Why You Should Not Use Fake Security Cameras?

So, Why You Should Not Use Fake Security Cameras? Keep reading to understand why it is risky to use fake security cameras.

Security cameras are becoming more common in businesses, homes, and public places, providing valuable surveillance. Part of the appeal is deterrence:  criminals are unlikely to vandalize if they know their illicit conduct will be captured on video. 

However, some people opt for fake security cameras to save money. After all, they are inexpensive and easy to set up. While a decoy camera may look appealing initially, it’s important to understand the potential setbacks associated with their use. 

This takes us back to our subject of discussion: why should you not use fake security cameras? 

There are many reasons you should resist investing in fake security cameras. First, they give you a false sense of security. Second, burglars can easily spot them due to their flashing LED lights that are usually on. And lastly, they don’t provide any real protection, meaning criminals are likely to target your property knowing there is no real footage of them. 

In this guide, we will discuss why there are more effective ways of protecting your property than depending on decoy cameras. We will also touch on the differences between real and fake cameras, among other things related to our subject of discussion. Read on! 

What Are Fake Security Cameras? 

Why You Should Not Use Fake Security Cameras
A Fake Security Camera

Fake security cameras, or dummy cameras, are non-operational devices designed to mimic the appearance of genuine surveillance cameras but do not have any surveillance capabilities. These cameras are often used to fool intruders, discouraging them from invading a given property. 

Fake or decoy security cameras are designed to resemble real cameras, complete with wiring and blinking LED lights that replicate the behaviour of functioning cameras. They can be mounted on ceilings, walls, or other prevalent locations, creating the impression of a monitored space.

While they may appear to be genuine surveillance cameras from a distance, closer inspection reveals that they lack actual functionality. 

It must be noted that decoy security cameras cannot capture video footage, record any incidents, or offer live monitoring. They are solely a visual deterrent and depend on the perception that the mere presence of cameras, be they real or fake, will discourage potential perpetrators. 

Give Reasons You Should Not Use Fake Security Cameras 

If you are unsure whether to invest in a real or fake security camera, please take the time to weigh the risks of fake security cameras. Below, we discuss the dangers of fake security cameras so you can make informed decisions before investing in a surveillance system.

  • Lack of Actual Surveillance: Unlike real cameras that capture and monitor activities, decoy security cameras lack real surveillance or recording capabilities. They may replicate genuine surveillance systems but are unable to offer real-time monitoring of your property. Relying heavily on decoy security cameras may create a false sense of security, leaving your home or business vulnerable to illegal activities. 
  • Limited Deterrent Effectiveness: Although real or fake surveillance systems may deter some opportunistic perpetrators, seasoned offenders can quickly identify fake cameras. Once intruders notice that the security cameras are ineffective, the perceived threat decreases, and they might exploit this weakness by resuming their illegal activities. Therefore, it would be better to opt for real security cameras as a long-term deterrent to reduce the risk of targeted crimes. 
  • Legal Implications: Relying on fake security cameras can result in legal and ethical issues based on your jurisdiction. If incidents materialize on your property and authorities find out that your surveillance systems are non-functional, it may result in allegations of negligence. 
  • Damaged Trust and Reputation: Using non-functional security cameras can damage trust with customers or employees who may think they are being examined for safety. Some people view using dummy security cameras as a deceptive practice, which can damage your reputation. Therefore, it pays to maintain transparency and ensure your surveillance systems are reliable and effective. 
  • Missed Opportunities for Evidence: Genuine surveillance systems provide valuable evidence in case of theft, vandalism, and other illegal activities. They can help with police investigations, potential legal proceedings and insurance claims. By relying purely on dummy security cameras, you sacrifice the ability to capture useful evidence that could aid in tracking down criminals, recovering stolen items, or deterring future incidents. Real security cameras offer increased security and peace of mind by collecting reliable evidence. 
  • Evolving Criminal Tactics: Perpetrators are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their strategies, including identifying fake security measures. They may examine the security cameras and their placement and test their effectiveness before engaging in unlawful activities. Dummy security cameras cannot provide an effective deterrent against these sophisticated tactics, putting your home or property at risk of targeted crimes. 
  • Professional Monitoring and Response: Real security cameras can integrate with professional monitoring services, allowing immediate response in case of a security breach. These services can assess the situation conveniently, inform the authorities if necessary and offer real-time support. Decoy security systems cannot provide such monitoring capabilities, denying you the advantages of professional response during crucial moments. 
  • Technological Advancements: The surveillance technology industry has evolved substantially, providing affordable and feature-rich surveillance system options. Functional security cameras come outfitted with numerous contemporary features like high-definition video recording, motion detection, remote monitoring and night vision. By relying on fake security cameras, you forego the opportunity to capitalize on these advancements and improve your property’s overall security. 
  • Lack of Scalability: Non-functional security cameras cannot provide scalability or flexibility in expanding your surveillance system. They cannot be extended if you opt to expand the coverage area or upgrade your surveillance system in the future. Choosing genuine security cameras lets you add more or upgrade your system to meet changing security requirements. 
  • Quality and Durability Issues: Decoy security cameras are usually made with below-average materials because they prioritize appearance over performance. That means they can hardly stand up to extreme weather conditions or daily wear and tear. Real security cameras are reliable and weatherproof, ensuring long-term performance. 

