The landlord’s responsibility to thoroughly investigate each prospective renter is essential. If you want reliable tenants who can pay on time, you should require applicants to provide you with a pay stub. In a sad twist of fate, you can encounter fake pay stubs. Only some people are forthright when applying to rent, and some websites even let you make false pay stubs for a price. Let us understand how to identify fake pay stubs and employment verification.
The proliferation of websites offering this service has simplified the process of making phony paychecks. You go to a webpage and input the data you need there. Pay stubs may be customized to include any fictional organization and fictitious salary.
Making a phony paycheck takes less than a minute and roughly $5. These fake pay stubs are practically impossible to tell apart from the real. If the prospective tenant needs to make more money to afford the house, they may quickly fabricate some higher-paying documents with a few clicks of the mouse. If the prospective tenant is less financially secure than they claim to be, the landlord risks evading them at great expense and inconvenience if they cannot pay their monthly rent.
Here’s how to spot a fake payroll stub, so you don’t fall victim to fraud.
How to Easily Identify Fake Pay Stubs?
A false pay stub may seem real at first glance, but careful inspection may reveal its authenticity as fraudulent. Keep an eye out for the following tangible characteristics of a counterfeit check:
1. The Paystub Might Be Fake if Everything is Perfectly Rounded
When was the last time you received a paycheck that contained exactly the amount you were expecting, with no pennies or dollars left over? It probably never happens. Make sure that the applicant’s monthly earnings are not rounded to the closest hundred or thousand dollars while analyzing their pay stub. Paychecks are usually never a rounded figure; therefore, if it is, it is definite evidence that the person filled out a phony form (and carelessly, at that!).
2. The Paystub Might Be Fake if it Lacks Professional Details
Paycheck stubs are the product of collaboration between HR and accounting. They are likely to submit a professional-looking pay stub, given that they are professionals. Numbers, lines, and letters should all be aligned properly. Also, make sure your decimal places are correct. Decimal places and numbers in accounting software will align themselves automatically. There should be nothing unique or spectacular about the typeface used. Right any wrong words you find. It’s also essential that the stub not be illegible in any way. The document should be easy to understand for anybody.
3. The Paystub Might Be Fake if it Does Not Looks Professional
Paychecks are often prepared by HR personnel or accountants. In other words, you should expect these folks to only produce documents that are a nightmare to read. Verify that the applicant’s pay stub has a polished appearance by looking for signs of professional design and layout. All numbers and letters should be aligned and in the proper perspective, and there shouldn’t be any blurriness.
4. The Paystub Might Be Fake if it Lacks Basic Information
If the applicant fails to provide the basics—their name, address, and company—it might be a red flag. Taxes, insurance premium payments, and gross compensation should all be listed in the form. Like other official papers, paycheck stubs typically have this data in more than one location. If there are any discrepancies, it may be a red indicator that the applicant has handed you a fake pay stub prepared by a third-party website.
5. The Paystub Might Be Fake if the Numerical Zeroes are Replaced with Alphabetical O’s
Whether or not a pay stub distinguishes between a capital “O” and the number “0” is a subtle but telling distinction. You can see that the zero should be higher and more oval-shaped than the capital O, which is more generally rounded. Another red flag that the document is forged is that it has grammatical or spelling errors that a trained accountant would never create.
6. The Paystub Might Be Fake if There are Significant Errors in Calculations and Amounts
Legal payroll systems have error-proofing built into adding and subtracting salaries, so mistakes are uncommon. Mathematical errors on a pay stub are a red flag that the stub was generated manually and may be fake. There is no difference between the amounts on different pay stubs. A bogus pay stub will include inconsistencies.
7. The Paystub Might Be Fake if There are Varying Pay Dates
Wages and salaries are typically dispersed on a particular day each month. It could happen once a week, twice a month, or once a month. Generally speaking, businesses always have a system in place for dispersing funds. If you receive money from the same company on various dates, that’s something to keep in mind. It is possible that fake pay stubs and other forms of income verification are being used.
What Other Methods Can I Use for Income Verification?
However, it is essential to utilize additional means to verify income. It is only sometimes possible to tell a phony pay stub from a real one just by glancing at it. Verifying a pay stub’s correctness involves:
1. You Can Request for W-2 Form
People can fake W-2 forms, but it isn’t easy. Use the W-2 to determine if a renter is likely to be able to pay rent and other costs on time by looking at their gross earnings, taxes, and deductions. Employers design these documents for the sole purpose of making salary verification as precise as possible.
2. You Can Directly Call the Employer That Is Listed on Paystub
Even though not all companies check salary, you may still ascertain whether or not the candidate was truthful about their employment status. Avoid calling the applicant at the number they supplied since they may have a buddy pose as a potential employer or human resources representative. Get in touch with the company’s human resources department by digging.
3. You Can Request Form 4506
You may access a prospective tenant’s federal tax transcript using this application.
4. You Can Ask for Monthly Bank Statement Record
The income and security deposits of the prospective renter should be consistent with one another. Also, the company’s name needs to be on the promise. Inconsistencies or omissions here might indicate dishonesty on their part.
What Should You Do if the Paystub Comes Out to Be Fake?
Falsifying a pay stub and submitting it as proof of income is dishonest. You have the right to terminate a prospective tenant’s application and seek compensation if they provided a fake pay stub. You can legally remove a tenant already living in your rental home if you discover they provided false income documentation after you first rented the property to them. Rent will be null and void if a wrong pay stub is submitted. The right to sue the tenant for damages survives the termination of the contract and the eviction. If you decide to sue for damages, you should file a police complaint and include the fake pay stubs as evidence.
Can a Bank Help in Verifying Paystubs for a Landlord?
In most cases, financial institutions will not inquire about landlords’ income verification documents, such as pay stubs. Get in touch with the prospective tenant’s place of employment to see if the pay stub is authentic.
Can You Report Fake Paystub to The Police?
You should file a police report with the appropriate authorities and include the fake pay stub as proof if you intend to pursue legal action against the renter who submitted it. You can use the false pay stub and police report as evidence in a trial.
Making false pay stubs and using them to deceive an employer or government agency is a fraud that has severe legal consequences. Trust your gut when something doesn’t seem right with your paycheck stub. It is simple to create a convincing phony pay stub. Try to find out as much as possible. Check the pay stub for apparent problems in spelling, math, alignment, and presentation.
It would be good to double-check with the company, though. You might ask for extra proof that the money stated on the pay stub made it into the account, which could be in the form of a bank statement. Make sure to protect yourself at all times when renting to tenants, and do not make any decisions in terms of renting your property unless you are 100% certain and comfortable with the tenants that you are choosing.