An Identity Theft Affidavit is a form to help people report identity theft to associated companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Affidavit form streamlines the process of informing companies when someone opens a new account in a victim’s name.
If you are a victim of identity theft, the first step to start the recovery process is to visit the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website and click on “Get Started.” You’ll find the affidavit there along with other helpful documents.
Being the victim of identity theft can leave you feeling violated and overwhelmed. But the sooner you report your case, the quicker you can recover your life.
Why an Identity Theft Affidavit Is Important
The immediate goals of any identity theft victim are to reclaim their identity, restore their credit and to protect themselves from becoming a victim again. The Identity Theft Affidavit can assist in achieving these goals in many ways, including:
- Confirming the occurrence of identity theft.
- Helping victims avoid the responsibility of paying for fraudulent debts.
- Flagging fraud and protecting against further credit abuse.
- Aiding victims in disputing errors on their credit reports.
Where Can I Get an Identity Theft Affidavit Form?
An Identity Theft Affidavit is not an independent form you can download on its own. Rather, it’s one of several documents you’ll receive in a personalized ID Theft Report when you report your case at the FTC’s Identity Theft website. Fortunately, there is no fee to report identity theft at this website.
You will want to print out the Identity Theft Affidavit and the other documents in the report. It’s also a good idea to make copies as you’ll be working with several businesses to close fraudulent accounts and absolve your responsibility for the debts incurred illegally.
The affidavit is accepted by many businesses in order to review your claims that fraudulent accounts were opened in your name without your knowledge or authorization. In some cases, you may even be able to submit the Identity Theft Affidavit rather than a police report. If you suspect that someone has opened an account in your name, contact the associated business directly and ask them about their procedure for reporting the fraud.
What Information Do I Need?
The Identity Theft Affidavit Form asks you to submit your address, Social Security number and driver’s license number, among other personal data. The six-page form also requests details of the fraud case you are claiming.
The Declarations section of the form asks three important questions:
- Did you give authorization to anyone to use your name and personal information?
- At any point were you presented with money, products, services or did you benefit as a result of the stated events in the report?
- If the criminal who committed the fraud is caught, would you commit to working with law enforcement?
The questions on the form must be answered completely and truthfully. If you file a police report, the Identity Theft Affidavit essentially acts as a sworn statement and any fraudulent claims are punishable by fine or imprisonment.
When Should I Submit an Identity Theft Affidavit Form?
It is best to submit the Identity Theft Affidavit Form as soon as you discover your identity has been stolen. Victims naturally feel intimidated and overwhelmed and may want to avoid dealing with the problem. In reality, however, recovery is possible but requires some tedious work and persistence.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has its own Identity Theft Affidavit form, known as IRS Form 14039. You might use it if you suspect your SSN was used to file a bogus tax return in your name.
You can even submit Form 14039 as a preventative measure. Such action may be wise if you’re not sure if someone filed a tax return, but you know you’ve been victimized of identity theft.
The Bottom Line
The FTC’s Identity Theft Affidavit is a valuable tool to help those who’ve had accounts fraudulently opened in their name.
Among other benefits, it confirms that identity theft really occurred, it helps you fight against needing to pay for unauthorized debts, and it helps you dispute credit report errors.
If you suspect someone may have opened an account in your name, contact the credit card company and ask if they’ll accept the affidavit form. Submit the affidavit as soon as you discover the fraud. The sooner you start fighting identity thieves, the sooner you can resolve credit issues and reclaim your identity.
What should you do next? Consider monitoring your credit report regularly to look for suspicious and fraudulent activity.