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Are Fake Security Cameras Worth Buying? Our Top 5 Dummy Security Cameras

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If security cameras have succeeded in making peoples’ lives more secure, are fake surveillance cameras worth the money? 

Homeowners might ask themselves this when considering dummy surveillance cameras, fake alternatives to actual security cameras designed to deter would-be burglars. The use of these is based on the idea that the sight of a security camera alone is enough to prevent crime.

Of course, they also cost about a fraction of the price of their real counterparts, potentially making them suitable not just for temporary use, but for long-term use for those unable to afford security cameras. But are fake surveillance cameras actually effective?

Discover all there is to know about fake security cameras as well as our top 5 picks. Best yet, there might be a totally free solution with AlfredCamera!

What Are Fake Security Cameras?

Fake security cameras look just like their real counterparts, but are in reality just decoys designed to deter would-be burglars. This is based on the idea that the sight of a camera alone is enough to prevent crime, a claim that’s largely supported by research and academic studies.

They come in various designs, all of which are made to resemble actual branded security cameras that are available on the market.

Our 5 Picks for Best Dummy Security Cameras

Ready to trick some burglars? We put together a list featuring the five best dummy cameras available on the market, so that you can protect your home without breaking the bank.

WALI Bullet Dummy Fake Surveillance Security Camera

From $21.99

WALI Bullet Dummy Fake Surveillance Security Camera
Image via Amazon
Benefits

  • Affordable
  • The high quality makes it a convincing dupe
  • The easy installation method to avoid taking a lot of time of yours
  • LED lights to trick trespassers (also includes a warning alert sticker)
Tips

  • WALI Dummy Fake Security doesn’t come with wiring. Although it can be a hassle, it might be worth attaching some fake wiring to make your fake that much realer.
What people are saying about this fake camera option

Daniel, Amazon review, April 18, 2022‘Easy setup and looks real especially from afar had a couple people see it and think I had cameras.’
Dallas M. Collet, Amazon review, February 3, 2022
‘Nothing fancy. But good for a deterrent. I had to replace black plastic hose that is supposed to look like camera wire. I replaced it with twisted pair wire and it looks much more authentic.’

Armo Fake Security Camera (4 packs)

From $18.99

Armo Fake Security Camera
Image via Amazon
Benefits

  • Armo decoy cameras feature LED lights for added realism 
  • A warning sticker is included to fool would-be burglars
  • Mountable on walls and ceilings
  • An all-in-one solution for indoor, outdoor, and office areas
Tips

  • Though the look is convincing, the quality isn’t. Longevity therefore isn’t this dummy’s strong point. Take care while installing.
What people are saying about this fake camera option

midbest, Amazon review, September 29, 2021‘At a casual glance, these look more realistic than any other fake security camera I’ve seen, and they’re beautifully simple.’
Joe G, Amazon review, June 25, 2021
‘Crooks are onto “blinkies” so forget AA batteries. Real cameras quietly stare at you. Get a tube of clear glue, like “Goop” and glue the backs and the domes on before you install them, as they are realistic, but flimsy.’

GE Interior/Exterior Simulated Security Camera

From $12.99

Benefits

  • It deters unwanted intruders with its fully functioning LED lights 
  • Wall mounting is especially simple
  • Comes with an adjustable dome, its rotatable head means it can be moved horizontally and vertically
Tips

  • While movement adds realism, it could also have the opposite effect on burglars eyeing up a property if it moves to observe an unusual direction. Use caution when activating this function.
What people are saying about this fake camera option

Amazon customer, Amazon review, March 30, 2021‘I love it, better than I thought, looks real, I am in an Apartment is perfect.’
Karl J Jalbert, Amazon review, July 29, 2019
‘Looks pretty good. I was pleased. So realistic-looking, even I believe its real. Red LED looks like the real thing. Nice product for little cost. Thanks.’

SZYAN Dummy Security Cameras

From $10.99

Benefits

  • SZYAN offers a realistic-looking dummy at an unbeatable price.
  • Blinking red LED lights run on AAA batteries
  • Dome shape makes it suitable for use indoors and outdoors.
Tips

  • It includes LED lights, but AAA batteries are not included. Make sure to buy these separately; you’ll need three per camera.
What people are saying about this fake camera option

Amazon customer, Amazon review, RG, Amazon review, March 3, 2022‘I’ve had several of my neighbors notice them since I installed and not one of them asked me if they were fake. I think they look real and the included warning stickers are an added bonus.’
Nate’s Escape, Amazon review, December 28, 2021
‘They do the job and look real, definitely like the flashing light.’

