As security systems have improved over the years, so has the quality of forgery. Without the right tools, it has become increasingly difficult to verify the validity of documents. Pay stubs are a common target as they are used to secure loans and rental properties.
Some companies even offer an online service where customers can enter their information and the site will create a fake pay stub for them in a matter of minutes – almost indistinguishable from the real deal. However, there are some minor signs of fake pay stubs that you can look for that may save you from being scammed. Keep reading to learn more:
An introduction to pay stubs
The first step to checking if you’ve got a real or fake pay stub in your hands is to go through the most obvious details they gave you. Does the information on the stub match all the other documents they provided? Most forms involving employment as for a name, address and social security number at the very least. If these do not match perfectly, you may be up for a wild ride.
Through the eyes of an accountant
A general rule of thumb is to remember that pay stubs are created by professional accountants, who are precise in everything they do. They aim to be accurate down to the cent, so a real pay stub with many rounded figures is usually a red flag. With the aid of financial support programs, accounts are even less likely to make simple mistakes these days. Any error in calculation on the stub, even an insignificant additional error should be a sign of alarm.
Is it easy to read?
Businesses use pay stubs for a variety of functions like calculating tax and payouts. For this reason, they make the slips as simple and well organized as possible to avoid confusion. If a pay stub has strange formatting and the information is all over the show, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a fake.
Check the quality of your pay stub
Another telltale sign is the quality of printing. As companies usually have professional-grade printers, miss prints and scratchy ink are unlikely. Look through the document with a fine-tooth comb for errors such as spelling mistakes before you approve anything. A key indicator to watch out for is the difference between 0’s and O’s – the letters should always be more rounded.
Don’t believe everything they tell you
First, check online for a website to make sure they actually exist. Next, check that the company is actually based in the U.S. and that there is enough detailed information on their business activity. Finally, give the office a call and see who answers your call – as scammers often bank on the fact that you won’t actually follow through.
Our last piece of advice? You’re a better detective than you think. If something seems off, it probably is – so never doubt your desire to look a little closer.