In many cases, you may need to know whether the IP security camera is a real or dummy/fake security camera. Let’s say, if you visit your friend’s home, you may feel uncomfortable if you are recorded by a security camera. So how to spot a fake security camera? How to tell a real camera from a fake one?
Undoubtedly, the fake cameras on the market are getting so advanced that now they come with fake blinking LED lights, motion sensors, and fake cables coming out of the camera.
With all these new fake features included, it’s getting more difficult to spot a fake security camera. However, there are still a lot of signs that make a professional CCTV installer notice a fake camera easily. Listed below a few differences between a real and a fake security camera.
How to tell a fake security camera
Check the wiring
Nowadays most fake security cameras come with fake wires, however, if you see a camera without any wires and cheaply made, it’s most likely a dummy camera.
Even if you see wires coming out, trace them to your eyes to see where the line goes, is it piped or it goes inside moldings. When installing fake cameras, no one cares about installing pipes or junction boxes.
IR LED Lights that don’t glow
Most of the fake cameras come without IR LED lights and that’s the first indicator that you’re dealing with a fake camera. Nowadays, most of the security cameras come with night vision IR LED lights built-in to the camera and when it gets dark they turn on and glow red.
If no IR lights, the camera can’t see anything during the nighttime, it will be a dark image. A fake camera doesn’t come with IR lights and when it gets dark you can’t see any glowing on the camera. So if it’s dark and the camera has no red spots around the lens, it’s most likely a dummy camera.
How about the fake cameras that come with flashing fake LED lights? You can find dummy cameras that are battery-powered and glow red during nighttime to make them seem real. Yet, there are still telltales.
For example, these cameras will flash red even during the daytime and a real camera doesn’t do that. Moreover, during the nighttime, these fake IR LED lights are very dim (not too bright) and they look abnormal (like something’s off).
If you compare it to a real camera, you’d tell the difference easily. The real camera’s IR LED lights are obvious, too bright, and numerous.
The way the camera is installed and placed
There are few rules when installing a real security camera. For example, the wires coming from the camera go on molding or pipe and you can trace the line with your eyes. On the other hand, a fake camera has no wires at all or fake wires and is simply placed on the wall with the wires exposed or not taken care of.
Also, keep in mind that outdoor security cameras need to survive exposure to the element. Usually, the bullet-type cameras have protruding sunshades and look sturdy (made of metal). The dome cameras are installed with junction boxes and piped. A fake plastic camera will de-color after a few weeks under the sun and it will look dummy. Let’s say, dummy cameras can’t ever look like real professional equipment.
Obviously, the dummy cameras are made of cheap materials to keep the cost down. Hence, many cheap replica cameras look fake, they look like children’s toys.
A real security camera is sturdy and built of metal, the dummy cameras are fake plastic all over. So, a way to tell if CCTV security is real or fake is simply by observing if the camera looks professional.
Search for fake cameras on Google
This is another smart way to find if a security camera is fake or not. Go to Google Images and type “bullet fake camera” or “dome fake camera” and see the pictures listed over there to check if the same camera style is over there.
Usually, the number of fake cameras sold online is limited, maybe 20-30 different products, which you can check quickly on Google. If you find a camera with the same shape, design, color scheme, then the camera you’re concerned with is most likely fake.
Check the logotype on the camera
Most of the real cameras have branding marks on the camera’s body such as their brand name or logo. A fake camera is mostly with any marks and without any logo.
If you can see any marks on the camera, google them to see the result. If it’s real, it will be listed online. Or if you can see any sticker or label on the camera, take a quick picture and research the model number.
PTZ cameras should track movements
If the camera in question is PTZ it should rotate and follow the subject. That’s something done by real security cameras, the dummy ones are too cheap to have a motor inside. Keep in mind, dummy cameras are just a deterrent, if they get too expensive, someone would just buy a real security system.
Most experienced people can tell easily if a camera is fake or real. There are a lot of telltales on a dummy camera that people can inspect with the naked eye and conclude that the camera is a dummy and doesn’t record anything. We’d always recommend spending some extra bucks and getting a real security camera system. It will be effective and you can actually have recordings of the activity.