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6 Foolproof Tests To Identify A Fake Paystub
6 Foolproof Tests to Identify a Fake Paystub
Paperless payroll is now becoming increasingly popular with new business owners. Not only does it save time and paper, but also brings efficiency and reliability to the whole payroll system. However, with increasing accessibility to online paystub generators, there’s something else that’s also on the rise: the risk of fraud.
Whether to get a new, high-paying job or to be approved for a bank loan, many individuals turn to fake paystubs. It seems to be the easy way out and may get the job done – but the bottom-line is that a fake check stub is not only unethical but also illegal. It is an instrument of cheating someone outright!
So, as a stakeholder in the situation, how can you identify if a paystub presented to you is genuine or fake?
How to Identify a Fake Paystub
Run the following tests on any paystub you analyze to figure out its authenticity:
1. Inaccurate Basic Information
This may seem like a redundant test; after all, which individual won’t cross-check his basic information? Well, you may be surprised at the number of ...
... fraudsters lurking about, some of them juvenile enough to not ensure the correctness of even basic information! Some fake paystub makers use generic information for fields such as name, address, Social Security Number and marital status and some individuals may forget to update these fields.
2. Inaccurate Calculations
For a paystub to be genuine, the first consideration is that the total earnings, total deductions and net pay should all add up. Many fake paystub providers tend to have inaccurate calculations. This may not be apparent at first sight, but you should be able to find the discrepancies if you dig deeper.
Quick Test: Net earnings should be the sum you get when total deductions are subtracted from total earnings.
3. Missing Decimals
Many fake paystubs tend to have miss out on the decimals. There is an assumption among fraudulent paystub providers that decimals are not important. However, a professional paystub provider like StubCheck.com will always include decimals. Any authentic paystub generator always accounts for each and every penny of your earnings/deductions.
4. Inconsistent Fonts
Is the paystub you are looking at a collection of fancy, inconsistent fonts? That should set the alarm bells in your head going! Genuine paystub generators use simple fonts that can be easily read both by computers and human beings. The font is consistent throughout the paystub.
5. Misaligned Data
Fake paystubs sometimes don’t pay attention to detail. One of the common mistakes is misaligned data, especially numbers. All the decimal points in the figures on a paystub should be aligned (line up in columns) so that the calculations can be processed quickly. If you find misaligned data on a paystub, be careful – you could be dealing with potential fraud.
6. Doubtful Check Numbers
Inspecting the check numbers in a paystub can also give you useful hints about its authenticity. Does the paystub belong to an individual who works for a small firm with a handful of employees? If yes, the check numbers should not go up by hundreds every couple of weeks! In case the employee was paid via direct deposit, you should cross-check with the bank and verify that the stub matches up.
Tip: You can also ask for their W-2 forms to tally the data with the information on the paystub. In case there is a huge variance, question the concerned person about it.
The above red flags will alert you to a possible discrepancy in the paystub you’re inspecting. Make sure to check for these signs in the paystubs shown by a potential recruit, business partner or client.
If the paystub passes the above tests, but somehow you’re still unsure, there’s one final check you can do: ask the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). You can fill out a legal form and obtain the actual income claimed by the individual in the previous year.
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