Fake security cameras or dummy cameras are non-functional surveillance cameras designed to look like real security cameras in an effort to discourage minor theft and vandalism, often with mixed results. They are placed in obvious places so that passing people notice them and think that the area is being monitored by camera.
The most inexpensive fake security cameras can be recognized by lack of real lenses, lack of power cords or video cables. More expensive cameras have cords that make them appear like the real thing and the lenses and housings appear more like real security cameras. Broken surveillance cameras can also be used as fake security cameras. Some of the more realistic cameras will have pan and tilt mechanisms or blinking lights to simulate a real camera.
Because fake security cameras are non functional they are usually placed in areas of minor vandalism and theft, as they are likely to be spotted by professional thieves as fake. Many times they can be placed with actual working security cameras to increase the deterrent effect, with little extra cost. Many times security camera kits may be purchased with fake cameras that look exactly like the real cameras. This leads thieves and vandals to believe that the whole area is under surveillance as because the real cameras are indistinguishable from the fake security cameras.