Fake Security Cameras – Do Dummy Cameras Really Work?

fake camera on brick wall

The world has never been a safer place thanks to all of the home security cameras and smart doorbells you see around your local neighborhood.

Although they serve a lot of purposes, another trend of late involves fake security cameras as a cheaper way to deter intruders, but they might not be able to stack up against the real deal.

Do fake security cameras work?

A dummy security camera might be able to deter would-be intruders from entering your property but it depends on the authenticity of the camera and how real it looks. Some cheaper models are instantly recognizable as fake and serve no purpose, so you likely have to spend more to get a fake security camera that’s worth using.

If you’re trying to cut costs but want to jump on the smart home security trend, you might have considered the worth of these dummy cameras before.

We’re here to walk you through how they can work, and when they can’t, so you’ll know the right way to put them to use with our guide to fake security cameras.

What Is a Fake Security Camera?

A fake security camera is a device that’s made to look like a functioning surveillance camera, only without the functionality to record video.

They’re mounted in the same place you would place a regular security camera and can look as realistic as a real one, with flashing LED lights and moving parts.

These dummy devices come in all sizes and shapes, including domes, full-body, and outdoor weatherproof cameras. You can choose them to match existing cameras you have at home or create a complete setup with fake devices, with some methods being more successful than others in preventing unwanted visitors.

The purpose of these cameras is to act as a deterrent so that would-be burglars and intruders see them, and are scared off from entering the property because they know they’re being watched.

Rather than having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars investing in a smart home security setup, you can save some money with these fake versions, provided you do it right.

Do Fake Security Cameras Actually Work?

fake cam

The worth of these fake security cameras all comes down to how they’re used, and there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.

The cheaper, basic dummy cameras are easy to spot, even to a regular person, and won’t have much use around the home when you’re trying to deter career criminals. Therefore, it’s better to spend extra and get cameras that are harder to differentiate, making them much more effective.

The most important factor is whether you’re buying an authentic-looking one, equipped with an LED light or a professional build, so it can be just as realistic as a genuine surveillance camera. Avoid those with blinking lights, as this is a feature rarely seen on a real camera, and where possible, choose a brand with a logo that’s easy to identify.

The installation of the cameras is also important, so you’ll want to plan out their position just as you would the real deal. The best approach is to use some genuine cameras alongside the fake ones, so it’s harder to tell which is which.

Position the real ones in the most susceptible zones like the front and back door, and use your fake cameras to fill in the other spots like the sides of your house.

The Pros and Cons of Dummy Surveillance

If you’re still unsure about the use of dummy cameras, it can help to weigh up their pros and cons to see if they’re really worth it.

Consider this list of the good and the bad before you go installing fake cameras around the home, and see whether they’re the right fit for your proposed security setup.

The Pros

Deterring criminals

If you have a decent fake camera setup at your house, there’s a good chance they can stop a burglar in their tracks.

The sight of surveillance cameras might make someone think again before attempting to enter, as long as they can’t tell the difference between that and the real deal, and they may move onto the next home that doesn’t have one.

Saves money

Although the better-quality fake cameras still cost quite a bit, when compared to a complete and genuine security system, you’ll save hundreds.

Not everyone can afford to have multiple cameras recording all entry points of their home, but these replicas can make it possible to get the next best thing.

Bigger range than ever

ptz cam

There was once a time when a dummy security camera could be spotted from a mile away, but that’s slowly changing.

The range of fake security cameras today could blow your mind, and they even have finer details like logos of real brands stamped on them, and a continuous LED light that stays on and looks genuine.

You can likely find a camera that’s the exact replica of the real ones you have at home so they blend in seamlessly if you’re happy to spend the money.

The Cons

No real peace of mind

When you’ve got a set of security cameras keeping an eye on your house, there’s a true peace of mind you experience. When the cameras are fake and not recording anything, you’ll miss out on this feeling.

Having a security system at home is all about knowing that you’re protected, and this is something that a dummy setup could never give.

No recording

Even if your camera has done its job and stopped a criminal from trying to break into your door, you’ll never know about it.

Because these cameras are all for show, there’s no footage to be viewed and you won’t be notified that someone’s come onto your property. Without the recording capabilities, it doesn’t even come close to comparing to a real security camera.

Looks fake

fake cam pros and cons

Fake camera manufacturers still aren’t able to create a dummy that looks as good as the real thing.

Although they’re getting pretty close, including LED lights and branded cameras, even an everyday person can spot the difference if they try, and this is even truer for a criminal who’s experienced in finding the fakes.

Loses money

Just as you save money from choosing these replica cameras, they could also be losing you money.

If something happens to be stolen at home, you don’t have the protection that a real camera offers with notifications and recorded footage, so you’ll have to weigh up the long-term costs and not just the initial investment.

Fake It Til You Make It

Not every criminal is clever enough to spot a fake security camera, but if you’re after true peace of mind, they just won’t feel the same as the real deal.

There’s nothing wrong with placing a few dummies around the home to add another level of protection or until you can afford a genuine camera, but ultimately, you’ll want the real thing keeping an eye on your house to truly feel like you’re safe.

Related Questions

Fake security cameras do serve a purpose when used correctly, but they could never replace the benefits that a real camera provides.

To learn more about smart home security options that can protect your home from all kinds of danger, we’ve answered some FAQs to point you in the right direction.

What Is the Best Deterrent for Burglars?

motion sensor lights

Some effective smart devices that deter burglars including external motion sensor lights, motion-activated security cameras, window and door sensors, and scheduled indoor lights that turn on and off when you’re not home.

Other smart devices like smart locks can be used to ensure your home is secured when you’re away, and you can keep an eye on what’s happening there using the dedicated apps of your smart devices.

Do Ring Doorbells Get Stolen?

It is possible for Ring doorbells to get stolen, regardless of how careful you are of their placement. However, if they do, the doorbell will hopefully be recording and get footage of the theft so that it’s easier to apprehend the criminal.

Ring and other popular smart device brands offer a guarantee that they’ll replace any stolen cameras free of charge and some have alarms that go off when the camera is tampered with, so it’s less likely that they’ll go missing altogether.

Can Smart Doorbells Be Hacked?

A smart doorbell without the right security measures in place will be susceptible to hacking, which could be done by turning off the device altogether or hacking into the owner’s home WiFi.

When choosing a smart doorbell, look for a reputable brand that’s known for manufacturing secure and safe smart devices with added protection against this type of activity.


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