With the rapid advancement of technology, it's easier for people to generate fake paycheck stubs. On the other hand, it's difficult for lenders, employers, and landlords to differentiate between a real and a fake pay stub.
People use pay stubs for various reasons: rental applications, seeking a loan, filing taxes, and querying payroll errors. You're in trouble if you can not understand whether the check stub is authentic or not since people will take advantage of you, which can be costly in the long run.
Luckily, there are several ways to spot fake pay stubs. Let's dive deeper.
What Are Fake Check Stubs?
Typically, employees receive a written statement outlining their payment details for every pay period. This document is known as a pay stub, paycheck stub, or pay slip.
Alternatively, some employers can offer digital check stubs, such as PDF documents, that employees can access through their portal. Pay stubs usually contain essential information such as the actual income, job title, gross income, tax deductions, employer details, employee contribution, etc.
Fake pay stubs are documents used as proof of income by an individual. These documents are similar to the real ones, thus making it difficult to establish the difference. There are lots of online companies that create fake stubs. All you need to do is head to the website and provide the necessary information.
An applicant will use a fake pay stub when their income requirements are higher than the employers. Additionally, tenants will use fake check stubs for apartments to convince a landlord that they can pay the rent.
5 Useful Tips to Spot Fake Pay Stubs
Different websites create fake pay stubs within minutes. Usually, they are hard to distinguish from real pay stubs. However, fake pay stubs aren't something you should worry about. There are several ways to spot them. They usually contain several mistakes that make them illegitimate. They include:
Use of Round Numbers
A fake pay stub contains earnings that are in whole numbers. However, after taxing the wages, it's impossible to achieve pay in round numbers such as $3,000.
Use the Letter "O" Instead of the Number "0"
Another revealing detail in fake stubs is the use of the letter “O” in place of the number “0”. Usually, this isn’t a mistake that an accountant will make.
A real pay stub has everything aligned professionally. Check out for misaligned numbers, characters, lines, and decimals in a Fake pay stub. Additionally, a fake pay stub contains unique fonts, blurry text, and misspelled words.
Missing Important Information
Lack of important information such as company address and name, applicant’s name and address, gross pay, taxes, deductions, and net pay is yet another red flag. A real pay stub contains all these details.
Watch out for incorrect mathematical conclusions in tax deductions, earnings, bonuses, etc. Any miscalculations are a sign of fake pay stubs since payroll software provides mathematical findings.
How to Spot a Fake ADP Pay Stub
ADP is among the largest payroll service providers in the United States. As a result, the payroll service provider is a target for checking for fraud. However, there are several ways to spot a fake ADP pay stub. They include:
Check the Bottom of the Check for a Routing Number
The ADP check routing number refers to the first nine-digit numbers at the bottom of the check. Usually, a fake ADP pay stub will have incorrect or incomplete numbers. However, you can contact the Federal Reserve Department to verify the routing number if you're concerned about a fake ADP pay stub.
The Check Top Edge Should Be Perforated
Genuine ADP checks have a perforated top edge for easy separation. A check without the perforation edge isn't real.
Examine the MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) Line
The MICR line refers to the numbers on the check - the routing numbers, account numbers, check amounts, or other information at the check bottom printed with magnetic ink. The MICR line has a distinctive font, usually gray, with a matte finish compared to the other part of the check. A fake ADP check MICR line appears glossy.
If you need clarification on the authenticity of an ADP check, you can contact ADP, which will confirm whether the check is genuine or fake.
Difference Between a Fake and Real Check Stub
Real check stubs are provided by a reputable employer or financial institution and contain accurate information about an individual's income or financial activities. On the other hand, fake check stubs are made with the goal of misleading others into believing they are valid.
The accuracy of phony and actual check stubs differs significantly, with false check stubs frequently carrying incorrect or invented information.
Real check stubs are normally generated using genuine payroll or accounting systems, but fake check stubs may lack sufficient security features and be generated through illegitimate methods.
It is critical to establish the legitimacy of check stubs before relying on their information, as employing forged check stubs might result in serious legal penalties.
Who Needs to Verify Check Stubs?
Some of the people who may need to verify check stubs include:
Landlords, during tenant screening
Lenders, when approving loans and verifying the borrowers' paycheck history
Employers, when reviewing the potential employee's job history
Why Do You Need to Verify Pay Stubs?
It's essential to thoroughly research applicants since only a few are trustworthy. Usually, fake pay stubs will cost you money if they are unnoticed or noticed later. Someone may have a reason for making fake check stubs. For example, unemployed applicants may fake income documents to acquire a job. Additionally, tenants may fake income documents while renting a place. Generally, you’ll need to verify pay stubs to avoid getting scammed.
How to Protect Yourself From Fake Pay Stubs?
Protecting yourself ultimately from fake pay stubs can be difficult. However, additional ways exist to verify proof of income and minimize the chances of getting scammed. They include:
You can ask for bank statements that show the applicants' transactions over a month.
W-2 Tax Form
A W-2 tax form contains a list of taxes, gross earnings, and deductions. Employers accurately create W-2 tax forms to verify income. However, fake W-2 tax forms typically require more effort to produce.
Letter From Employer
Alternatively, you can request a letter from the employer showing the applicant's salary or income. While requesting the letter, don't use the contact information provided by the employee. You can do your research or directly contact the human resources department since the contact information given could be fake.
IRS Form 4506
This form showcases the federal tax record transcript of the potential applicant.
Can I Get Approved for an Apartment Using Fake Pay Stubs?
If a landlord spots a fake pay stub, they are entitled to decline the application and take legal action. Most landlords will screen potential tenants thoroughly by asking them to provide proof of income. You might trash your rental and credit history through fake work stubs. Learn about the penalty for fake pay stubs.
Can You Use Fake Pay Stubs to Get a Car?
Generally, it would help if you didn't use fake pay stubs to acquire a car or as proof of income. Using fake pay stubs is considered illegal.
Can You Use Fake Pay Stubs to Buy a House?
Using forged pay stubs to purchase a home is not advised and can have serious implications. Lenders make lending judgments based on precise and verifiable financial information; therefore, utilizing forged pay stubs may be deemed fraudulent behavior. When applying for a mortgage or other financial products, it is always best to present precise and verifiable financial information.
Do Banks Verify Pay Stubs?
Yes, whether you work full-time or part-time, banks will ask to see your last three pay stubs to verify your income.
What App Makes Fake Pay Stubs?
There are a variety of online websites that make fake check stubs. Generally, it would be best to avoid fake check stubs since they are fraudulent. But, check out the ultimate guide on fake pay stubs if you're looking for the real deal.
How to Make Real Pay Stubs?
To avoid fake pay stubs, counter-check for all the signs of fake stubs. A real pay stub consists of accurate information with no spelling or mathematical errors. Additionally, ensure you have permission to make pay stubs from the company if you aren't self-employed. Equally important, if you're looking to make a real pay stub, seek help from a genuine pay stub maker.
Final Thoughts on Spotting Fake Pay Stubs
Lately, there are lots of online companies and websites that create fake pay stubs within minutes. Many tenants interested in a rental property do not meet the income requirements, so they forge their own pay stubs. A fake pay stub is similar to the real one but less legible and easier to forge than a real one.
You'll need some knowledge on how to spot fake pay stubs to avoid them. Fake check stubs can cost you in the long run, so take the necessary steps to protect yourself.