How To spot a fake paystub

Detecting the difference between a copy and the real thing is very easy, if you know what to look for.   Just like fake merchandise like watches or name brand purses, the devil is in the detail.    We'll go through a few items that I would look for if I were presented a pay stub and show you how to spot a fake paystub

1)  General look of a pay stub.   It doesn't have to be "pretty"  per se,  with fancy fonts, or logo's etc.    But, it has to look official, which, coming from an accountant, usually means readable, organized and square/robotic  if you know what I mean.   Fancy or neat fonts are not readable by computers or people from different parts of the world.   So, paystubs truly have to be bolcky and obvious as to what is being displayed.   It's not good to be non-discernable between an "o"  and a "zero".   Usually they have a dot, or line through it denoting the number

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2)  All digits have to line up.   and the Decimal points as well.   If this is not the case, it's most certainly not a real pay stub,  as accounting departments love colums..  like their programs such as Excel, or Quickbooks.   It has to be organized.   It's just numbers..

3)  There does not necessarily have to be a $ sign if front of the numbers.   Maybe on the Check itself, but, not on the paystub..  it's just a numbers thing usually.   The Decimal is Key.   They love every penny, and will account for each.

paystub details

Paystub Details


4)  The math has to make sense, but, it doesn't have to be the same for every paystub.    If you get paid weekly, you may or may not get charged the same fees and taxers each month,  like your SS, or Fica, or perhaps your garnishments.    Plus, sometimes, accounting departments make adjustments.

5)  You get taxed based on your projected yearly earnings, but, those may change..    Maybe you worked overtime in your last month of the year, or you took off the month of June, or you got fired in September.   So, your taxes deducted from your check are just an ESTIMATE.   That is why we all have to file our taxes at the end of the year, to nail it down, and you may need to pay, or be paid from the government due to Overpaying or Underpaying.


paystub notes

6)  There is no one "standard" pay stub, but, they all have similar qualities, and are generally the same.   Payments, Deductions and special issues.   Plus, bigger companies do communicate via your paystub, because everyone looks at it.   Legitimate paystubs will have all that.

7)  There is always a part that is either torn off at the bottom or top.

8)  If not 7, then check for the words DIRECT DEPOSIT, or something to show where the check went

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