What is phrogging?

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on January 10, 2022 Fact Checked
What is phrogging?

We’ve all heard of squatting, where someone begins living in an abandoned property. But what is phrogging?

Phrogging (pronounced “frogging”) is when someone is living in your home while you are there (creepy!).

As scary as it sounds, this really does happen, usually by people who are homeless, seeking refuge in attics, basements, or sheds.

Does phrogging really happen?

Unfortunately, phrogging does happen. Often it can occur if a tenant is evicted from a property and never leaves, or is homeless.

This makes it increasingly important for inspections and eviction processes to be conducted thoroughly and correctly.

The term phrogging comes from the word “frog” and refers to phroggers jumping from place to place.

In Australia, cases of phrogging are extremely rare, however there have been instances such as in January 2021 in Queensland when a mother discovered a man had been living in her ceiling for weeks.

In other countries, cases are more common, with many celebrities and wealthy people reporting instances of people living in their homes unknowingly.

Where can someone live without you knowing?

If you own a large home, there are rooms and places throughout the house that may not be touched for months.

Places like attics, basements or even unused garages can be safe refuge for those unable to find a home.

Additionally, built-up homes with unfinished or open areas under the home can also be attractive to phroggers.

It’s also possible to occur if you own an investment home or holiday home that is empty sometimes during the year.

This makes it all the more important to have adequate security in your home.

How to prevent phrogging?

It’s may be worth taking some simple precautions to make sure phrogging doesn’t happen in your home.

Security cameras, especially visible ones, are an effective measure to prevent unwanted phroggers.

You should also conduct checks of your property, including your garage, shed, and attic/basement.

If you ever lose/misplace your keys, it’s a good idea to change the locks.

If you are away for an extended period of time or have a holiday home sitting vacant, consider having a neighbour or relative check the property every now and then to make sure no doors/windows have been opened or unlocked.

As rare as phrogging is, you can never be too careful, and making sure you always check your property will give you the peace of mind that you have no unwanted guests.


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Aaron joined Savings.com.au in 2021. He is a finance journalist with a keen interest in property, the share market, and improving financial literacy in young Australians.

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