There are a lot of scams out there, and one of the most common is the fake paystub. Fraudulent paystubs typically feature when someone tries to convince you that they make a certain amount of money per week or month, when in fact, their income is much lower.

There are always a couple of reasons why someone might try to do this. Usually, so that they can try to get you to lend them money. Or do something else for them that they wouldn’t be able to do if you knew their actual income, such as buying a car or renting an apartment.  

Read on for tips on how to know if a paystub is fake.

Know What You’re Looking for

The first step in spotting a fake paystub is knowing what to look for. There are a few things that you can check to see if the document is legitimate. 

For example, you can compare the wage amount to the hours worked. You can also check to see if the Social Security number and other identifying information match up.

If the document looks suspicious, you can also do a Google search for the paystub template. Doing this is one quick way that will help you to see if the document is counterfeit.

Verify the Accuracy of Information

Another route you can take when learning how to know if a paystub is fake is by verifying the accuracy of information. Contact the employer and ask them about the employee’s income. 

Check with other government agencies, like the IRS, to see if the wages reported on the paystub match up with what they have on file.

If you’re still not sure, there are a few other things you can do. You can try to contact the employee and ask them about their income. 

Verify their wages by requesting bank statements. The amount should show up as a deposit. It will also show who is paying them. Make sure they are correct, and if any information is missing, it’s a warning sign that a paystub is fake.

Or, if the document is for a household member, you can try to contact other people in the household to see if they know anything about the paystub. 

No matter what, if you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a paystub, it’s always best to verify. This way, you can be sure that you’re not falling for a scam.

Is All the Information Provided?

Another way to know whether a paystub is fake is by checking to see if all the information is provided. 

Verify the name, address, and other contact information match up with what’s on file. The paystub should include basic information and be consistent. 

You can also try to do an online search for the company listed on the paystub. Doing this can help you to see if the company is legitimate and how they’re related to the employee. 

For any significant discrepancies, it’s best to decline using that paystub as verification.

How to Know if a Paystub Is Fake? 

So, are there ways to learn how to know if a paystub is fake? When trying to determine whether a paystub is a legitimate document, there are a few things to look for:

  • The paystub has the Letter “O” instead of zeros. This common mistake often arises when people create fake paystubs.
  • Numbers seem too even or are rounded. It could be a sign that the document has been tampered with.
  • Lack of professional or neat paystub. A company paystub will have specific formatting. A fake paystub might lack this.
  • Information is missing or inconsistent. Certain essential information is missing from the paystub. It could be because the person creating it did not have access to that information. It’s a common mistake made with fake paystubs.
  • The employer isn’t familiar with the employee. Contact the employer listed on the paystub. If they are not familiar with the employee, it could be because they did not actually create the paystub.
  • Uncommon font. When trying to establish whether a paystub is a fake, take a look at the font. Scammers will often use fonts that aren’t too familiar. Or they will make the text very small so that it’s harder to read. 
  • Lack of a watermark. Another thing to look for is the watermark. Fake paystubs often do not have the watermark, or they will be poorly reproduced. Most legitimate paystubs will have a watermark. If the document you are looking at does not have a watermark, then it is likely that it is fake.
  • Check for misspelled words. Often, scammers will misspell words to make the paystub look real. If you are unsure about a paystub, take the time to check for misspelled words.
  • Look at the wage amount. One of the easiest ways to know if a paystub is fake is by comparing the wage amount to the number of hours worked. If they don’t match up or if the wage amount is much higher than the number of hours worked, the paystub is likely fake.
  • Check for mismatched information. If the SSN or other identifying information does not match up, it should be an indicator that the paystub might be fake. If the name or address is different, or if the wage amount and hours worked do not match, then it’s a possible fake.  
  • Different than other company paystubs. If you have access to other paystubs from the company, you can compare the suspected fake paystub to the real ones. Doing this will help you to see if they look similar and if the wage amount and hours worked match up.

Look for Warning Signs

Finally, another way to determine if a paystub might be fraudulent is by looking for warning signs. For example, does the document look too good to be true? Is the wage amount too high or low? Does the company listed on the paystub seem suspicious? 

If you see any of these warning signs, it is best to decline the paystub now that you have some guidance on how to know if a paystub is fake. For the best paystub creation, be sure to check out PayStubCreator.

Also Read: How To Keep Your Finances Safe From The Recession?