New year new fraud! Just under £1.6m caught in tenancy fraud in less than 31 days
The first month of the year was a super busy one for our technology-wielding fraud fighters as the rental market and the cost of living crisis show no signs of subsiding.
Among the many cases of fraud we caught this month, our advanced document analysis tool detected modifications to passports, bank statements, tenancy agreements, rental references, utility bills AND we even had a fake embassy letter this month!
53% of fraudsters attempted to bypass our technology by editing bank statements. 19% of this month's fraudsters created fake websites as proof of employment or trading. 10% got caught with fake or edited passports.
We even had one fraudster who submitted his third attempt at renting a property fraudulently. We have now flagged this particular chancer to three different letting agencies within our portfolio. His first fraud-ridden submission was in September. Then again in November and now this month. He, like all who try will not be accepted under false pretences for agencies utilising Homeppl's technology.
UK fraudster profile for January
We at Homeppl see 2023 as the year of education. For far too long fraudsters have been modifying bank statements, lying about income, hiding bad credit and subletting illegally due to a lack of education and technology on behalf of landlords, BTRs and letting agencies.
We've made it our mission to shine a light on tenancy fraud and keep the industry updated with the latest insights:
There were some significant changes to the fraudster profile in January that were different to previous months.
In a nutshell:
Gender & age
The imbalance between male and female fraudsters drastically increased during January. In December, 53% of the frauds we caught were male. In January, this figure stands at 82%.
The average age dropped from 33.7 to 28.2. The average fraud in the UK is getting younger it seems!
For the 2nd month in a row, the average claimed income submitted by fraudsters has also dropped. At £112k in November, to £81k in December, with the average claimed income sitting at £73,919 this month.
We see a very interesting shift in the location of fraud around the UK this month. In December, London accounted for 79.2% of all UK rental fraud picked up by Homeppl.
This month, the fraud cases were much more spread out, with London only accounting for 56.4%. Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Dublin were among the cities affected. What does this tell us? That the cost of living crisis is impacting the accessibility to rentals and the personal finances of people around the UK, not just in capital.
This month's fraud spotlight highlights a fake payslip that we ran through our document fraud detection tool.
Fraud Finder picked up that this 'Salesforce' employee had modified this document using Microsoft Word. Fron the font analysis test, it is abundantly clear personal details, gross pay and net pay have all been changed, using a different font, to inflate pay.
After further examination, it appears 'Company name is also incorrect', the applicant has simply put the website of the company.
By flagging this statement, we saved our client approximately £100,196 in rental value and legal/eviction costs.
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