Note that a comprehensive security system with real security cameras provides reliable surveillance, effective crime deterrence, and peace of mind. Although fake security cameras retail at a reasonable price point, the long-term benefits offered by genuine systems exceed the limitations and risks that come with fake cameras. 

Why Do People Have Fake Security Cameras? 

There are many options and measures that you can implement to keep your property safe, one being fake security camera installation. But why do people have fake security cameras? Find out more below: 

  • Cost Considerations: Fake security cameras cost less than real ones. They can be a great candidate for those on a tight budget who want to give the impression of security without incurring the high costs of installing genuine surveillance systems.
  • Deterrence Effect: The primary function of decoy security cameras is to deter potential perpetrators from engaging in unlawful conduct. Despite being ineffective, the presence of these cameras can give the impression of surveillance, prompting people to reconsider engaging in illicit behaviors.  
  • Easy to Install: Decoy security cameras are easier to mount than real ones. They do not need complex wiring, power supply, or integration with a monitoring device. These capabilities make fake security cameras an excellent option for people who want to create the impression of security without technical complications. 
  • Disguise or Decoy Strategy: Fake surveillance systems can be deployed as part of a broader security strategy. By strategically positioning visible dummy cameras in specific areas, the genuine cameras might be hidden or strategically positioned in discreet locations. This method is intended to deceive potential perpetrators by shifting their attention away from the substantial surveillance points.  
  • Legal Compliance: In some jurisdictions, there might be legal requirements to install visible security surveillance systems without mandating their functionality. In such cases, people deploy fake security cameras to fulfill those requirements, ruling out the need for fully operational security cameras. However, it would be better to research and comply with local provisions to ensure that decoy security cameras are allowed and do not contravene any regulations. 
  • Simplified Maintenance: Decoy cameras require little to no maintenance because they lack sophisticated technology and functionality associated with real surveillance systems. Software updates, periodic camera functionality checks, and video storage management are not required. As such, these cameras can appeal to those who like a low-maintenance security option. 
  • Temporary or Transitional Use: Fake security cameras might be handy for temporary or transitional situations. For example, you can opt for fake security cameras to create the impression of security during construction projects, where security needs are temporary. 

Despite the benefits mentioned above, fake security cameras don’t offer surveillance and evidence-gathering capabilities. That said, you cannot count on them as a long-term security solution, meaning you should implement additional security measures for comprehensive protection.

How to Tell If a Security Camera Is Real

Surveillance cameras can provide a reassuring layer of security. For those individuals who live alone, in high-crime areas or have been crime victims in the past, genuine security cameras are their go-to option. 

So, how do you tell if a security camera is genuine? Read the tips highlighted below to discover: 

