Rental Scams Part 2: Fake Employers and Pay Stubs
The second part of our series on rental scams has to deal with fake employers and fake pay stubs. Both of these are very important pieces to a tenant’s application. Think about it – if a tenant is not currently employed or does not actually make the income listed, there is a good chance they won’t be able to make their rent payments, right?
Save yourself a lot of headaches by thoroughly reviewing the information provided to you by the individual applying for tenancy. Let’s take a look just how you can do that.
Spotting a Fake Employer
Anyone can give you a phone number on their application with the fake name of a supervisor. If you didn’t look at things in great detail, you may find that you are calling a friend that is claiming to be your future tenant’s boss.
To make sure the employer listed on an application is legit, you need to look closely into the company. Here’s how you do that:
- Check for the company to be listed as active on the Secretary of State’s website. This is a free service in any state. If the company is not active, has not paid their fees, has been closed for a while, etc., that’s a good indication that they are a fake employer.
- Check the physical location of the company. You can pull this information up on the internet, of course! Use Google Maps to see what is actually located at the address given by the applicant. Does it match the name of the employer?
- Check out the company’s website. Review the number, the address, the name, etc. and make sure everything matches up.
When calling to confirm employment, be sure to use only the number listed on their website – to speak to an actual company representative. As you call that number, ask for the individual listed on the application and speak to them directly. If an email is provided, it must be a company email.
Spotting Fake Paystubs
Now, when it comes to spotting fake paychecks, you may have to be even more diligent. Individuals may work their magic at home to create fake paystubs. You should know, though, that there are companies online that actually sell fake paystubs! And, wow, do they look real.
Let’s take a look at the ways you can spot fake paystubs.
- Look for mistakes. This could be in dollar calculations, addresses, employee name, social security number, etc.
- Be sure to confirm the company information. Match the info listed on the paystub with the website and Secretary of State information, as well as that information provided on the application.
- Verify, verify, verify. It doesn’t matter how legitimate the paystubs look, always verify each piece of information stated on the documents.
The best way to protect yourself is to take additional steps to do your due diligence. Researching every detail allows you to keep yourself from landing in potentially damaging situations.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out at www.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube,Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.