BNT Dummy Fake Security Camera 

From $14.99

BNT Dummy Fake Security Camera
Benefits
  • One of the most affordable options on the market 
  • Red battery-powered LED light
  • Comes in either a pack of two or four, meaning you can cover multiple areas
Tips

  • The LED light is only visible at night. Though this adds some degree of realism, the lack of it blinking during the day is something to be aware of (FBI research suggests that up to 45% of burglaries actually occur during the day, contrary to popular belief).
What people are saying about this fake camera option

NOLALMT, Amazon review, April 30, 2022‘I have installed (real) wireless cameras around the perimeter of my home. There were a few places where the cameras couldn’t reach, such as under the covered carport, so I purchased these to help further deter would-be burglars. Seems to work; I haven’t noticed anything missing or any issues since installing them. They look very similar to my real cameras.’
Jeff Wignall, Amazon review April 19, 2022
‘I live on a very safe and crime-free street, but guess what? During covid the porch pirates discovered how easy it was to pilfer things from steps. I lost three Amazon packages in one day … I mounted two of these out front. Trust me, they look super real. Several neighbors have asked me how well they record! That’s how real they look.’

Do Fake Security Cameras Work?

The simple answer is yes, but only to a certain extent. We can’t say that fake security cameras don’t work at all, since burglars reported being deterred by the sight of cameras and alarm systems.   

One study correlates an increase in the presence of alarm systems with a decrease in burglaries, suggesting there is a link between visible signs of anti-theft devices and which houses ultimately wind up being dismissed by burglars.

Recommended reading: Home Security Camera Placement: Where Should You Install Yours?

Can You Make a Dummy Security Camera Real?

While there is no way of modifying a fake camera into a real one without spending significant amounts of money, you can increase the effectiveness of a fake dummy camera by following these steps.

a painted security camera on a wall
  • Connect wires, even if it is wireless (it will emphasize its visibility).
  • Choose a fake camera with blinking lights (most security cameras feature these).
  • Consider a fake security camera with a rotatable head for additional realism.
  • Avoid dummy cameras with cheap plastic casing.
  • Add a trigger alarm and alert stickers.

Are Fake Security Cameras Effective?

When it comes to matters of home security, what counts is doing what you can, because safety isn’t something anyone should have to compromise on. If a tight budget means a real security camera isn’t viable, a fake security camera is certainly more beneficial than none at all.

Here are three biggest benefits of buying a fake security camera: 

1. It can deter burglars

Most evidence points to the fact that having visible security measures, like dogs, alarms, cameras, and motion-detected lighting might serve as a deterrent to burglars. If you live in a perceived ‘bad neighborhood’, this is something you should take extra precautions for. In other words, having a fake camera is likely to be a better deterrent than none at all. 

2. Easy installation

Unsurprisingly, fake security cameras don’t require a complicated setup. If it takes batteries to make blinking lights function, insert these, then simply mount it to a wall. As such, it saves a great deal of time and energy (and money that would be spent on the electric bill!). 

3. Dummy security cameras are cheaper 

Fake security cameras require low to no maintenance. They cost very little upfront, and you don’t have to provide any monthly fees for upkeep.

If a tight budget is a key motivation behind an interest in dummy cameras, there may be another solution for you to consider. 

Traditional security camera alternatives like AlfredCamera allow you to turn your old smart device into a free security camera. Enjoy all the benefits of a professional security camera, including live streaming and motion detection, for free.

Available to download now for iOS and Android devices.

Recommended reading: How To Hide A Key (And Keep Home Invaders In The Dark)

FAQ

Is it illegal to have security cameras?

In most places it is not illegal to have a security camera on your property. That being said, they should abide by relevant privacy laws. In general, they should not record neighboring properties in an invasive way. Dummy security cameras have to follow all the laws that any CCTV camera has to.

Do real security cameras have blinking lights?

Most best-selling fake security cameras feature blinking red lights to make the trespassers assume they are being recorded. While some real security cameras also tend to feature this, modern ones tend to come with infrared lights that are invisible to the human eye.

How to make a fake security camera real?

While this article gives many tips on furthering the realism of dummy cameras, converting a dummy camera into a real one would be a costly and unusual endeavor! AlfredCamera is a free app that turns your old phone into a security camera—consider combining this with dummy cameras if you still wish to have actual footage recorded.

How to spot a fake security camera

Most real cameras have a red light that occasionally blinks due to the PIR sensors to indicate that some moving object has crossed. The red Most real cameras have a red light that only occasionally blinks to indicate that some moving object was observed by the sensors inside the lens. The red lights of fake surveillance cameras often flash continually. Be wary of this when investing in a camera which features lights. camera. 

Dummy cameras that feature branding on them are preferable to ones without it, since real ones feature this excessively. Real security cameras can indicate their presence with WiFi and Bluetooth searches, whereas a fake one will naturally be undetectable.

Conclusion

Fake security cameras are something of a curiosity. While there is no hard proof that they ‘work’, there certainly is strong evidence to indicate that they may have some positive influence on dissuading or deterring burglars. 

They are an inexpensive, simple way to quickly improve your home’s security, but other useful alternatives exist. By transforming your old phone into a fully functioning security camera, AlfredCamera gives you all the benefits of a modern security camera in a convenient and costless package. 

Combining different deterring tactics, like fake security cameras, with the highly conspicuous app may make for stronger security overall.