Hardware used, inlay work, and quality of construction should authenticate the guitar. I should all be the highest quality that you can imagine, if the squire or epiphone at you local guitar shop seems like a better made guitar than it is probably a fake. Also I belive it should have a V shaped paint stop between the body and then neck. I believe it should have a metal esp flip battery door. Although I am no expert on this model. if you don't have enough point to post here you can create a gallery with pictures of it, and reference that. There are certainly some people here that should be able to tell you if its real or not just by looking at the pictures.