Identity Theft Affidavit
Have you been asked or an “identity theft affidavit?” Perhaps you saw unauthorized charges on your credit card, or are disputing inaccurate information on your credit report. Many companies require a “fraud affidavit” as part of your dispute. This type of a request is fairly normal and shouldn't give you too much concern.
Using A Template Affidavit?
Most people have never drafted an “affidavit.” Fear not – there's a universally acceptable template affidavit you can use. One option is to use the It's the Federal Trade Commission's “Identity Theft Affidavit.” It is available here: https://www.identitytheft.gov/Assistant#
You can also complete a Wisconsin specific identity theft complaint; it's available online, or in print form. There is no harm in filing out the federal fraud affidavit and also completing the Wisconsin complaint form. Regulatory agencies monitor identity theft issues, and your affidavits will also help provide important documentation to them.
Include a Police Report?
Many fraud affidavits (including the one mentioned above) include a provision for providing a copy of a police report.
We recommend you complete a police report as part of your fraud affidavit process. Completing a police report creates a record of the theft (in case it happens again) and provides additional evidence of your dispute.
Keep records of Everything
Always keep a copy of all the documents associated with your ID theft issue. Credit reports, collection letters, billing statements, dispute letters, fraud affidavits, and police reports. Literally everything.
If you're like many people, all of these documents are in digital form. You can still keep records: save them as PDF files and save them to a specific folder on your computer. You can also take photos of the documents (with a smartphone or other device) and save them to your records. All these methods preserve the evidence in your possession. While many identity theft issues resolve quickly, others can require the assistance of a lawyer. If it turns out you need legal assistance, the evidence is important.
What Happens Next?
Most companies process disputes in 30-day timeframes. Continue to monitor your credit and billing statements for other fraud related issues (and charges) and file the appropriate disputes. If your credit card company (or the credit bureaus) fix the wrong information, you may be all set. I not, it could signal large problems. Debt collection companies may harass you, harm your credit, or even sue you. If you have concerns (or need assistance) schedule your free consultation now.
Lost in the Forms and Overwhelmed?
Identity theft can be overwhelming. We offer free consultations – sometimes a quick call can save you hours of (questionable) online research. Our consultations are confidential and free, so schedule one here.
Being proactive is the key to success in an identity theft situation. These problems will not sort themselves out, but only get worse with time. Take advantage of a free consultation to understand and protect your consumer legal rights.