How To Spot A Fake Security Camera – Five Easy Steps

by Patricia Costello
fake security camera

Security cameras have become some of the most common investments in terms of personal and business security. Pretty much every middle or large business has CCTV security on site, not to mention homeowners who choose to secure their homes. Not only do security cameras provide valuable footage in case of trouble, but they can also deter thieves and burglars.

No matter how helpful they seem to be, security cameras may also bring in some issues. There are certain situations when their use is not as efficient as one might think. For instance, they may help your neighbor keep an eye on their property, but they may also cover your backyard, which means you no longer have privacy.

There are more situations when security cameras can become a nuisance. On the same note, there are situations when they look problematic, but they are actually fake. At this point, you no longer need to worry about laws, awkward conversations with your neighbor, lasers or large obstacles to protect your privacy. But then, how do you spot a fake security camera?


Situations when security cameras can become a problem

Security cameras are meant to protect and capture footage when unexpected and unlawful situations occur. They are, however, a problem when they inevitably invade others’ privacy. It may be an involuntary side effect of protection, but most people will definitely dislike the idea of being spied on. So, when can cameras become an issue?

If your neighbor tries to protect their property and installs cameras everywhere, some of them may target your backyard too. You can forget about getting a tan on a hot summer day or having a barbecue with friends. It feels like someone violates your privacy.

If your neighbor across the street gets cameras, some of them may cover your front door too. It does not really feel comfortable feeling watched whenever you go in and out, does it? It might as well be your driveway.

How about certain windows? Thinking to let the sun in? Well, it does not feel so good when you know an invasive camera can also watch you, be it the large windows of your living room or perhaps the windows of your kids’ bedrooms.

Sure, you can count on those cameras to keep an eye on you too, but at the end of the day, you can get your own cameras if you want extra security. Feeling invaded is not necessarily the optimal way to get protection.


Different situations and different solutions

Different situations come with different solutions. Talking to your neighbor and expressing your discomfort could be a good option if you have a nice neighbor, but it does not always work. Some neighbors will be considerate and ensure their cameras cannot rotate enough to cover your property.

On the other hand, if someone actually decides to spy on you, a few large obstacles can sort it out. Trees are excellent, as well as bushes and shrubs. If cameras point at your windows, opt for tint or curtains.

You can also try damaging or blinding a security camera with a laser, but make sure it is a proper one. You need one of those military lasers – if you cannot damage it, at least you blind it and no one can spy on you.

All these issues become history if your neighbor opts for fake security cameras though. Lots of people – both residential and commercial properties – invest in a few fake cameras too. No burglar will take the risk. Thieves usually go for the easiest targets, so even fake cameras can deter intruders.

Now, how do you know whether or not you have a problem? How can you tell if a security camera is fake?

Related Topic: How To Hide A Security Camera In Plain Sight – Full Guide On Installing A Hidden Camera

How to spot a fake security camera

fake surveillance cameras

You do not have to be a security expert to tell whether or not a security camera is fake. A few small details will give you all the answers you need.

No infrared lights

A modern security camera will have infrared lights whenever the night kicks in. These lights are responsible for the night vision. Some cameras have one light, while others have many more. There are two ways to figure it out.

You can look straight into the camera – the naked eye should still be able to notice something, especially if you are less than 50 yards away. If you cannot see anything, use your smartphone camera. It should be able to pick these lights.

If there are no lights, the camera is fake or so poorly qualitative that it can barely capture anything over a long distance – no need to worry about your privacy.

Physical quality

Unless the camera is on the top of the house, you can probably get a bit closer and take a look at it. Most security companies will rely on poor quality materials for fake cameras. They do not put too much money or work into them and it shows.

While not always a general rule, many fake cameras actually look fake. If it looks like it is made of cheap plastic, it is probably fake. Check out the attachment points as well – a quality camera will have a perfect design.

Red lights

If you see a red light, you probably imagine the camera is real. Infrared light is perfectly normal, but it is a bit useless when it blinks. Real lights do not need to blink. If they do, chances are the security camera is fake. Ancient models of cameras may have blinking red lights, but it is almost impossible to find them in cameras made in the last years.

The idea behind these lights? There are two reasons wherefore manufacturers implement them. First, they want to draw attention. After all, a fake camera is completely useless if potential intruders do not spot it. Second, they try to imitate infrared lights, but the problem is they actually blink.


This is not the best way to determine if a security camera is fake, but it might help. New cameras come with one cable, while old cameras come with a couple of them. The cable is quite thick – just like an Internet or television cable. If you see a tiny wire coming out of it, it is probably fake.

Check the brand

If you can come close enough to see a brand name or a logo, it will give you some good hints. You can then go online and find out more about that model and design. Some companies use big names, but different logos. Make sure you pay attention to every single detail.


Bottom line, learning how to spot fake security cameras is not hard. It is not science, so there is a small chance you might be wrong. However, if you get all the above mentioned factors in, you should have no issues at all.

Keep in mind there are plenty of good fake cameras in commerce these days. Some of them are so well made that they can trick anyone who cannot come close enough to look at them. Moreover, you might get a better shot at it by simply asking your neighbor and expressing your concerns about your privacy.

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