08 Mar 24

Tenant reference and tech supplier The Lettings Hub claims 25 per cent of fraudulent documents submitted by would-be tenants were identified by humans, not technology.

The company analysis its applications in February and found the frauds were identified by human checking of payslips which showed the same NI deduction in payslips in both January and February – that’s despite a rate change. Between the two months, which should have produced different figures.

This week Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a second change to National Insurance, presenting another opportunity to outsmart fraudsters who attempt to pass off manipulated payslips to inflate their salary to obtain tenancies. The cut takes effect from April and shifts NI down from 10 to eight per cent.

The Lettings Hub says the key insight lies in the fact that the new NI rates should show different deductions over two payslips, but often fraudsters have overlooked the recent changes.

Heidi Abbott, the company’s chief executive, says: “Fraudulent activity in the Private Rental Sector is growing more sophisticated … Relying solely on a fully tech-based approach can fail to detect nuanced discrepancies, particularly those that may be overlooked by a less hands-on method of verifying tenant identities.”

She continues: “Our team have reviewed thousands of documents and always stay ahead of any developments, news and announcements that could be used to spot the tell-take signs of fraudulent activity. They are experts in spotting a multitude of errors made, and we are determined to always stay ahead of the criminals.”

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