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Identity Theft, Protecting your Credit, Affidavit form, and Instructions

Jewish Lawyer Protecting Your Credit


If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, file a complaint with the FTC by contacting the FTCís Identity Theft Hotline by telephone: toll-free 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) theft TDD: 202-326-2502; by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 Although the FTC does not have the authority to bring criminal cases, the Commission can help victims of identity theft by providing information to assist them in resolving the financial and other problems that can result from this crime. By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help law enforcement officials track down identity thieves and stop them. The FTC also refers victim complaints to other appropriate government agencies and private organizations for further action. If you haven’t already done so, report the fraud to the following organizations:

1. Each of the three national consumer reporting agencies. Ask each agency to place a fraud alert on your credit report, and send you a copy of your credit file. When you have completed your affidavit packet, you may want to send them a copy to help them investigate the disputed accounts.

Equifax Credit Information Services, (800) 525-6285/ TDD 1-800-255-0056 and ask the operator to call the Auto Disclosure

Line at 1-800-685-1111 to obtain a copy of your report. P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian information Solutions, Inc. (888) 397-3742/ TDD (800) 972-0322 P.O. Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion (800) 680-7289/ TDD (877) 553-7803 Fraud Victim Assistance Division P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634-6790

2. The fraud department at each creditor, bank, or utility/service that provided the identity thief with unauthorized credit, goods or services. This would be a good time to find out if the company accepts this affidavit, and whether they require notarization or a copy of the police report.

3. Your local police department. Ask the officer to take a report and give you a copy of the report. Sending a copy of your police report to financial institutions can speed up the process of absolving you of wrongful debts or removing inaccurate information from your credit reports. If you canít get a copy, at least get the number of the report.

4. The FTC Instructions for Completing the ID Theft Affidavit To make certain that you do not become responsible for the debts incurred by the identity thief, you must provide proof that you didnít create the debt to each of the companies where accounts where opened or used in your name.

