An Identity Theft Affidavit is a document that can help victims of identity theft prove to a business that their personal financial data has been used to open a fraudulent account. An Identity Theft Affidavit includes personal and account information, and is a statement of the facts surrounding your identity theft.
Taking steps to prevent identity theft is the best first defense. But if you discover that fraudulent accounts have been opened using your name and personal data, an Identity Theft Affidavit is an important document that can help you clear up the mess. It is one of the key steps you should make as soon as you suspect you are a victim of ID theft.
Where Can I Get an Identity Theft Affidavit Form?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has created an Identity Theft Affidavit that many businesses nationwide accept when reviewing claims that your identity has been used to open fraudulent accounts. You actually can use this instead of a police report in many cases.
When you suspect you are a victim of fraudulent activity, you should contact that business directly and ask for its official steps for reporting fraudulent activity, including whether it will accept the FTC's Identity Theft Affidavit or it has its own form.
The FTC's Identity Theft Affidavit is not a standalone document you can download and fill in. It is one of the documents included in your personalized ID Theft Report and recovery plan that you will receive when you report your identity theft at the FTC's IdentityTheft.gov website.
There is no fee to report identity theft; you can file it online and print out your Identity Theft Affidavit and other documents that will help you work with businesses to stop the fraudulent accounts and clear up your accounts.
Do I Need an Identity Theft Affidavit to Report Fraudulent Use of One of My Accounts?
You do not use an Identity Theft Affidavit to report when someone has made unauthorized charges on your credit cards, or illegally accessed an existing account. An Identity Theft Affidavit is typically used to dispute new accounts that have been opened using your personal data.
When you notice fraudulent activity on an existing account, contact the business or credit card issuer immediately, and follow its procedures for reporting ID theft and disputing charges or other fraudulent activity.
Can I Use the FTC's Identity Theft Affidavit to Report Tax Fraud?
If your identity has been used to file a fraudulent federal tax return using your personal information you need to file an IRS Identity Theft Affidavit , also known as IRS Form 14039. You can fill out and file the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit as part of completing an Identity Theft Report at the FTC's website. Learn more about tax fraud and tax ID theft here.
Do I Also Need to File a Police Report If I Get an Identity Theft Affidavit?
If you know who stole your identity, or you have information that would help the police investigate fraudulent activity, you may want to also file a police report.
But in many instances, you do not need to file a police report if you reported your situation to the FTC's website and have completed an Identity Theft Affidavit. In some states, agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, or the tax department are in the process of transitioning from requiring a police report to accepting the FTC Fraud Affidavit.
Call the Identity Theft Resource Center at 1-888-400-5530 to find out what the requirements are in your state.
What Information Do I Need to File an Identity Theft Affidavit?
The FTC's Identity Theft Affidavit is a six-page form. Among the personal data you are asked to provide are your address, Social Security number, and driver's license number.
You will be asked for details about the fraud you are reporting. When you send the completed Identity Theft Affidavit to businesses or government agencies, you can attach additional supporting documents.
The Identity Theft Affidavit includes a Declarations section that asks three questions:
- Did you authorize anyone to use your name or personal information to obtain money, credit, loans, goods, or services—or for any other purpose—as described in the report?
- Did you receive any money, goods, services, or other benefits as a result of the events described in the report?
- Are you willing to work with law enforcement if charges are brought against the person(s) who committed the fraud?
If you decide to also file a police report, your Identity Theft Affidavit effectively becomes a sworn statement; fraudulent statements can be punishable with a fine and/or imprisonment.
In many instances, businesses or government agencies require that your Identity Theft Affidavit is signed in the presence of a notary.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.