The rental industry is quickly moving towards an entirely remote rental experience. While virtual tours and online applications make things easier for landlords and renters, reports of fraudulent applicants are on the rise. It’s essential for landlords to know what to look for and how to protect themselves. We’ve compiled a list of the most common types of fraud, as well as the best way to prevent renting to a false identity.
This first example occurs when an applicant uses a friend or family member’s information to apply for a rental. The information submitted is all correct, but it’s for someone who never plans on residing at the property.
If you’ve ever had your identity stolen by a stranger, you’re already familiar with third-party fraud. This is when an applicant attempts to pass stolen information off as their own.
Identity-manipulation fraud refers to an applicant changing their personal information slightly. This may include a wrong number in their otherwise legitimate birth date or social security number.
Finally, synthetic fraud is an entirely faked identity. It’s typically a mix of stolen and fabricated information. Here, you’ll often find scammers using the social security number of someone who is deceased.
If you want to read more about fraud in the rental industry, the National Apartment Association has a white paper that is free to NAA members, which you can read here.
Protect Yourself from Fraud
Often, a comprehensive background check is all you need to protect yourself from fraudulent applicants. E-Renter offers three screening packages, all of which include identity verification. Whether you’re meeting your applicant in-person or doing it all online, E-Renter can help you feel secure.
Create your account and learn more about our tenant screening packages today!