While reading a news article on newly observed TSA practices a commenter mentioned "How many people know what a TSA badge is really supposed to look like?"

It's a great question IMHO. If some official-looking stranger wants to poke around in my stuff, I assume they will have some proof of their position.

But how can I be sure such a person is genuine and not a scammer for instance?

  • 1
    HaLaBi's picture below is spot on, but this will not guarantee that it is genuine. Many social engineers will either copy uniforms or buy them from eBay (yes, even TSA uniforms: google.co.uk/…)
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 18:11
  • It's true that a scammer intending to impersonate a TSA officer could fake these based on images from the Internet, but there are also scammers who sieze opportunities as they see them and might flash any old card, badge, or star. This is pretty common at least outside the TSA case. So while you won't be able to spot everybody at least you can be prepared. Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 19:31
  • 1
    If you are in doubt if a TSA agent is genuine, just ask if you can go to security to clear things out. When getting there, just apologize for being paranoid. If he runs away, report it to security.
    – Bent
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


According to Google image search, this is what it's supposed to look like:



  • 6
    +1 for putting actual text in the image links... even some of our top people never do that (not naming names but start feeling guilty... NOW) Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 17:56
  • @hippietrail Stop this passive-aggressive guilt-tripping, MOM. Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 20:57
  • @AnkurBanerjee: Don't worry - you've always been a good boy putting nice text in on the rare occasion you show us pretty pictures. Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 21:02

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