Dummy Security Camera: Should You Buy One?

There were 108,541 burglaries in the United States in 2018, according to Statista. A surveillance camera can give homeowners and businesses valuable information about the crime. Some security cameras may also deter criminals from entering a property. Because of these reasons, some homes and businesses opt to install dummy security cameras to fool criminals.

This guide will address a few questions related to dummy security cameras.

  • Do dummy security cameras work?
  • How do you know if a security camera is real?
  • Are our dummy cameras illegal?
  • What is the best fake security camera?

Do Dummy Security Cameras Work?

Fake Security Camera Placed On A Wooden Osb (oriented Strand Boa

To some people, dummy security may look just like real cameras. However, these cameras don’t have any wiring or electronics inside them; hence, they cannot record, take pictures, or have a motion sensor inside them. They are non-functional.

Cannot Provide Remote Access

A fake security camera can provide you with no pictures, videos, or information if you want to check if some unwelcome person is in your house if your children have returned from school, if your baby has wandered outside, and what mischief your pets are getting into.

You can only get these things from a real camera. Real cameras allow you to see your property remotely, anywhere and anytime, from your mobile device.

Cannot Push Alerts

Real surveillance cameras can send you to push notifications, audio alarms, or emails if they detect motion or suspect danger in your home. This way, you can call 911 quickly to reduce your losses. However, a dummy security camera cannot offer these functionalities. You will never know if an intruder enters your home while you are sleeping in your bed.

Gives a False Sense of Security

A dummy security camera only gives you a false sense of security. Most hardened criminals are trained to spot real cameras from fake ones, and if they detect a dummy camera, it will not stop them from entering your home and looting it. Worse, since the camera is nonfunctional, you will get no notification of the burglary and may only find they have robbed you when you come home from work.

How Do You Know If a Security Camera is Real?

Surveillance camera at the factory

Experienced criminals can spot a fake camera from a mile away, but you can also check this learning guide on how to spot a fake security camera. Typically, real cameras and fake cameras have a few big differences:

LED Lights

LED lights give the biggest giveaway that your camera is real or fake. It equips real security cameras with night vision that turns on when visibility is low. So, your dummy camera will be conspicuous if it doesn’t blink during the night.

Some fake cameras come with fake LED flashing lights, but this may not fool criminals either. That’s because batteries power fake cameras without controllers, so the LED lights will flash even during the day, fooling no one. LED lights on real cameras aren’t as bright and noticeable.


Many dummy security cameras look exactly like what they are: fake. That’s because they make security cameras of superior materials that withstand and counteract the effects of rough weather. Dummy security cameras, however, may be made of cheap plastic instead of durable and weather-resistant aluminum.


The brand names on a security camera can be a huge clue about whether the camera is fake or real. Real cameras have their brand names emblazoned somewhere on their bodies or lettering on their lens. However, fake security cameras rarely carry a brand name on their covers.

Motion Tracking

Real security cameras with swivel features will not rotate back and forth. Instead, their sensors will allow them to track movement without physical movement. Fake security cameras may come with motion sensors, which allow them to pan back and forth to keep a person in their sight (even though they record nothing). Some fake cameras mindlessly pan left or right even when no one is on the property. This is one big difference between a real and a security camera.

How to Choose a Fake Security Camera

Repairing A Security Camera

Some may argue that having a fake security camera is better than not having one. They may not be wrong in this assumption, sometimes, but they need to understand the implications of installing a dummy camera.

Just because a fake camera is cheaper does not mean it provides you with any real security. However, if you insist on buying one, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure your camera seems as realistic as possible.

Don’t Go For Cheap Material

Even the most affordable real camera looks more expensive than a fake camera made of cheap plastic. If you want a plastic camera, find one with better heavier-duty plastic. Many real cameras are also made of plastic, albeit high-grade, making it more difficult to distinguish between them.

Avoid Cameras With Motion Sensors and LED Lights

Motion detectors and artificial LED lights fool no one. If you have a fake motion sensor camera, a burglar can easily identify whether it is real by seeing if it moves randomly. As for LED lights, in real cameras, these lights are only present on the back of real cameras to show power. And they do not arbitrarily blink and flash.

They Should have a Cable.

Your fake camera should have at least one cable. Real cameras have at least one for power and another for transmitting the video feed unless done wirelessly. Don’t let your wire hang loose on the wall. Make it seem like they are running to the source of power by hiding them behind a cable bracket or inside the wall.

Do Not Go Overboard With The Branding

As mentioned above, real security cameras have branding on them. So it would be best to buy a dummy camera with some labeling stuck to the body or lens. This can make it hard for a criminal to detect whether the camera is authentic.

Are Dummy Cameras Illegal?

Dummy cameras can open homeowners and businesses to lawsuits by giving unsuspecting people a false sense of security. For example, if they gurgle a business with a fake camera, the employees can ask the employer to reveal footage of the crime incident to catch the thief. But if the employer has nothing but a fake camera, the workers have the right to think it misled them into working in an insecure environment.

This can lead to a lawsuit by the workers.

Ultimately, the job of a security camera is to monitor in real-time whether a security incident can be minimized or stopped. If not, it can provide video information that can be important in catching the criminal.

Since a dummy camera cannot do these things, it can expose people who rely on it to harm.

Wrapping Up

Buy one if you truly believe that a fake camera can give you peace of mind. Just make sure you think long and hard about the consequences of your decision. These things should not be rushed, as you already know how easy it is for experienced criminals to detect a fake camera. Therefore, certain precautions must be taken to ensure your camera looks as real as possible.

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