Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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I haven’t flown in years. Can the TSA search my locked luggage even if it’s checked at the counter? I know they scan it but can they legally open it up and go through everything even if it’s checked at the counter?

-From Ronald R.

Answer: TSA is permitted to search any bag that is flagged during the security screening process. The thing is, there are many different screening checkpoints. So, the bag could be checked again even if the counter checked it.

But, you can put a lock on your luggage. If the lock is TSA approved it means the TSA agents have a master key for the lock. If the lock is not TSA approved the agents can break the lock to inspect the bag.

A lock will not prevent your luggage from being inspected. If you are traveling with something that is very valuable, I would keep it in your carry on so that it’s with you at all times.

It’s safe to assume that anything in your checked luggage will be gone through at some point in the security screening process.


Jason, I’m really concerned with the latest decision by the President to go after ghost guns. This is another step in the wrong direction when it comes to gun rights. My question is, do you think we will eventually see an attempt at gun confiscation from law abiding citizens?

-From Tarik W.

Answer: While campaigning, Biden outlined several policies to reduce the accessibility of guns.

He wants to implement universal background checks on purchasers, and institute buy-back programs for “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines.

He will try to chip away at our gun rights as he is doing right now and he’s said he’s just getting started.

If he tried to confiscate over 100 million guns immediately, that wouldn’t happen. That’s why he will do the “buy back” programs to try and trick people to do the work for him.

This is why you should stock up on guns and keep your eyes open so you don’t become the frog in the boiling pot of water.

I would continue to buy guns and make sure they’re stored in various places so the government can’t find them all. If the Democrats had their way, they would confiscate them all right now from law abiding citizens, so we always need to be prepared for this attempt.


My husband and I had a professional security system installed at our house. The company tried to sell us smart locks that connect to the internet. Are these a good idea?

-From Barbara C.

Answer: When it comes to door locks, I don’t use any locks with a touch screen or keypad access because I’m leery of the electronic security aspects.

The more bells and whistles, the easier it is for someone to hack it. I prefer a standard lock with a key and nothing fancy such as a keypad or Wi-Fi connection.

With that being said, if you do want a quality lock that does have a keypad, Schlage is a good brand. I wouldn’t use any locks that connect to the internet. Just go with a basic keypad lock if you want more than a key. But like I said, I prefer a key.


I’m constantly receiving spam phone calls. I’m not sure how many more times I need to be told that my car warranty is about to expire. I’ve tried calling the numbers back to get them to stop. But the numbers are disconnected. What does this mean?

-From Rebecca V.

Answer: Unfortunately, this is a common way that scammers will trick you into answering their calls. There are multiple apps that can be used to spoof a phone number.

Essentially, someone can call your phone and make any number they want appear on the caller ID. For example, I once received a phone call on my phone from my own number.

If the scammer keeps calling from the same phone number, you can block that specific number.

Also, you should contact your wireless carrier to ask them if there are any features you can add to your plan to block spam calls.


I live in a big liberal city in California. Lately, there have been a lot of home invasions in my part of the city. The bad guys are forcing entry through the front door. If I hear someone trying to break down by door can I legally shoot them even if they are still outside?

-From Ben L.

Answer: If you are in fear for your life or serious bodily injury, then the answer is yes. That is the main question to ask yourself.

If you think the guy is going to kill you, then you can certainly defend yourself. But, if you don’t think he’s a true threat, then don’t shoot.

Keep in mind that you are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun. My point is, make sure you know what your target is. Can you see them? Are you sure it’s not your neighbor who needs your help?

Of course, I’m not a lawyer, so seek proper legal advice as well.


Can newer smartphones be tracked even if they are turned off?

-From Sean M.

Answer: The answer is it depends on the specific smartphone.

For example, Apple iPhones can be tracked even if they are turned off or the battery is dead. This is a feature from Apple to help people find their phones if they are lost. It uses Bluetooth to find it even if it’s turned off.

Yet, not all brands use this technology.

If you are concerned that someone is tracking you the best thing to do is leave your phone at home. If you are going to a confidential meeting or don’t want anyone to be able to track you, then ditch it.

Also, turning off the location feature doesn’t do enough. Your phone can still be tracked by other methods such as cell towers and Bluetooth.

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