  • Check for Wiring: Real security cameras need power and data cables to function. Check for visible wiring running from the security camera to a recording device or power source. Genuine security cameras have cables neatly tucked or hidden within walls or ceilings. On the other hand, fake or decoy cameras lack visible wiring. Sometimes they come with non-functional cables solely for decoration. 
  • Examine Camera Movement: Most functional surveillance systems can pan, tilt, or zoom to adjust their view. If you see a camera shifting its position occasionally, it could be a real camera. Fake cameras are usually fixed and lack motorized movement. 
  • Examine Blinking Lights: Real cameras are outfitted with LED lights that blink intermittently to demonstrate their functional status. These lights often reside on the camera housing or close to the lens. If you spot consistent blinking lights, it implies that the security camera is operational. Non-functional cameras may have either constant or no lighting.  
  • Check for Infrared LEDs: Most security surveillance systems, particularly those intended for outdoor applications or night vision capabilities, are outfitted with infrared LEDs that discharge a faint red glow in low-light conditions. Examine the camera lens for the presence of these infrared illuminators. Fake security cameras may not have these LEDs; if present, they are ineffective. 
  • Check for Motion Sensors: Today’s security cameras have motion sensors that activate recording or alert systems when they detect motion. If the camera responds to movement by changing its position or triggering recording, it is most likely a real security camera. Dummy security cameras are not equipped with motion sensors and can’t respond to activity. 
  • Research the Model or Brand: If you are not sure if a security camera is authentic, look into the brand or model. Login to the manufacturer’s website or reach out to their customer care team to confirm the camera’s features and specs. This should help you determine whether or not the security camera is genuine.  
  • Test the Field of View: Functional security cameras have a specific field of view that dictates their coverage area. If you think a camera is non-functional, cross its field of view deliberately and see if it tracks your movement. Genuine security cameras will follow your movements within their range, whereas fake cameras will not. 
  • Seek Professional Assistance: If you still need to figure out the validity of a security camera, consult a seasoned security firm or a qualified technician. They can examine the camera’s functionality, wiring, and other technical specifications to offer an expert opinion on the security camera’s authenticity. 
  • Look for Certification Labels: Real security cameras may come with certification labels demonstrating compliance with industry standards and regulations. These certifications approve the camera’s compliance with certain technical requirements.
  • Assess Build Quality: One way to determine a real security camera is by assessing the build quality and materials used to make the camera. Real surveillance systems are constructed from sturdy and durable materials to resist harsh conditions. They usually have weatherproof ratings and appear professional. Fake security cameras have a cheaper build quality, which demonstrates their ineffectiveness. 

Note that these indicators can vary based on the camera model or brand. It would help to combine these visual indicators with additional research to assess the security camera’s authenticity comprehensively. 

What Is the Difference Between Real and Fake Security Cameras? 

Choosing between real and fake security cameras is critical when implementing security measures. First, you should understand the differences between real and fake security cameras to make correct decisions in terms of safeguarding your home or commercial property. 

Sift through the tips highlighted below for more clarity: 

  • Maintenance: Real security cameras need periodic maintenance, such as video storage management, software updates, and equipment checks to ensure top-notch performance. Since fake cameras are ineffective, they do not necessitate maintenance apart from regular cleaning and adjustment of their physical appearance. 
  • Functionality: Authentic security cameras are fully operational equipment that monitors a given area and offers surveillance capabilities. They come with components like video processors, image sensors, lenses, and recording systems that enable them to capture and store video. These features play an essential role in collecting reliable evidence in case of any incident. For example, recorded video footage can be handy for investigations, identifying criminals, and offering evidence in legal proceedings.  

The same does not apply to fake security cameras because they are inoperable and lack recording or monitoring capabilities. For this reason, they cannot perform actual surveillance or contribute to evidence collection. 

  • Deterrence: Genuine security surveillance systems provide a visible deterrent effect by actively monitoring and recording a specific area. This deters potential intruders from engaging in unlawful behaviours. Although fake security cameras visually resemble real ones, they lack surveillance capabilities. Also, experienced criminals can easily notice them and proceed with their theft mission. 
  • Cost: Fake security cameras retail at a reasonable price because they lack advanced technology and are built with low-quality materials. In contrast, real security cameras have a higher price tag as they are outfitted with contemporary features to boost their functionality. They require investment in recording equipment, wiring, and other components. 
  • Legal Considerations: Depending on the jurisdiction, installing genuine security cameras may be subject to legal regulations. For instance, there can be limitations on where cameras can be positioned, privacy issues, and the need to tell people they are being monitored. On the other hand, decoy security cameras are inoperable and don’t face similar legal obligations and requirements. However, you should research and comply with local laws concerning the use of surveillance systems, be they real or fake. 
  • Installation: Another notable difference between these two camera options is installation. Real security cameras need professional installation to guarantee proper placement, wiring and configuration. This ensures all cameras cover the assigned areas effectively and the system operates as expected. Fake security cameras are ineffective and do not need expert installation because they lack technical requirements. 
  • Durability and Quality: Fake security cameras are made of low-quality materials because they are not intended to fulfill surveillance needs. In contrast, real security cameras are made of durable materials that can withstand demanding environments and possible tampering attempts. 
  • Remote Control and Adjustments: Real security cameras incorporate features that allow you to control and adjust camera settings like the field of view, zoom, or focus remotely. This allows for greater flexibility when monitoring designated areas or adapting to evolving surveillance needs. Fake cameras do not include these remote capabilities due to their ineffective components. 
  • Connectivity and Integration: Decoy security cameras are non-functional, meaning they can’t be incorporated into other security systems for improved performance. On the other hand, authentic cameras can be integrated into comprehensive security systems to optimize performance. You can connect them to access control systems, video management software and alarm systems. 
  • Power and Network Requirements: Genuine security cameras need power sources to work. Power over Ethernet technology (PoE) or a direct electrical connection can do this. They might also require a network connection to send video data. Decoy cameras do not need network connectivity or power because they are inoperable and cannot fulfill any surveillance requirements. 

