What Are Identity Theft and Identity Fraud?

What Are Identity Theft and Identity Fraud? Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. What are the Most Common Ways That Identity Theft or Fraud can happen to you? In public places, for example, criminals may engage in “shoulder surfing”– watching you from a nearby location as you punch in your telephone calling card number or credit card number – or listen in on your conversation if you give your credit-card number over the telephone. If you receive applications for “pre-approved” credit cards in the mail, but discard them without tearing up the enclosed materials, criminals may retrieve them and try to activate the cards for their use without your knowledge. Also, if your mail is delivered to a place where Read More

Building Credit History While Stemming ID Theft

Student housing communities can help college students with the serious matters of building credit history and ID theft protection. In the popular imagination, college is a time of endless merriment. Four years of hanging out with new friends (perhaps more if you have too much of a good time), cheering on the football team and discovering who you are. The reality of course is that it’s not all fun and games. There’s the pressure to pick a career and get good grades to get into graduate school. To put it bluntly, the real world is always a lot closer than it may seem. Some apartment operators are hoping to prepare their college student residents for the real world in a couple of ways: By helping them to build their credit history and protecting them from ID theft, which is emerging as a major problem. When it comes to these issues, Read More

Online Fraud Has Property Managers Worried

The increase in online rental applications has prompted more property managers to become concerned over identity theft and online fraud, according to the results of a new survey by TransUnion of 163 property managers who manage more than 500 rental units nationwide. Over 56 percent of property managers surveyed say they’ve seen an increase in online applications in the past year. Nearly 70 percent of respondents reported concerns about identity theft and online fraud. What’s more, nearly four in 10 property managers surveyed say they are not confident about the accuracy of residents’ application information. “In today’s online and mobile era, residents expect quick approvals and smooth application processes, but property managers must remain cognizant of the potential fraud threat,” says Mike Doherty, senior vice president of TransUnion’s Rental Screening Solutions Group. “Online rental application fraud is a growing problem. In order to quickly approve good residents, property managers must Read More

27 Tips to Prevent Rental Application Fraud – How to Spot a Fake

Rental application forgery is an all-too-common -but often unpublicized—problem in the multifamily housing industry. At a recent Apartment Managers Crime Prevention workshop, property managers and members of the Atlanta Police Department Major Frauds department compiled a list of tips and techniques to detect and hopefully prevent rental application fraud.  Here are some ways to help you spot a fake. Photo ID 1. Make sure the person on the ID is the person seated in the leasing office and not simply someone who has similar physical characteristics, such as a sibling. 2. Does the address on their photo ID match the address they claim to be living at presently? If not, why? 3. Always look at their original photo ID. Never take a photocopy or a fax of their ID because it can be easily doctored and could be more difficult to detect a fake. It is easier to discover a Read More