An increasing number of applicants are using fake identities to secure leases, according to a report by real estate data firm CoreLogic. The report cites common reasons for the fake identities, including trying to live rent free until evicted and hiding poor credit, criminal history, or other reason that would make an application unattractive.
Property managers and landlords should be on the lookout for these four types of fraud:
- Synthetic identity fraud: The report notes that this is the fastest growing type of identity-related fraud. The applicant creates an entirely new fake identity from multiple stolen sources.
- First-person fraud: The person who applies for the lease uses his real identity. However, he is not the person who moves in.
- Third-party fraud: The person who applies for the lease uses a stolen identity.
- Identity manipulation fraud: The applicant slightly changes some information, such as using a different birthday, to make it difficult to match the applicant with his true identity.
There is no foolproof way to guard against all types of identity-fraud scams. But with diligent and consistent tenant-screening practices, landlords and property managers can avoid many potential traps.