How to tell if a security camera is fake

In this article, you will learn how to tell if a security camera is fake.

how to tell if a security camera is fake

Just a couple of years ago, phony safety cameras were common. They were installed simply to drive people away. Could they still be out there?

People were installing these fake cameras to scare criminals away and make their properties appear protected. 

There are a wide variety of reasons that you might want to be able to determine if a security camera is real or not.

In order to scare thieves away and make their property look protected, people installed these fake cameras. 

There are quite a lot of explanations why you would want to know whether or not a surveillance camera is real or just a phony.

A false sense of security is one of the problems that these phony security cameras have contributed to. 

People have noticed what seemed like a legitimate surveillance camera and began to think that they are safe. Yet, it continues to occur.

While that might not be an issue for house owners, there have been numerous times in which a store owner has been prosecuted for providing a false sense of security to their customers. 

Signs a security camera is fake

Let's take a look at the different ways to tell if a security camera is fake.

IR lights 

IR lights can determine if a security camera is fake

Most cameras nowadays are equipped with Infrared lights that only turn on at night. These lights enable the camera to record with little to no light and make nightly recording possible. 

You would be able to see subtle glowing red lights from the cameras with your bare eyes. However, to see them, you'll have to be somewhat near. 

Another alternative is to use the camera on your phone so that the IR lights can be identified, and if the camera does not have these IR lights turned on at night, it is likely to be fake. 

However, it's not impossible for it to be a real camera, some cameras cannot record in the dark and therefore do not have IR lights, but those are mostly old models. 

Or it might just be turned off. So be on the lookout for those.

Brand name

Looking for the company name can quickly tell you if it is real, as well known companies do not produce fake cameras. 

Though you might know the standard Samsung, Nest, Ring, Arlo, Hanwha Techwin, Panasonic, or Bosch.

You might be unaware of other brands such as Canary, Wyze, Blink, Amcrest, YI Home camera, Swann, Lorex, SimpliCam, Lorex, Eufy, among others.

If you are unaware of a brand, a quick online search will answer whether or not the camera is fake. You can also look for a logo, which can also be a quick tell whether it's fake or real.


Nest Outdoor Camera Review

The quality of a camera can tell a lot about whether it is real. Usually, cheap-looking plastic cameras are most likely fake and can be distinguished from other higher quality ones.

Since companies and excellent brands are widely available and cheap, you will likely be able to tell if it is a fake camera, as even affordable ones have an immeasurable quality to them.

Stay on the lookout for anything suspicious such as a lack of lights, or you can even be looking at just the casing with no camera inside.

Lack of wires

Most cameras have some sort of wire, especially outdoor ones. 

Though there is the option of having ones you need to charge, it is harder to maintain as the owner would need to get it down and charge it up before attaching it again.

Looking for an Ethernet or a cable that shows it is plugged in can be another sign, it is real, and therefore, if a camera lacks cables, it might be fake.

Be careful as there are so many cameras in today's market that wireless cameras are a possibility you need to take into account. 

Therefore, you should use the steps above before confirming this one.


Overall, there is always a slight possibility of a fake looking camera being real, yet, with the affordable prices of much of the cameras in today's market, it can be easy to acquire one.

Therefore, the amounts of fake cameras in the market has decreased significantly. And always act as someone is watching you cause they just might be. Or not...