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  • Stubbuilder
  • Mar 23, 2023

Difference Between Real Pay Stub And Fake Pay Stub

Pay stubs are an essential part of an employee’s financial record. They provide a detailed summary of an employee’s income, deductions, and taxes paid. However, fake pay stubs have become an increasing concern in recent times. With the increasing number of people trying to obtain loans, credit, or even rental agreements, the production of fake pay stubs has also risen. This article will outline the key differences between a real and fake pay stub.

Real Pay Stubs VS Fake Pay Stubs

1. Source of Income

The source of income is an essential aspect of a pay stub, and it is one of the primary indicators of whether a pay stub is real or fake. A real pay stub will typically display the name and address of the employer, the employee’s name, and the pay period. The employer’s details will usually be printed, while the employee’s details may be handwritten.

A fake pay stub may display false information or lack crucial information, such as the name and address of the employer. It may also show the wrong pay period or be printed using a different font or typeface.

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2. Taxes Withheld

Taxes withheld are another key indicator of whether a pay stub is real or fake. A real pay stubs will display the taxes withheld from the employee’s paycheck. The taxes withheld include federal, state, and social security taxes.

A fake pay stub may display a significantly lower tax rate, which could be a red flag for lenders or landlords. Additionally, the tax information on a fake pay stub may be inconsistent with the employee’s stated income.

3. Pay Rate

A real pay stubs will display the employee’s hourly or salary rate and the number of hours worked during the pay period. It will also show the gross pay and the total amount earned before deductions.

A fake pay stub may display a higher pay rate than the employee earns. This could be an attempt to misrepresent the employee’s income and make them appear more financially stable than they are.

4. Deductions

Deductions are another critical aspect of a pay stub. They are the amounts subtracted from an employee’s paycheck, such as taxes, insurance premiums, and retirement contributions. A real paystub will display all deductions accurately, with the appropriate amounts subtracted from the gross pay.

A fake pay stub may display incorrect deductions or omit some deductions altogether. This could lead to the employee having a higher net pay than they do.

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5. Consistency

A real pay stubs will be consistent with the employee’s income and the employer’s tax records. It will also be consistent with the pay schedule and the employee’s employment history.

A fake pay stub may display inconsistent information, such as a pay rate that does not match the employee’s stated income or an incorrect pay period. The lack of consistency could be a red flag for lenders or landlords, as it suggests that the pay stub is fraudulent.

6. Formatting

A real paystub will typically be formatted in a standard way, with the same information displayed in the same place on each pay stub. This makes it easy to read and understand.

A fake pay stub may be formatted in a way that is inconsistent with standard pay stub formats. The font or typeface used may be different, or the information may be laid out in a difficult way to read or understand.

7. Watermarks

Some real pay stubs may have a watermark or other security features to prevent fraud. These security features may include holograms, embossed seals, or other markings that indicate the pay stub is authentic.

A fake pay stub will not have any security features and will be easy to replicate using standard printing equipment.

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Some Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

What are some common red flags that indicate a pay stub is fake?

Some common red flags include incorrect tax rates, inconsistent or incorrect information, lack of security features, and formatting inconsistencies. Pay stubs printed using a different font or typeface or showing a higher pay rate than what the employee earns may also be fraudulent.

Can employers legally produce fake pay stubs?

No, producing fake pay stubs is illegal and unethical. It is considered fraud and can lead to legal penalties, fines, and damage to one’s reputation. Employers are required to provide accurate and truthful information about their employees’ income and employment history.

How can I protect myself from fake pay stubs?

You can protect yourself from fake pay stubs by being aware of the red flags mentioned earlier and verifying the information provided by your employer. You can also request additional documentation, such as bank statements or tax returns, to confirm your income and employment history. If you suspect your employer produces fake pay stubs, you should report them to the appropriate authorities.


Recognize the differences between real and fake pay stubs. Real pay stubs provide accurate information about an employee’s income, deductions, and taxes paid, while fake pay stubs misrepresent this information. Being honest and transparent when providing financial information to lenders or landlords is crucial, as producing fake pay stubs can lead to serious consequences. By understanding the differences between real and fake pay stubs, employees can protect themselves from fraudulent activities and ensure that their financial records are accurate and reliable.

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