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How to Tell if an FBI Badge Is Real

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents carry badges to identify themselves as legitimate. Unfortunately, buying fake FBI badges, especially online, can be done easily. Identifying a real FBI badge from a fake FBI badge can save you and your family from a possible home invasion or worse. Looking for the right signs and information on an FBI agent's badge will help you quickly identify if the FBI badge and the agent are real.

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  1. Ask to see the badge. A true FBI agent won't hand you the badge, so you'll need to look at it closely. If you are in your house, do not open the door. Ask to see the badge through a window.

  2. Look at the photo on the badge and make sure it matches the agent. Be sure the badge says "Federal Bureau of Investigation" on the top. Fake badges will sometimes use the abbreviation "FBI." Make sure the badge is completely gold in colour and has the words "Department of Justice" on the bottom of the badge.

  3. Ask the agent for his agent number. The agent will give you this number and it should match the number on the photo ID.

  4. Call the local FBI field office. Give the office the FBI agent's number and ask to make sure the agent is who he says he is. You can locate the local FBI field office either in a local phone directory or by visiting the FBI website. If the FBI field office doesn't identify the agent as a legitimate FBI agent, call 911 immediately.

  5. Warning

    If the FBI is executing a search warrant or any other search where evidence will be destroyed, they won't wait for you to determine whether they are legitimate, they will come in by force. If you ever feel unsafe or something doesn't seem right, call 911.

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About the Author

Louis Gutierrez began writing in 2010 for various websites, specializing in real estate, construction and electronics. He has over 10 years experience running and operating various successful businesses in these fields and holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration, graduating magna cum laude from Florida International University.

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