Don’t fall for fake ID

Fake driving licences and documents such as Medicare cards can be high quality and not easily detected by the naked eye. Nevertheless, you can take steps to reduce the risk of falling for a fake:
  • Cross-reference names, numbers, initials, dates of birth on all documents produced as offenders usually miss something and a minor detail will differ.
  • Check that photos on photo ID actually look like the applicant.
  • Be aware that fake IDs are more commonly used to obtain credit cards from smaller financial institutions due to a perceived lower level of compliance than from the “Big Four” – although major banks can also be caught out.
  • Too much documentation can be a warning sign, although appropriate documentation should be produced.
  • Check and cross-check employee details and references — Google the workplace to see if it exists and get contact numbers. Then call referees on the office phone, not the mobile.
If you are suspicious, you should:
  • Photocopy and retain all information provided.
  • Take notes of what you observed about the tenant and details of your conversation.
  • Contact local police to pass on information or, if it’s urgent, call 000.

    Case study
    One investor has shared an unhappy experience of a tenant who used fake ID online.
    The tenants “checked out” on the tenancy database TICA and their reference was good.
    “Turns out it was fake,” the investor said. “They had not paid rent for 10 weeks and trashed the place. They appear to have done a runner and left one week before the court date.
    “They seemed so nice and their history was OK. We tracked down their real former landlord who said they did the same to him… when they don’t pay rent it should be regarded as criminal theft.”
    We can only hope the investor had landlord insurance!