What are fake security cameras?
Fake cameras are exactly what they sound like: inexpensive props that look like real CCTV cameras. They are designed to mimic the appearance of popular models of residential and commercial security cameras, but provide no real protection. They are not working cameras and will not record any footage.
Do Fake Security Cameras Prevent Crime?
The honest answer here is, maybe. A scarecrow might work for a few months, but eventually the birds learn the dummy poses no threat and will flock to a farm again. In the same way, criminals will eventually figure out you have a fake camera. They’ll take advantage of the lack of security and you’ll find yourself paying for a real camera that you probably should have spent money on in the first place, as well as having the cost of loss or damage.
Fake cameras can create a false sense of security, which can get you into trouble in more ways than you may think.
The Liability in Fake Security Cameras
The false sense of security from your fake camera can create disastrous consequences for everyone but the criminal.
While dummy security cameras may provide some degree of deterrence, installing them does expose the company to liability. If there is a known security issue, the company may have a duty (if not legally, what about an ethical duty?) to take reasonable measures to protect the business, employees, and property.
By installing a dummy security camera, particularly if there is a known security issue, the company is representing that there is a security measure in place — one that does not actually exist. If a crime occurs in an area where a person felt secure due to the existence of the camera, the company is at risk for creating the false sense of security. Similarly, there is exposure to liability if a person who was a victim of a crime in an area “monitored” by the dummy camera subpoenas the video and there is none.
There are a growing number of lawsuits finding liability for these dummy cameras. The best way to mitigate this liability is to install real security cameras.
Protecting Yourself Against Falsehoods
Keeping a video record of everything that happens in your building will save you from any false claims. For example, if someone claims they fell in your parking lot, footage for evidence will make a much stronger contest of the fraudulent claim.
Pros and Cons of Fake Security Cameras
-Less Expensive (at least initially)
-Lawsuits from people who thought they were safe
-Can’t catch perpetrators as easily
-Only hold off crime for so long (then the cost of fake security cameras increases because they are in addition to your loss and, potentially, the new install of real cameras)
-No evidence to protect against fraudulent claims
By putting the money forward initially for a real security camera, you’ll be saving yourself from greater expenses later.