With the economy dragging a long, fake pay stubs have become increasingly common among renters and loan applicants. If you’re a landlord, apartment manager, or lender, it’s important to be able to spot fake pay stubs. Here are some basic ways to identify and prevent fake pay stubs:
- Ask for written permission to verify the pay stubs. By asking permission to verify the pay stubs, you will disincentivize the applicant from cheating because they assume they’ll be checked and verified.
- Request a phone number to check the applicant’s work history. This tactic is another way to discourage false pay stub records because the candidate or applicant will be less likely to falsify the pay stub if she believes there will be some kind of verification.
- Look for basic errors and inconsistencies in the pay stub. Creating fake pay stubs is a very easy process. Most renters or applicants user tools like Excel, Word, or even accounting software like QuickBooks or Paychex to create fake looking stubs. They usually forget to add annual figures, so this is something to check for as well.
Those are just the basics of identifying fake pay stubs from potential tenants and borrowers. Take a look at more tips on identifying fake pay stubs.
If you’re a property manager or landlord, beware, there are many tools available that folks use to inflate their income. Renters and other kinds of applicants have a plethora of resources and software available on the web to create false pay stubs. Here are some common software programs to look out for when you are monitoring applications to make sure you don’t see these brand names. Keep in mind that candidates use these specific tools in an attempt to fool and deceive landlords and lenders.
- QuickBooks Online
- Xero Accounting Software
All these programs are perfectly legitimate software programs designed for paying employees, but you should be aware that they can be used also for the creation of fake pay stubs designed to trick landlords.
Did you know that fake pay stubs cost landlords, lenders, and other guarantors of assets over $500 million each year? That’s a lot of cash lost because of fake pay stubs. So how do you identify a fake pay stub? Identifying fake pay stubs can require careful diligence and painstaking examination of the document provided to you. Here are some things to look for when examining a pay stub:
- Low quality copy: Many people attempting to offer fake pay stubs will use a very grainy or nearly unreadable copy of the pay stub in an effort to mask a forgery
- Incorrect dates: Double check the dates that are provided to you to make sure that they match the facts
- Unreasonable pay: What is the average wage for the position the person said they are currently employed in? A lot of times people have no idea what the right wage is for the job they are making up, so double check this
- Address doesn’t match: Make sure the pay stub address matches
The easiest and most seemingly legitimate way some people build fake pay stubs is by using accounting software like QuickBooks or another program that is designed for employers with W2 employees. QuickBooks Online is accounting software that is actually designed for businesses, but when in the hands of someone looking to inflate their perceived income, it’s hard to spot the fraud. It’s easy to print out a W2 or 1099 document with QuickBooks, so they look real, because they are real–they’re real paychecks and pay stubs.
There is a 30 day free trial for QuickBooks that requires your credit card but you can cancel anytime within the 30 day trial.
For more context on QuickBooks, there are a variety of shapes and sizes of QuickBooks financial software. QuickBooks has invoicing, employee management, payroll, paystub, and other financial accounting functions. Most people use QuickBooks to get their finances in order for their small business but some use it to create fake paystubs. This is obviously fraudulent use but as a consumer of paystubs for credit checks, you should be aware of it.