The Big Three Identity Theft Protection Documents
By R. Kurtz (Kurt) Holloway and Elizabeth P. Lester, project intern and contributing author
This is article 4 in a series of articles to help victims of identity theft. This article explains how to carry out the plan you made (see article 3). These three documents are the key. All of the articles in our series can be found here .
In order to efficiently and effectively dispute fraudulent activity involving your accounts and ensure that it is removed from your credit history, you should secure and file three different documents. These documents are the cornerstone for recovering from the damages of identity theft.
1. The Identity Theft Complaint
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides you with the option of filing a complaint when identity theft has occurred. While the FTC cannot carry out an investigation for you individually or solve your problems, your complaint will be part of a national database accessible by different law enforcement agencies seeking to correct patterns of theft. This complaint enables the FTC to recognize your issue and take corrective measures to remedy the fraud in an official capacity if possible. A complaint may be filed online with the FTC and requires your credit report and any information relating to the fraudulent accounts such as incorrect bills or unrequested credit cards. It also requires personal information such as your date of birth, address, and social security number, as well as any known details about the crime itself, in order to adequately complete the form. This complaint can be filed anonymously if you so desire, but it is important to make sure that a printed copy is received regardless of the method used to file the complaint. Filing the complaint is recommended. It will add credibility to the information you will provide to others to recover from the identity theft.
2. The Identity Theft Affidavit
An Identity Theft Affidavit helps to contest any new accounts which have been incorrectly opened. This document is generated as part of the FTC complaint. The affidavit is one of the critical tools in demonstrating that fraud has been committed. It is your sworn statement with comprehensive information to prove your identity to show creditors that you are not responsible for the fraudulent activity. The affidavit also provides the necessary supplemental information for a comprehensive police report to be filed.
3. The Identity Theft Report
The ID Theft Report is a type of police report which incorporates the ID Theft Affidavit to provide a comprehensive view of the fraud. The report should be verified and signed by a police officer in order to officially recognize your allegations of theft. This report also equips you with the tools to begin to remove any false information from the credit report. The Identity Theft Report allows you to use your rights granted under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to access a company’s business records to learn of any fraudulent activity and start the process for removing them from your credit report. When reporting the identity theft crime to the police be sure to assert the importance of the crime to you. Since local police often lack the resources to solve identity theft crimes the might deem your report a low priority.
Reclaiming your correct financial information and re-establishing your financial reputation is no small matter. These documents will prepare you with the vital tools to repair your stolen identity.
You will find more detailed information about resolving your identity theft situation at the FTC website www.ftc.gov. Our experienced and knowledgeable consumer protection law attorneys can guide you through the process, help you assert your rights and restore your financial reputation. You can contact us for help at 610-323-7464.