this might be a difficult concept to understand without knowing what the term “phrogging” means.

This term is used to describe phroggers, who, like the frog amphibians, jump around from one person’s home to the next. You can think of this as similar to a frog jumping from lily pad to lily pad.

Similarly, a phrogger might spend time in areas of a person’s home such as:

  • The family’s attic
  • Guesthouses
  • Crawlspaces
  • Basements
  • Closets
  • Unfinished areas of a person’s home
  • Other room’s in small homes
  • Inside of business property at night

However, most phroggers don’t spend too much time in a single area. Instead, they might move to another house with other phrogs, start living in another person’s home, or simply move to another city or town.

Word of mouth can spread among this community, so phroggers can quickly know which homes are best to live in.

What Are the Signs of Phrogging?

Photo of a person looking at the empty shelf of what it looks like the inside of a refrigerator

It’s important to know what the signs of phrogging are so that you can remain protected.

Keep in mind there is a phroggers code that is shared among other phrogs, which indicates they must try to respect the homeowner.

However, although this code might keep some phroggers from robbing your home, stealing food is sometimes necessary for survival along with other items in the house.

In addition, it’s never a guarantee that all phroggers will enter someone’s home and not hurt them or their family.

Some phroggers might not be in their right mind, so it’s important to never allow them to continue to live in your home.

Signs of a person secretly living in your home include:

  • Strange things occurring, such as lights going on and off or things going missing, or even smoke detectors going off in your home
  • A general feeling of uneasiness that someone is watching you. This is actually known as gaze detection and is a physical phenomenon backed by scientific studies
  • Hearing the voice of another person, even when no one else is around
  • Damaged pieces of wall, basement, or floorboards out of place, or other types of physical damage to your house
  • Food disappearing from your refrigerator or pantry
  • Rising energy costs, which can occur due to phroggers using electricity to cook, charge their phones, etc.
  • Sounds such as snoring, tapping, or banging sounds
  • Reports of other phroggers within your community

Is Phrogging Legal?

phot of a handcuffed pair of hands

No, phrogging is a crime in most states. A person can be charged with various crimes such as:

  • Destruction of property
  • Trespassing
  • Breaking and entering
  • Burglary, if they steal any items including money or electronics
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Lewd acts, especially if around children in the family

All of these crimes can be punishable with jail time or hefty fines. In addition, people who attempt to break in can still be charged with a crime, even if they don’t manage to live on a person’s property.

Secretly living in another person’s house can also be viewed as stalking or voyeurism.

What’s the Difference Between Phrogging and Squatting?

For occupants knowing the difference between phrogging and squatting is crucial when it comes to reporting something as illegal or legal.

Although phrogging can be illegal, since you’re living in someone’s building or home without their knowledge, it is not the same as squatting. Squatting can be legal in some states.

Squatting involves living in abandoned buildings, inside of a person’s home who used to be that person’s landlord, or living in abandoned homes.

A person secretly living as a phrogger might be charged with the crimes listed above, but if they are squatting they can be protected by laws known as “squatters’ rights.”

The Importance of Squatters Rights

Squatters’ rights can make it difficult for homeowners to pursue legal action. If you’re building a new house, squatters could potentially make this their new home.

Squatters can also take over your home if they were once paying you rent and are now not able to make enough money for rent.

How To Protect Your Property From Phrogging

Photo showing a hand holding a smart phone that shows images of different rooms

Phroggers tend to stay away from homes that are well protected, have occupants that are armed, and are difficult to break into. Prevent the act of phrogging by following these tips:

  • Do inspections on your home throughout the week or even daily. Inspect your home for signs of damage, close all windows, and make sure there are no easy access points into your home.
  • Install security cameras that can be monitored in real-time. You can integrate your cameras with your phone, which can help you get updates as soon as movement is detected. This can help you rule out other issues in your home, even ghost activity!
  • Post signs throughout your property that state your home is protected by a security company. Having a security system is essential, as studies have shown that homes without a security system have a 300% more chance of getting broken into.

What To Do if you Find a Phrogger

If you come face to face with a phrogger, the first thing to do is contact your local authorities. Inform them that you are the victim of phrogging and that you need help to get rid of people living on your property.

You should then improve your security measures using the tips above, as well as conducting renovations like fixing any broken windows or doors, putting locks on basements and filling in crawl spaces, and of course, installing security cameras on the inside and outside of your property.

Final Thoughts

Phrogging is a very real phenomenon, and it can be scary to find a person secretly living in another part of your home! Fortunately, there are laws in place to help you get rid of phroggers and protect your home and family.

Educate yourself and spread the word on this practice, and then follow our tips to recognize the signs of phroggers and improve your home’s security.

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About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.