For Landlords

How to Spot Fake Receipts: A Landlord’s Guide to Fraud Protection

Do your tenants send you receipt screenshots of their rent? How do you know they’re not fake?

One of the challenges of renting a property is ensuring that payments are made promptly and securely. However, fraudsters are constantly coming up with new ways to scam unsuspecting tenants and landlords alike. One of the most common methods is with fake receipts.

Fake receipts can come in different forms— bogus invoices from companies that don’t exist; or abuse of floating transactions like with Interbank GIRO (IBG) receipts. These receipts can be edited or even made from scratch to show a false payment has been made. If you’re not careful, you could fall victim to tenant disputes, missed rental income and headaches.

SPEEDHOME processes thousands of receipts every month as part of our automated rental collection system and we’ve seen our fair share of cases with fraudulent receipts. We’ve implemented an automated rental collection system using FPX to reduce fraud and successfully resolved hundreds of payment issues.

So let’s take a look at some scams you might run into and how you can spot them.

Interbank GIRO Transactions

IBG, or Interbank GIRO, is like the forgotten online transfer mode next to Duitnow Instant Transfers. It used to be a cheap way for people to pay their bills or move money around before the age of digital banking. While everyone phased out from visiting banks in modern day, scammers started taking advantage of the delayed payment method to trick people, vendors and landlords.

As far back as 2018, viral posts circulated on Facebook and Twitter warning netizens about scams involving edited amounts or cancelled transfers.

Source: WorldOfBuzz

Here’s some ways IBG transactions can be abused in landlord-tenant cases—

#1: Pending Statuses

The status on an IBG receipt.

Scammer tenants are taking advantage of IBG’s scheduled transaction: Payment processing time is a perfect excuse for a tenant who schedules an IBG payment in advance, which you can do even when there’s nothing in your bank account. The tenant sends you the receipt in advance, and by the time the payment is supposed to be processed, they’ve pulled the money or cancelled the transaction.

Unlike DuitNow Instant Transfers, IBG takes 1-2 days to process and can be scheduled for a specific date. The best way to spot this is to make sure your receipt status is ‘Successful.’ On the other hand, ‘Accepted’ doesn’t indicate that the transaction is completed therefore you will not find the amount reflected in your bank statement.

‘Pending’ statuses are also common as a way for tenants to avoid accountability. They may blame the bank for withholding the money. If you are unsure, you can always check the status of the transaction with your bank.

#2: An Edited Screenshot

Adding to the last tip, the status tag may be edited to say ‘Successful.’ Other kinds of edits can trick landlords, like the following case.

A tenant transferred RM0.01 instead of the rent amount: A tenant seemed to have been paying rent on time and sent receipts to his landlord to prove it. But the bank balance doesn’t add up. It turns out that while the transaction was very real, the amount wasn’t. Instead of RM1500, the tenant had been paying one cent every month and edited the amount on the receipt. The landlord only checked that the transaction went through, but not the amount he was given.

You can often spot altered or recreated receipts from its mistakes such as:

  • Text misaligned with elements, or differences in fonts.
  • Typos or misspellings, especially in the beneficiary’s name.
  • Discoloration where they erased information they want to edit.
  • Odd spacing that isn’t present in the rest of the document.

If you’re already using SPEEDHOME, always verify the beneficiary name and account number for SPEEDRENT TECHNOLOGY SDN BHD.

Physical Receipts and Company Invoices

Cases of receipts that aren’t rental payments are less common but can still happen. 

Some of these fake receipts may be maintenance fees from the building’s management, damage costs a tenant wants the landlord to be liable for. 

A fake receipt sent to one of our landlords.

In this particular example, the tenant is making ridiculous claims for the damages to his furniture due to a leak in the unit. Unless the leak is a result of the tenant’s negligence or a defect from the building’s structure, landlords are usually responsible for larger plumbing issues. Should they be notified of the leak, they must talk to the necessary management and ensure the property is suitable for human habitation.

Repairing the faulty pipes is one thing, but asking the landlord to pay for the damages incurred on the tenant’s furniture is another entirely. The tenant claims the leak made his mattress unusable. He sent the landlord a bill for the cost of the damages and demanded compensation.

SPEEDHOME helped this landlord with his tenant by first identifying the fake receipt.

You might find the receipt hard to believe. Let’s break down what’s wrong with it.

#3: Visual Inconsistencies and Missing Information

  1. No identifying information (registration, address, phone number, etc.)
    1. A lack of design like no colours, multiple fonts and a blurry logo.
    2. Texture/Look of the receipt: If it seems suspicious to you, avoid it!
  2. No invoice number, which would usually be automatically generated for businesses.
  3. An oddly placed note next to the recipient’s phone number, unformatted and in Malay.
  4. A rounded number is a mark of a lazy scammer. The exact RM5000 total is suspicious.

You can apply these tips with other invoices you might receive, such as hospital bills, financial statements, employment payslips, etc. This way, you can verify if similar damage claims or any unpredictable changes in your tenant’s financial situation are legitimate.

#4: Check the Company’s Registration Number

Here’s a tip from SPEEDHOME’s standard procedure. With invoices from a company or business that has a registration number attached, we do our due diligence by checking the company against the Companies Commission of Malaysia registry, also known as Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). 

This is something you can even check yourself, or you can let our finance department handle it for you.

To verify a company against the SSM, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the SSM website at
  2. Click on the “e-Search” button on the top menu.
  3. Choose the type of search you want to perform. 
  4. Enter the registration number from the invoice in the search field.
    • If the search returns a result, you can confirm the company’s existing status. More information about the company will also be available through SSM MYDATA.
    • If the search does not return a result, a notice will say “No Record Found.”

By verifying a company against the SSM, you can confirm that it is a registered business in Malaysia and make further investigations where necessary.

The Good News: SPEEDHOME’s Fraud Protection

SPEEDHOME is able to provide all the services we mentioned in this article such as receipt screening and verification.

At SPEEDHOME, we’re committed to protecting our tenants and landlords from fraud. We take pride in providing a secure renting experience for all. That’s why our AI-powered screening process has been developed to detect likely fake receipts.

Our AI model is trained on over 50 million data points and becomes more accurate over time.

We also have an experienced finance department that manually verifies receipts. The team reviews an image’s EXIF metadata for any signs of edits with a third party software as well as contacting banks or companies to check for a receipt’s legitimacy. No receipt escapes verification.

In the unlikely event that you receive a fake receipt, our established process ensures that payment errors or claims are handled promptly and efficiently. 

Don’t let scammers take advantage of you. Stay vigilant and always verify the authenticity of any receipts you receive.

Experienced something similar? Talk to us and let us know.

Want to learn more about our automatic rental collection and protection?

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