A working group composed of credit grantors, consumer advocates and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developed this ID Theft Affidavit to help you report information to many companies using just one standard form. Use of this affidavit is optional for companies. While many companies accept this affidavit, others require that you submit more or different forms. Before you send the affidavit, contact each company to find out if they accept it. You can use this affidavit where a new account was opened in your name. The information will enable the companies to investigate the fraud and decide the outcome of your claim. (If someone made unauthorized charges to an existing account, call the company to find out what to do.) This affidavit has two parts:
  • ID Theft Affidavit is where you report general information about yourself and the theft.
  • Fraudulent Account Statement is where you describe the fraudulent account(s) opened in your name.
Use a separate Fraudulent Account Statement for each company you need to write to. When you send the affidavit to the companies, attach copies (NOT originals) of any supporting documents (for example, drivers license, police report) you have. Before submitting your affidavit, review the disputed account(s) with family members or friends who may have information about the account(s) or access to them. Complete this affidavit as soon as possible. Many creditors ask that you send it within two weeks of receiving it. Delaying could slow the investigation. Be as accurate and complete as possible. You may choose not to provide some of the information requested. However, incorrect or incomplete information will slow the process of investigating your claim and absolving the debt. Please print clearly. When you have finished completing the affidavit, mail a copy to each creditor, bank or company that provided the thief with the unauthorized credit, goods or services you describe. Attach to each affidavit a copy of the Fraudulent Account Statement with information only on accounts opened at the institution receiving the packet, as well as any other supporting documentation you are able to provide. Send the appropriate documents to each company by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can prove that it was received. The companies will review your claim and send you a written response telling you the outcome of their investigation. Keep a copy of everything you submit for your records. If you cannot complete the affidavit, a legal guardian or someone with power of attorney may complete it for you. Except as noted, the information you provide will be used only by the company to process your affidavit, investigate the events you report and help stop further fraud. If this affidavit is requested in a lawsuit, the company might have to provide it to the requesting party. Completing this affidavit does not guarantee that the identity thief will be prosecuted or that the debt will be cleared. DO NOT SEND AFFIDAVIT TO THE FTC OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY Theft Data Clearinghouse the federal government’s centralized identity theft complaint database and provides information to identity theft victims. You can visit or call tollfree 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338). The FTC collects complaints from identity theft victims and shares their information with law enforcement nationwide. This information also may be shared with other government agencies, consumer reporting agencies, and companies where the fraud was perpetrated to help resolve identity theft related problems. DO NOT SEND AFFIDAVIT TO THE FTC OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY Victim Information (1) My full legal name is ___________________________________________________________ (First) (Middle) (Last) (Jr., Sr., III) (2) (If different from above) When the events described in this affidavit took place, I was known as ____________________________________________________________________________ (First) (Middle) (Last) (Jr., Sr., III) (3) My date of birth is ____________________ (day/month/year) (4) My Social Security number is________________________________ (5) My drivers license or identification card state and number are__________________________ (6) My current address is __________________________________________________________ City ___________________________ State _________________ Zip Code ______________ (7) I have lived at this address since ____________________ (month/year) (8) (If different from above) When the events described in this affidavit took place, my address was ______________________________________________________________________________ City ___________________________ State _________________ Zip Code ______________ (9) I lived at the address in Item 8 from __________ until __________ (month/year) (month/year) (10) My daytime telephone number is (____)____________________ (10a) My evening telephone number is (____)____________________ ID Theft Affidavit Name __________________________________ Phone number _______________________ DO NOT SEND AFFIDAVIT TO THE FTC OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY Name __________________________________ Phone number _______________________ How the Fraud Occurred Check all that apply for items 11 – 17: (11) q I did not authorize anyone to use my name or personal information to seek the money, credit, loans, goods or services described in this report. (12) q I did not receive any benefit, money, goods or services as a result of the events described in this report. (13) q My identification documents (for example, credit cards; birth certificate; driverís license; Social Security card; etc.) were q stolen q lost on or about __________________. (day/month/year) (14) q To the best of my knowledge and belief, the following person(s) used my information (for example, my name, address, date of birth, existing account numbers, Social Security number, motherís maiden name, etc.) or identification documents to get money, credit, loans, goods or services without my knowledge or authorization: _________________________________ ____________________________________ Name (if known) Name (if known) _________________________________ ____________________________________ Address (if known) Address (if known) _______________________________ ____________________________________ Phone number(s) (if known) Phone number(s) (if known) _________________________________ ____________________________________ Additional information (if known) Additional information (if known) (15) q I do NOT know who used my information or identification documents to get money, credit, loans, goods or services without my knowledge or authorization. (16) q Additional comments: (For example, description of the fraud, which documents or information were used or how the identity thief gained access to your information.) ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ (Attach additional pages as necessary.) Name __________________________________ Phone number _______________________ DO NOT SEND AFFIDAVIT TO THE FTC OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY Victimís Law Enforcement Actions (17) (check one) I q am q am not willing to assist in the prosecution of the person(s) who committed this fraud. (18) (check one) I q am q am not authorizing the release of this information to law enforcement for the purpose of assisting them in the investigation and prosecution of the person(s) who committed this fraud. (19) (check all that apply) I q have q have not reported the events described in this affidavit to the police or other law enforcement agency. The police q did q did not write a report. In the event you have contacted the police or other law enforcement agency, please complete the following: _____________________________ _________________________________ (Agency #1) (Officer/Agency personnel taking report) ____________________________ _________________________________ (Date of report) (Report number, if any) _____________________________ _________________________________ (Phone number) (email address, if any) _____________________________ _________________________________ (Agency #2) (Officer/Agency personnel taking report) _____________________________ _________________________________ (Date of report) (Report number, if any) _____________________________ _________________________________ (Phone number) (email address, if any) Documentation Checklist Please indicate the supporting documentation you are able to provide to the companies you plan to notify. Attach copies (NOT originals) to the affidavit before sending it to the companies. (20) q A copy of a valid government-issued photo-identification card (for example, your driverís license, state-issued ID card or your passport). If you are under 16 and donít have a photo-ID, you may submit a copy of your birth certificate or a copy of your official school records showing your enrollment and place of residence. (21) q Proof of residency during the time the disputed bill occurred, the loan was made or the other event took place (for example, a rental/lease agreement in your name, a copy of a utility bill or a copy of an insurance bill). (22) q A copy of the report you filed with the police or sheriffís department. If you are unable to obtain a report or report number from the police, please indicate that in Item 19. Some companies only need the report number, not a copy of the report. You may want to check with each company. Signature I declare under penalty of perjury that the information I have provided in this affidavit is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. _______________________________________ __________________________________ (signature) (date signed) Knowingly submitting false information on this form could subject you to criminal prosecution for perjury. ______________________________________ (Notary) [Check with each company. Creditors sometimes require notarization. If they do not, please have one witness (non-relative) sign below that you completed and signed this affidavit.] Witness: _______________________________________ __________________________________ (signature) (printed name) _______________________________________ __________________________________ (date) (telephone number) Name __________________________________ Phone number _______________________ When Someone Misuses Your Number (SSA Pub. No. 05-10064) Tax Fraud Internal Revenue Service (IRS) The IRS is responsible for administering and enforcing tax laws. If you believe someone has assumed your identity to file federal Income Tax Returns, or to commit other tax fraud, call tollfree: 1-800-829-0433. Victims of identity theft who are having trouble filing their returns should call the IRS Taxpayer Advocates Office, toll-free: 1-877-777-4778. FOR MORE INFORMATION Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) Department of Justice (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Jewish Lawyer Client Connect Service Call 877 JABA – 123 Tips on Filing a Police Report
  • Provide documentation.
  • Be persistent.
  • Furnish as much documentation as you can to prove your case. Debt collection letters, credit reports, your notarized ID Theft Affidavit, and other evidence of fraudulent activity can help the police file a complete report. Local authorities may tell you that they can’t take a report. Stress the importance of a police report; many creditors require one to resolve your dispute.
  • Also remind them that under their voluntary Police Report Initiative,credit bureaus will automatically block the fraudulent accounts and bad debts from appearing on your credit report, but you can give them a copy of the police report.
  • If you can’t get the local police to take a report, try your county police.
  • If that doesn’t work, try your state police.
  • If you’re told that identity theft is not a crime under your state law, ask to file a Miscellaneous Incident Report instead.
  • Ask your police department to search the FTC’s Consumer
  • Sentinel database for other complaints in your community. You may not be the first or only victim of this identity thief. If there is a pattern of cases, local authorities may give your case more consideration.
That’s why it’s also important to file a complaint with the FTC. Law enforcement agencies use complaints filed with the FTC to aggregate cases, spot patterns, and track growth in identity theft. This information can then be used to improve investigations and victim assistance.

