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Fraud is on the Uprise

Sarah Boyd, Executive Director, ACUTRAQ Background Screening, Inc.Sarah Boyd, Executive Director, ACUTRAQ Background Screening, Inc.
As technology advances, so does fraud. More and more companies are utilizing online applications to allow applicants to apply for a rental or employment. Using online applications is a wonderful feature that can certainly help save companies time and money. However, without in-person visits, it can be hard to determine the validity of applicant’s information and even with in-person visits, do you really know that information provided isn’t fraudulent?In the past few years, ACUTRAQ has noticed the need for more fraud prevention tools. We have implemented multiple partnerships to assist our clients with verifying the identity of applicants, proof of income/paystubs, rental history, credit report information, SSN verification and so much more.

Have you ever heard of a synthetic identity? ACUTRAQ sees this occurring daily! Synthetic identity is a combination of fabricated credentials where the implied identity is not associated with a real person. People are creating synthetic identities using valid social security numbers with false personal identifying information. Using a synthetic identity makes applicants look legitimate on paper and it can be very hard to determine the validity of information. Fraud prevention tools can help eliminate the risk of renting to or hiring an individual using a synthetic identity. ACUTRAQ offers over a hundred fraud alerts with every credit report we provide!

What about fraudulent paystubs? This is also on the uprise.Landlords expect tenants to be able to make rental payments on time and in full. Employers expect to hire and pay their employees accordingly. With PDF editors available just about anywhere, applicants can simply edit their income information. ACUTRAQ has a full staff of researchers who specifically work on verifying applicants’ employment history.
This is done by verifying the company information, personal phone calls, emails, direct payroll verifications, and bank statement verifications. ACUTRAQ recently partnered with a company that specializes in bank statement verifications and financial analysis. Applicants are required to provide their bank account information and consent to allowing ACUTRAQ access to view their bank account history. This verifies the income information and bank account history that helps weed out fraudulent applicants.

Do you think applicants are always 100% truthful about their rental history? They certainly are not! ACUTRAQ’s researcher team specializes in verifying the rental history of applicants. We verify if that individual paid their rent on time every month, the rent amount, if they left owing a balance, how they left the condition of the property, and much more. ACUTRAQ has also implemented property searches which verify the ownership of the address supplied by the applicant. Someone may state that they are renting from a management company or landlord, but by using the property search we find out that they are staying with family or a friend. They may also state that they own their own home, but the property search tells us they are not the owner.

Criminal history is something ACUTRAQ specializes in reporting. We have a full-time staff that reviews and analyzes criminal history data. We do this to ensure maximum possible accuracy as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Our criminal database searches the largest known criminal database, searches name and all alias names, i.e. "Bill" for William, maiden names, previous married names, etc. 1.25 billion individuals in our criminal index and 2 billion supporting records.

ACUTRAQ has many products and services that assist our clients with combating fraud. Our Mission is to provide our communities with the safest environment in which to live, work and play so every individual can obtain the most out of life. We provide background screening solutions and build ongoing relationships, while paying attention to detail. Dedicated to delivering prompt, accurate, high quality and effective services on a consistent basis, forever backed by our excellent customer service!
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