If you’ve been looking for a home security solution with security cameras, it’s no doubt crossed your mind at least one time in the process that maybe you could just buy a bunch of fake security cameras and call it a day. It’d be cheaper and easier, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it ever again, right?

Well, there are definitely many cost savings that come with opting for a non-functional security camera set. While functioning cameras can run upwards of $100, but fake cameras can be purchased for just $20 or so. Real cameras also need to be wired to power as well as a network or local system in order to run the video footage back to the VCR or DVR. Fake cameras, on the other hand, don’t need any of that. This saves you time and money since installation will be easy, and you don’t need to pay for a technician to set it up on your property. You also won’t need to pay for professional monitoring (since there’s nothing to monitor).

However, there are many other concerns beyond cost that you should consider before giving in to the temptation of cheap, fake security cameras.

Legal Concerns

Depending on what type of property you are setting the system up in, you may run into legal troubles if you mislead a client or other third party into a false sense of security. For example, if you are a landlord and you sell or rent your property, which displays security cameras or advertises itself as protected by cameras in a way that sets up the expectation that there will be reviewable footage in the case of a burglary, that sets up a false sense of security for your tenants or buyers.

Who Are You Fooling?

Most real security cameras are designed very cleanly and made with durable materials. Fake cameras, on the other hand, tend to be made out of very cheap materials with very noticeable and inaccurate features. Some examples include:

  • A lack of wiring. Real cameras typically need a wire at least for power and sometimes another one to run the video feed to a DVR or VCR (if it’s not wirelessly connected to a network).
  • A blinking red security light. Almost no real security cameras have these. At most, they might have a green light for power, and that is often just on the back of the camera.
  • A “panning” feature that makes the camera slowly swivel back and forth. Real cameras that have a swivel feature will typically not pan back and forth. They will either have sensors that allow them to follow movement or they will be remotely controlled.

So if you do decide to put up fake security cameras, make sure to keep these things in mind so that you achieve your goal of creating an authentic-looking security system. A shabby fake camera system might fake out some petty thieves, but it’s the professional burglars that you really need to worry about. They can spot a fake camera from a mile away if you aren’t careful. Furthermore, they also know that cameras are expensive; if your system looks like it has coverage that is too comprehensive for its setting, they’ll know it’s fake. Real security cameras are also placed with thought and care. If you put up a camera that doesn’t really look like it’s monitoring anything at a good angle, it’ll tip the burglars off to your bluff.

A Deterrent and No More

Ultimately, if the fake security cameras don’t deter a criminal, the loss is all yours. You won’t have any footage to find out who it was or proof that it was a break-in. To make this work, you really need to invest a lot of time and energy in researching what real camera systems look like and finding or creating a camera that looks authentic.

In our professional opinion, installing a functional security camera that looks good and does its job is worth price and the piece of mind for you, your family, and your business.