Identifying Fake Bank Statements: How to Fight Fraudulent Applications

Prospective tenants, bank account openers, and other bad actors can use fake bank statements to commit a series of illegal activities. While fraudsters are getting smarter, they also utilize technologies to make near-perfect bank statements. Manual verification methods can’t keep up with the standards set up by bad actors. Identifying fake bank statements is the need of the hour to reduce fraud as much as possible. There are some common methods that can be utilized to identify fake bank statements.

How to Fight Fraudulent Applications?

Unfortunately, the problem of fake bank statements is still prominent and it has grown even bigger with the pandemic putting millions of people out of jobs. As a matter of fact, the problem with fake banks has become an even bigger nuisance for banks, financial institutions, building owners, and so on. The percentage of fake bank statement use increased from 15% to 29% in September 2020.

What makes this situation worse is that one in every 4 applications tends to go unnoticed. The increase in the number of undetected fraudulent applications can be allotted to the lack of proper verification solutions. Also, manual methods of verification can’t detect highly sophisticated forged bank statements. Automation and data utilization can be used to fight fraudulent applications.

Identifying Fake Bank Statements

1. Ensure that All The Figures Match Up

One common mistake that fraudsters make is that they don’t put in too much effort in ensuring that all the numbers on the bank statements add up. If there is no money for automated verification processes, then you’ll need to take up your time to figure out if the numbers add up.

While identifying the bank statements, it is always a good idea to keep one thing in mind: people who fake bank statements will often use round figures. Proper round figures are usually a red flag while identifying if a bank statement is real or not. 

2. Take to a Bank Rep

If as a business you’re uncertain that you have received a fake or genuine bank statement, then one way to be sure is to reach out to a banking representative. Call the bank yourself, don’t rely on any information that’s listed on the bank statement. Once you get through to a banking representative, confirm all the details you want to confirm. 

In most cases, a banking representative will ask for a mail copy of the document. Chances are that you may not get much support from the bank. Various banks will try to prevent the manipulation of documents by adding some kind of digital signature to the PDF files, although this feature is usually to protect investment accounts. 

3. Search for Inconsistencies and Errors in Documents 

The first potential red flag regarding the bank statements is the major & minor inconsistencies in the documents. Are the font size and the font type consistent with other document types of the same bank? Is the bank’s logo accurate and up to the standard? People who create fake bank documents often get lazy and these inconsistencies can help in preventing online fraud. Do the numbers add up in the document and do the ending balance make sense? Are there any withdrawals that are suspicious? If the bank statements contain any of these inconsistencies, then you may need more research. 

4. DIRO’s Online Document Verification

While you can rely on manual methods of verification for a lot of things, they still have some limitations. By utilizing technologies, you can easily distinguish between fake and real documents. DIRO’s bank document verification software verifies documents instantly and provides strong proof of verification backed by verifiable credentials. DIRO’s online document verification tool can verify over 7000 documents from all over the world by cross-referencing document data from an original web source. 

The technology can eliminate the barriers of manual verification and enhance the overall document verification process and eliminate document-related fraud. 

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