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Rental Property Management: Beware of Fraud

fraudThe issue of data breaches is just one of the challenges the industry is still combating as 2018 has set in motion. In a recent Insights Blog, CoreLogic conducted a survey to discover just how staggering the issue of identity theft-related crimes is among the rental property market.

According to the blog, no large-scale studies exist for the rental property industry. Therefore interviews and surveys of 30 clients who own or manage rental properties were conducted.

The findings discovered that 75 percent of those surveyed reported that they had been victimized by identity fraud, with 100 percent of those with more than 30,000 units confirmed incidences of identity-related fraud. The blog also notes that, “while time to eviction varied by state, the average cost per eviction ranged from $5,000 to $10,000.”

Delving further into the implications of applicant fraud on the property rental market, the survey uncovered several emerging trends.

First, online leasing streamlines the leasing process for not only good, but bad applicants as well, making it easier to commit identity fraud. Second is that the desire to live rent-free was just one of many reasons people commit identity fraud when renting—and some live undetected for years, the blog notes.

So what are the two main types of fraud rental property owners should look out for? One is general identity theft fraud, where an applicant assumes a stolen identity. Fortunately, identity theft fraud is easier to spot due to the identity theft victim potentially subscribing to a service that protects them.

A type of fraud that is a bit more difficult to detect is synthetic fraud. This involves a made-up identity where some or all of an applicant’s personal identifying information is completely fabricated.

According to CoreLogic’s technology-driven solution, ID Analytics, the variety of fraud schemes is coupled with an array of operators, which include more than 10,000 identity fraud rings.

To learn more about rental property management, visit the Five Star Institute's Single Family Rental Summit. You can register for the event by clicking here.

About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: nicole.casperson@thefivestar.com.
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