A study by Imodirect indicates an increase in file fraud by candidate tenants. In Paris and the inner suburbs, 20% of the files will be forged.
Get housing at any cost, even if it means cheating. A study conducted by Imodirect, a 100% independent online real estate agency that specializes in finding tenants and managing rentals, indicated a very significant increase in rental file fraud. Obviously, this progress is particularly true in tight rental markets. Arnaud Hacquardt, president and founder of Imodirect notes: “In terms of scale, the phenomenon is constantly growing: we are currently seeing in Paris and the inner suburbs about 1 out of 5, or 20%, which includes at least one scam file and 1/10 in the provinces i.e. 10% It’s huge.” Even more surprisingly, “counterfeiting pertains to the files of nominees and guarantors.”
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There is a hierarchy of frauds. Thus, “small” scams are easily achievable. This is, for example, a change in the start date of the employment contract, name or address. A simple PDF processing tool like Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, or Smallpdf is usually sufficient. Arnaud Hacquart warns that “without methodology, experience, and tools, it is impossible for an untrained eye to spot false documents. Then the risks of not paying the lessor are multiplied.”
fake payment vouchers
Next comes fraud, which requires more work, such as forging administrative files (salary slips, tax notices, employment contracts, residence permits, etc.). Arnaud Hacquart explains that there are simple techniques that help detect the most crude “fakes,” by checking the data that appears in the file, for example. “In fact, creating a false payment receipt is very easy on the Internet, but it is often possible to see errors in the calculations of paid leave or even inconsistencies between the tax rate at source and the tax-related notice. A careful reading of the documents can enable disclosure forged documents. The tax notice can be checked at the tax administration reference website.
Tenants, beware, making a fake is not without consequences. “According to Article 441-1 of the Criminal Code, the use of forged documents is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros. On February 6, the Van court sentenced the tenant who submitted false salary receipts to imprisonment and a fine of 2,500 euros”, concludes Arnaud Haquart.