Additionally, genuine security cameras can be attached to backup power sources like uninterruptible power supply systems or backup batteries. These systems keep the cameras functional in case of power outages, allowing constant surveillance coverage. 

  • Storage and Retention: With real security cameras, you’ll need storage systems like DVRs or NVRs to store video footage captured in their field of view. These storage systems offer great storage capacity and can be configured to retain video footage for a particular period. In addition, some storage systems provide features such as automatic video overwrite or cloud storage options. Unlike real security cameras, fake ones do not require storage systems because they can’t capture video footage. 
  • Support and Warranty: You rest assured of long-term performance with real security cameras. These security surveillance systems are backed by warranty programs. You can count on the manufacturer’s repair support in case of malfunctions. And there’s more to recommend real security cameras. 

Fake security cameras do not echo similar benefits to real security cameras because they are low-cost replicas. 

  • Future Expansion: Real security cameras allow for future expansion as security needs evolve. These security requirements include installing more cameras to increase coverage area or incorporating new technologies. Improving and expanding real security cameras encourages flexibility in the long run. Apparently, fake cameras do not have room for upgrading or expanding due to their ineffectiveness. 

It makes sense to look into these differences when choosing the best security cameras that massage your security needs. Real security cameras have everything you need to protect your property from unauthorized persons. 

How Long Do Fake Security Cameras Last? 

A fake security camera’s lifespan varies based on its build quality, exposure to the elements, and more. However, since these surveillance systems lack internal components or functionality, they can serve you for extended periods before their helpful days end. 

If you are considering deploying dummy security cameras at your premises, be prepared to clean them periodically to maintain their appearance. If not, criminals will easily tell that they are not working. 

Note: Despite their longer lifespan, fake security cameras do not guarantee safety as they are not outfitted with monitoring capabilities. Real security cameras remain the recommended approach for safeguarding your property.  

However, there are a few measures you can take to make your fake security cameras appealing and realistic. These steps are outlined below: 

  • Opt for a realistic design: If you decide to deploy fake security cameras, ensure they closely resemble the authentic models. Look for those with similar shapes and sizes to genuine cameras in your location. 
  • Please Pay Attention to Detail: This may include features such as simulated wiring or blinking LED lights to make it seem more authentic. You can run convincing-looking wires along the ceilings to simulate the appearance of wiring heading to the security camera. Use cable clips to secure the wiring to resemble the neatness of genuine security camera installations. 

Another option is to use functional-looking mounting hardware. This may include mounting arms or brackets, commonly seen in actual security camera installations. 

  • Use Warning Signs: Place visible signs indicating the presence of a security surveillance system in the area being monitored. Such signs can reinforce the perception of surveillance taking place, increasing the deterrent effect. 
  • Set Up Multiple Cameras: Place multiple decoy security cameras in different locations to establish a more comprehensive appearance of surveillance. You will also want to set up these cameras in sensitive areas such as hallways, entrances, and parking lots. 
  • Regular Maintenance: Lastly, you should clean the fake security camera regularly to look like it’s in good working condition. Basic maintenance practices include removing spider webs, dirt, and debris. 


In summary, choosing fake security cameras as a substitute for real ones has dire consequences, which I have discussed earlier in this guide. Therefore, it’s better to implement a genuine security system to enhance the safety of your premises, mitigate risks, and offer a solid defense against possible threats. 

It must be noted that fake security cameras can create the illusion of security, but their limitations exceed their perceived benefits. So do not be fooled by them.

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