New Account Fraud
If you are a victim of identity theft, you may be asked by businesses and creditors where identity thieves opened new accounts in your name to provide an identity theft affidavit in order to have those fraudulent accounts closed and removed from your credit file. An identity theft affidavit is a notarized document certifying that you are an identity theft victim. The identity theft affidavit provides the appropriate information businesses and creditors need to assist you in correcting the damage done by the identity thief.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (www.FTC.gov) developed an identity theft affidavit that is accepted by most businesses and creditors if an identity thief used your personal information to open a new account. But, not all businesses and creditors accept the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft complaint / affidavit.
Before completing or sending the identity theft complaint/affidavit to a business or creditor, call the business or creditor and determine if the affidavit will be accepted. If not, ask the business or creditor what documentation they require in order to have any new accounts opened in your name by the identity thief removed.
If the business or creditor does require and accept the identity theft affidavit, you should go directly to the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Complaint / Affidavit page. Please read and follow the instructions carefully and complete the identity theft complaint/affidavit as soon as possible after you learn you are an identity theft victim. Some businesses and creditors may require that you provide the complaint / affidavit within two weeks.
Pre-Existing Account Fraud
If an identity thief used one of your pre-existing credit accounts, you should contact that business or creditor to learn what documentation and steps they require to have those charges removed from your account. Remember, the identity theft affidavit is only for new accounts opened by the identity thief in your name.