Buying inexpensive fake security cameras? Don’t be a dummy!

Everyone with a home or business wants to protect it and the best way to protect one’s assets and family is to prevent trespassing, theft, and vandalism before it happens. Surveillance systems that use security cameras are so popular today because they have a proven track record of deterring trespassing, protecting property and preventing crime. However, with the intention of saving money, some people consider the use of dummy or fake security cameras in place of a complete security system. The truth is, not only are fake security cameras ineffective they often cause more harm than good, turning an intention to save money into a costly yet preventable mistake.

real security cameras on the wall

What are dummy security cameras?

Fake security cameras are often referred to as ‘dummy cameras’ and come in a variety of shapes and sizes that mimic the design of real cameras. Although they look similar to real cameras they have features that make them easily distinguishable from the real deal.

A prominent feature of these type of cameras is a blinking red light that is supposed to make the camera appear to be turned on and functioning. Some more advanced models may pan from side to side or make other arbitrary movements as if they are monitoring an area. In spite of these ‘realistic’ features, dummy cameras do not monitor or record activity or movement and although they claim to prevent crime they are simply not effective deterrents and in some cases can even do more harm than good.


Does dummy camera prevent theft and vandalism?

To be effective, criminals must believe that a dummy camera is real. The truth is, experienced criminals can easily tell a fake security camera from a real one. The differences are easy for anyone to see. First, most dummy cameras use a blinking red light to indicate operation and this is presented as a realism feature. However, the vast majority of real security cameras do not use a blinking red light or any visible light at all. This dummy camera feature is like a flashing red sign to criminals that the camera is a fake!

Additionally, dummy cameras may have a single wire attached to the unit or no wires at all. Authentic high-end CCTV surveillance cameras use multiple wires for power and audio and a coaxial wire for the video signal. It is evident at a glance when a dummy camera lacks these features.

Finally, many dummy security cameras will pan back and forth constantly over an area, the assumption being that the area is being actively monitored. Real cameras don’t work like this. Instead, they monitor a certain area or move as a result of motion or occasionally as a result of manual surveillance initiated by security personnel. The regular, repetitive back and forth motion of a dummy camera is a good indication to criminals that it is a fake and that they may trespass without being seen.


Does mixing fake cameras and real cameras increase security?

Some people think that mixing fake cameras and real cameras can be an inexpensive way to create the appearance of a wider, more complete surveillance system. This is a dangerous assumption that can actually make a property less secure! Because criminals can easily spot fake cameras, they will know in seconds what areas are safe for them to enter and which to avoid. This combination is like providing a road map to criminals on how to enter a property!

Not only that but in the case of an intrusion the fake security cameras in the system will not record any images or video, leaving the victim with no warning of a trespassing individual and no evidence to provide to the police or courts after a crime has occurred. Adding fake cameras in areas of a home or business property only serves to indicate areas that are not being monitored.


Why should you always use real security cameras?

Real security cameras are safe, effective deterrents and easier than ever to install and use. They have a multitude of features that can be selected for each individual property’s security and monitoring needs.  They are proven deterrents to even the most experienced criminals and in the event of an intrusion they record and safely store video evidence that can help law enforcement catch and convict criminals and recover losses.

In the past, high-quality security systems have been prohibitively expensive for personal use in homes and small businesses but in the last few years new technology and direct-to-consumer online sales have made effective systems cheaper and more accessible for everyone. Modern systems are modular, simple to install and operate and can be expanded to suit different applications, new monitoring areas, and larger properties.



The sad truth is that property crimes are increasing all the time and it’s more important than ever to have security protections in place for one’s business, home and family. Installing cheap dummy cameras may seem like a step in the right direction or a temporary security measure but they are simply not effective. Any money saved by not installing a real system would be nothing compared to the costs in losses and damages that would be incurred during a single burglary or incident of vandalism. Fake security cameras simply are not viable security measures and even worse, can give a false sense of protection.

The best answer to business and home security concerns is an investment in a real security surveillance system. A reasonable initial investment will provide real protection, safety and best of all…peace of mind by ANNKE.

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