What is Phrogging

What is Phrogging & How to Prevent It w/ 3 Cases & Examples

What is phrogging exactly? Have you ever come home and noticed your things are out of place or food is missing? Maybe you’ve heard creaking in the attic. You thought it was just some animals, or even a ghost, but what if it was phrogger?

What Is Phrogging?

Phrogging is when someone secretly lives in a house or business while it’s being occupied. Phrogging is typically found more in colder climates where the homeless population may try to escape the cold by living in someone’s attic.

People who engage in phrogging say they try to be respectful and treat the people who live there more like roommates than people they’re hiding from. They typically try not to break or steal things so they can remain unnoticed but they have been known to steal food or take showers.

Why is it Called Phrogging?

The word is pronounced “frogging” and gets its name because “phrogs”, people who engage in this activity, tend to “hop” around from house to house, as a frog might do from lily pad to lily pad.

Phrogging vs Squatting

Phrogging and squatting are similar because they both deal with people living in a property they don’t own. The difference depends on if the property is occupied or not. If someone is staying in an unoccupied property, it’s squatting. If someone is staying in an occupied property, it’s phrogging.

Is Phrogging Real?

Yes, phrogging is real. Although some people might be skeptical due to movies like “Parasite”, phrogging does happen. Most commonly, people will live in an attic that can be accessed from outside or in a forgotten room.

Phrogging Cases & Examples

  • In 2008, a family discovered a man, Stanley Carter, living in the attic of their Pennsylvania duplex. He’d been there a week and was not a good uninvited guest: He stole food, money, and an iPod. When he was discovered, he was wearing the family’s clothes. (ABC News)
  • Also in 2008, a woman named Hiroki Itakura lived in a Japanese man’s home for a year. She was totally undetected until the homeowner noticed that food was missing and installed security cameras. (Metro UK)
  • In 2012, Tracy, a South Carolina woman, reported her ex-boyfriend took up residence in her attic after he was released from jail more than 12 years after they broke up. When Tracy’s sons discovered the man he fled before the police could apprehend him. (Huffington Post)

Is Phrogging Legal?

Yes, phrogging is illegal but it is not a criminal offense. Phrogging is usually charged under trespassing or breaking and entering. Additional charges may be filed if damage occurs or the person engaging in phrogging is caught stealing.

How to Prevent Phrogging

Security cameras are the best way to prevent phrogging, especially if they’re visible. Motion sensing lights and regularly checking out your property is also a good measure. Make sure you don’t forget to check your garage and sheds!

Signs of Phrogging

Some common signs of phrogging include missing food, damaged doors or windows, and unexplained noises.

What To Do If You Find Someone Phrogging

Now that you know what is phrogging, you should know what to do if you find someone phrogging. If you find someone phrogging or suspect someone is in your house, call the police immediately.

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