False payslips: 7 checks to spot fraudsters

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Identity check

False pay slip fraud is a growing challenge that can have serious consequences for both fraudsters and their victims. It involves the falsification of a payslip to obtain undue advantages and benefits. Particularly prevalent in property rental, credit and aid applications, this fraud is becoming increasingly widespread. In this article, we'll explain various techniques for detecting fraud attempts and reducing your exposure. Enjoy your reading!


False pay slip fraud: Background and explanations


False pay slip fraud is a growing challenge in today's economic landscape. This type of falsification has developed in line with technological developments and business practices. It's a deceptive practice involving the manipulation or falsification of a payslip to obtain undue benefits. By exploring false pay slip fraud, you'll be in a better position to identify any exposure to potential risks.


In this section, we explore the background to this type of fraud. We will examine the motivations behind its use, as well as the methods offered by new technologies.


Study of frequent use cases


The use of a false payslip can stem from a variety of motivations. The common denominator of these objectives is generally the search for fraudulent financial advantages. Let's take a closer look at the many uses of this type of fraud.


Real estate rental fraud

Fake rental records are one of the most common cases of using a false pay slip. These can be used to mislead landlords or property managers. Potential tenants will seek to inflate their income in order to obtain accommodation for which they are not eligible.

By submitting a false pay slip, they increase their chances of being chosen over other rental applications. This practice is unfair and increases the risk for landlords. Indeed, the risk of unpaid rent is multiplied.


Fraudulent obtaining of loans or credit

Obtaining loans or credit is another example of the use of a false pay slip. Falsifying the document, by increasing the salary amounts and accumulations over the year, makes it possible to increase borrowing capacity and thus obtain a loan.

Another type of fraud is also possible here:identity theft. Some crooks modify the personal information on a pay slip in order to take out a loan.


Undue receipt of social or government assistance

Some workers or welfare claimants may be tempted to falsify their pay slips. This would enable them to claim social and government benefits to which they have no access at their income level.


And many more ...

In short, all services requiring salary verification are exposed to this type of fraud. We've looked at some common cases here, but there are any number of others. Especially since new technologies have made it possible for anyone to create fraudulent documents, which is what we'll be looking at next.


The role of new technologies


The role of new technologies in this type of fraud is significant. They open up new possibilities for document manipulation, and create additional challenges for detection.


Text and image processing

Image processing tools now make it possible to circumvent many of the obstacles to creating a fraudulent payslip. The use of these tools makes it possible to create visually convincing forgeries that are difficult to detect.


Artificial intelligence and deep fakes

With the development of AI and deepfakes, the quality of fraudulent documents is becoming even more precise, almost undetectable. Data must then be compared with other sources to ensure a document'sauthenticity.


7 categories of checks to identify a false payslip


So how do you identify a fake payslip, is the question on everyone's mind. At Datakeen, we're experts in fraud detection, and we're sharing 7 techniques (that we use) to do just that.

By way of introduction: Let us reiterate here that the payslip is very easy to counterfeit. It can even be created from scratch. To ensure its authenticity, it is absolutely essential to check every item of information.


Verify identity to detect impersonation attempts


The first thing you need to do is verify identity details, so that you can link the payslip to an official document (which is much more difficult to forge). Whether you do this in person or via an online identity verification tool, this step is essential. It enables you to prevent a customer from usurping another person's payslip.

This is also the time to obtain valid information about your customer, such as address, gender, date of birth, etc. This information will help you carry out a thorough check. This information will help you carry out a thorough check. It will enable you to check that the social security number is correct:

  • 1st number: 1 for a man, 2 for a woman
  • 2nd and 3rd digits: End of year of birth (1999 = 99)
  • 4th and 5th digits: Month of birth (03 = March)
  • 6th and 7th digits: Birth department number (01 = Ain)


Spot a false payslip with financial information


It is then advisable to check the consistency of the financial information. The pay slip is the result of numerous calculations, including gross salary, net salary, charges, etc. All these calculations are fairly well known. All these calculations are fairly well known, but fraudsters can make mistakes, or not take the time to redo them. We therefore recommend that you get down to it. Here are a few calculations you can use to check your pay slip:

  • Net income before tax = Gross income - Social security contributions
  • Net income payable = Net income before tax - Income tax

You should also check that the total amount of your salaries has increased and is consistent from one payslip to the next.


A tax notice can help you detect a false pay slip


You may also find the customer's tax notice useful. This allows you to verify the information using a third-party document. The effort required to falsify both documents is much greater. You'll need to make changes to both documents to match the information.

In addition, the tax notice can be checked on the government website, as well as through its 2D-doc.


Re-counting vacation days to identify a false payslip


The accumulation of vacation days over the months can easily be overlooked when falsifying the amounts on a payslip. So make sure that your pay slips increase by 2.5 days per month. It's an easy check that will help you eliminate any files that don't comply with this rule.


Verify the company's existence online


Many fraudsters use fictitious companies to create false pay slips. Check that the associated company exists and is still in business. Check that the company's address and SIRET number correspond.


Search for mandatory information to identify counterfeit pay slips


The pay slip must include certain legal information. These must appear. However, some fraudsters inadvertently make them disappear when they modify the information. Make sure they're there:

  • About the employer: Name, address, SIREN, APE or NAF code, applicable collective agreement
  • About the employee: Surname, first name, address, social security number, job, position, salary coefficient.

  • About remuneration: Pay slip period, basis of salary calculation, amount received by employee, overtime, benefits (luncheon vouchers, housing, transport), paid leave taken during the period (with date and amount), date of salary payment.
  • About contributions: Amounts relating to health, retirement, social assistance, unemployment insurance, as well as CSG and CRDS.
  • 2 very specific phrases: "keep this payslip indefinitely"; "consult the dedicated section on the www.servicepublic.fr website".


Check the average salary for the occupation indicated


To check whether the salary indicated is justified, we advise you to refer to the reference salaries indicated by Insee. This will enable you to quickly spot any pay slips that stand out from the crowd. You can then take a closer look at suspicious cases.


The risks of using a false payslip


Falsifying a payslip exposes you to considerable risks that extend far beyond the direct benefits. Under the French Penal Code, the use of a false payslip is an offence punishable by 3 years' imprisonment and a fine of €45,000.


Although some may be tempted by this practice to obtain credit or housing, the consequences can be severe. However, as the number of fraudulent files continues to rise, it is essential for professionals to authenticate each document accurately.


Fraud detection

We verify the authenticity of pay slips