In recent months, properties in the area have seen an increase in the number of fraudulent applications from perspective residents. Many of these individuals are using similar tactics to beat resident screening processes, so it’s important to stay informed and keep an eye out for these applicants. Here’s a few things to look out for when reviewing applicants:
1. Falsified Paystubs
Falsified paystubs can be identified because they will typically include inconsistent information when they are submitted. For example, the name of the employer will be a real company, but the spelling will be wrong. There may be other inconsistencies such as discrepancies on YTD income or taxes, or on personal information like the applicant’s address. There are now online companies providing falsified paystubs for a nominal fee, so this is becoming a more common issue.
2. Falsified Personal Information
Many applicants will alter their personal information like their social security number or date of birth by changing a number or two in attempt to evade screening. Onsite teams often only receive the last four digits for social security and personal identification numbers, so it will be difficult for the onsite team to know there is a problem rather than it just being an applicant with no credit history.
3. Fake Employment References
Applicants are citing employment at a small company, but a search on the NC Secretary of State website shows that the company was dissolved, or there was no record at all. There will be a very limited internet presence, if there is one at all. The addresses provided on the application will also often be something totally unrelated, like a grocery store in a strip mall.
4. Fake Landlord References
Applicants are often citing a private residence/landlord for their current residence, and when property tax records are pulled, they do not match the information that was provided. These landlords are often unreachable or are unable to provide verification of residence.
These are just a few of the methods individuals are using to beat resident screening. The most important step you can take to fight back is to be vigilant when reviewing documentation and look out for obvious inconsistencies that may be an indicator of fraud.