The Ease of Getting Fake Paystubs and Their Prevalence Today

The Ease of Getting Fake Paystubs and Their Prevalence Today

In today's digital age, it has become incredibly easy for people to create fake paystubs to provide false income verification. This is occurring frequently across industries like auto lending and property management, causing major headaches for many businesses. In this post, we'll explore the prevalence of fake paystubs today, the simple ways people can make convincing fakes, and the significant impacts this unfortunate trend is having.

Statistics on Fake Paystubs

Fake paystubs have become extremely commonplace, especially among those seeking loans, rental housing, or other benefits that require income verification. Consider these eye-opening statistics:

  • In the auto lending industry, it's estimated that up to 10% of auto loan applicants provide false paystub information to qualify for larger loans. With over $1 trillion in outstanding auto loan debt, this equates to over $100 billion in loans approved through fraudulent paystubs.
  • Among rental housing applicants, surveys suggest 5-15% provide altered paystubs to get approved for pricier units or complexes. Landlords across the country are unknowingly approving tens of thousands of lease agreements annually based on falsified documents.
  • Paystub generators saw usage spike over 850% during COVID-19 aid programs that relied on paystub data, indicating widespread abuse.
  • Over 28 million fake paystubs were generated online in 2021 alone according to IRS estimates, up from just 3 million in 2016.

Easy Ways to Create Realistic Fakes

With modern graphics software and paystub generator sites, it's now incredibly easy for nearly anyone to make realistic looking fake paystubs. Common techniques include:

  • Using paystub templates sites that allow custom income and employer data to be entered
  • Creating a fully custom paystub from scratch using graphics apps, stock logos, and typical stub formatting
  • Editing a previous real paystub using editing tools to alter the income, deductions, or employer details
  • Using a fake check generator to show direct deposit pay records matching the stub amounts

Advanced generators allow fake paystubs to be aged and include year-to-date details that align mathematically with the latest stub. The quality of fakes is now high enough to often pass initial scrutiny by lenders, landlords, and government benefit providers.

Impacts on Auto Lending, Property Management, and Society

The rise in fake paystubs is taking a serious toll on businesses across many industries. Lenders are funding loans that have higher risks than they realize. Landlords are approving tenants likely to default on rent. Government agencies are providing unqualified aid based on false data. Impacts include:

  • Auto lenders seeing higher defaults, repossessions, and losses from borrowers who cannot truly afford their loan payments. This raises costs for lenders and consumers alike.
  • Landlords dealing with unpaid rent, evictions, and vacancy losses from tenants approved through false paystubs who cannot make monthly rent.
  • Taxpayers bearing the costs of misallocated government aid given to ineligible recipients using fake paystub documents.
  • Harder for legitimately qualified people to obtain loans or housing if lenders and landlords increase scrutiny or requirements.
  • Businesses and the economy negatively impacted when lenders reduce appetites for loans given heavy losses from fake paystub approvals.

Solutions to Fake Paystub Problem

To crack down on the fake paystub epidemic, businesses and regulators will need to find solutions such as:

  • Employers implementing paystub verification systems that lenders can use to instantly check a paystub's authenticity.
  • Lenders and landlords requiring bank account data showing regular income deposits from the employer listed on the paystub.
  • Greater use of employment and income verification tools that pull payroll data directly from the source, reducing document fraud.
  • Stronger consumer laws and penalties deterring the creation or use of fake paystubs in loan and housing applications.
  • Automated paystub screening tools using artificial intelligence to instantly identify fake or altered documents.
  • Increased coordination between employers and regulatory agencies to identify and prosecute paystub fraud.

For the good of ethical consumers and businesses, solutions must be found to crack down on the disturbing trend of fake paystubs. Technologies and policies already exist that could reduce this type of fraud if more widely adopted. With better controls, we can restore faith in application documents and ensure fair and equitable access to loans, housing, and government aid based on truthful data. Tighter scrutiny may require more steps, but will lead to positive outcomes for all over time.