Identity Theft Affidavit
We must promptly complete and file an identity theft affidavit when new and fraudulent accounts are opened in our name without our authorization in order to ensure we do not become liable for any debts incurred as a result of our identity theft and unauthorized accounts. Existence of unauthorized accounts may be detected through our periodic credit report review. In some cases, we might also get collection letters and calls for the unauthorized accounts that would immediately get our attention, however, most often it is through our proactive review of our credit reports or credit monitoring alert notifications that we detect fraud. Visit the free credit report page to find out how you can get free annual credit reports without buying any additional services.
The affidavit is intended to clearly and effectively communicate to the companies that we did not authorize new accounts created in our name. Keep in mind that the affidavit is only used for disputing new accounts opened without our authorization. For refuting fraudulent or incorrect transactions on existing accounts, please refer to the dispute letter page.
The identity theft affidavit was developed by a group of creditors, consumer advocates, and attorneys at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide a standard dispute letter for unauthorized accounts. While many companies accept this affidavit, others require that you submit their proprietary forms. Before you send the affidavit, contact each company to find out if they accept it and whether you need to file additional forms. Also ask about required documentation that need to be filed with the affidavit.
An identity theft report may also replace the need to file an affidavit if you have already filed a police report. It’s always recommended to file a police report when new accounts are opened in your name due to identity theft. The benefits of an identity theft report when submitted to the appropriate parties, include:
(1) blocking fraudulent transactions from appearing on the credit report;
(2) preventing a company from collecting unauthorized debts or selling the debt to others for collection; and
(3) allowing placement of an extended fraud alert on credit reports.
Just like an identity theft police report, the affidavit may be used to claim innocence and identity theft victim status. Such claims are needed to show that you did not authorize the new accounts and help prove that the signature on the fraudulent application is not yours.
In conclusion, once unauthorized accounts are detected, the next step is to file claims of innocence and avoid future financial liabilities. Such claims can be made through an identity theft report placed with the police department and/or an identity theft affidavit sent to the appropriate parties and companies. In most cases, I recommend filing both to be safe.
Learn how to complete an identity theft affidavit.