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Dummy Cameras

Fake security cameras, or dummy cameras, are non-functional surveillance cameras designed to fool intruders, or anyone who it is supposedly watching. Those cameras are intentionally placed in a noticeable place, so passing people notice them and believe the area to be monitored by CCTV.

The cheapest fake security cameras can be recognized by not having real lenses (the "lenses" are just an opaque piece of plastic) Other fake cameras include broken real cameras, motion sensors disguised as cameras, or empty camera housings. They may have flashing lights, or a motor to simulate pan-tilt motion.

Since dummy cameras are non-functional, they are generally used in environments where the only need for a security camera is to deter minor theft and vandalism, such as small businesses like restaurants and convenience stores. Professional thieves have the experience to recognize a dummy camera, so they do not stop these people from acting.

Dummy cameras are also used to augment real surveillance systems to increase the deterrent effect at a minimal additional cost. Many camera vendors offer dummy cameras that look identical to the real ones they sell. A typical camera kit may include four real cameras and four dummies. The subjects being monitored are likely to assume that all of the cameras are real.