Synthetic ID is the fastest growing form of fraud, and its pervasion has seeped into the multifamily industry. Created by using a combination of real and false information to forge a new identity, synthetic ID continues to become more prevalent.
It’s true: some of your own residents might have used an altered social security number on the apartment application. They passed with fraudulent info and moved right into your community.
The most commonly used methods unqualified prospective residents employ to slide through application cracks and background checks is with synthetic ID, usually with a fake or altered social security number, or with fake pay stubs that display an exaggerated amount of money. While this is a rampant issue ushered into the apartment application process via technology and mobile-use, there are still many red flags and warning signs that can tip off leasing agents to identifying fraudulent activity.
Residents who scam their way into a community aren’t just going to stop – they’ll keep scamming well into their residency, which poses a potential risk to other residents and the overall community. With synthetic ID fraud on the rise, it’s important to take action and implement tech tools that can help your leasing team detect – and ultimately prevent – fraudulent prospects from passing background checks and moving in.
Here are some different tech solutions that can help curtail the use of Synthetic ID:
- DIY resident screening
Many apartment communities will utilize a third-party service to screen prospective residents. While that is a proactive approach, internalizing the process can keep onsite teams more intimately involved with the process. There are software products in the market that allow all the screening to be done right from the leasing office.
Implementing your own resident screening technology also streamlines the entire application process, and you’ll know sooner rather than later if you’re dealing with a fraud or not. Keep it simple and quick.
- Collect your own data
Gather all resident applicant data on your own website, and don’t send them to any other third-party sites or programs. The detours of filling out additional forms are bypassed, and maintaining your own collection of data and analytics optimizes your resident authentication and helps create a seamless process.
- Implement application fees
If application fees are built-in to your online process, you eliminate the risk of losing money or missing fees from applicants.
- Offer training to associates
One of the simplest, yet effective ways to combat the use of synthetic ID is to be aware of it and look for signs of it on all the applications that come in. If associates are properly trained and know the warning signs, fraudulent applicants are less likely to scam their way through the system.
While synthetic ID use may be on the rise, so is the technology to identify these types of fraud. By utilizing associate training and the proper tech tools, leasing offices can significantly mitigate the risk of approving fraudulent applicants.