Tips on Organizing Your Case

Accurate and complete records will greatly improve your chances of resolving your identity theft case.
  • Follow up in writing with all contacts youíve made on the phone or in person. Use certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence or forms you send.
  • Write down the name of anyone you talk to, what he or she told you, and the date the conversation occurred.
  • Keep the originals of supporting documentation, like police reports, and letters to and from creditors; send copies only.
  • Set up a filing system for easy access to your paperwork.
  • Keep old files even if you believe your case is closed. One of the most difficult and annoying aspects of identity theft is that errors can reappear on your credit reports or your information can be re-circulated.
Should this happen, you’ ll be glad you kept your files. If you have questions about the application of the law in a particular case, consult your lawyer. The law is constantly changing . Information on this site or any site to which we link does not constitute legal advice . The DOJ and its U.S. Attorneys prosecute federal identity theft cases. The FBI, a criminal law enforcement agency, investigates cases of identity theft. The FBI recognizes that identity theft is a component of many crimes including bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud, fraud against the government, and terrorism. Local field offices are listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory.

Protecting Yourself Against Identity Fraud

The U.S. Secret Service investigates financial crimes, which may include identity theft. Although the Secret Service generally investigates cases where the dollar loss is substantial, your information may provide evidence of a larger pattern of fraud requiring their involvement. Local field offices are listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory. Equifax Experian TransUnion To order your report, call: 800-685-1111 To report fraud, call: 800-525-6285 TDD 800-255-0056 and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 To order your report, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) To report fraud, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) TDD 800-972-0322 and write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen TX 75013 To order your report, call: 800-888-4213 To report fraud, call: 800-680-7289 TDD 877-553-7803; fax: 714-447-6034; email: or write: Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634-6790
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