What is an Identity Theft Affidavit?

Paul Woods

An identity theft affidavit is a standardized form issued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission or by individual states with which victims of identity theft can notify financial institutions and utility companies of possible fraud. When accepted by a financial institution, the identity theft affidavit can limit the liability for an individual who has had credit card or other financial accounts opened in their names. The FTC’s affidavit was created in 2002. ID theft typically is among top complaints received by the FTC.

Identity theft affidavits are used to notify credit companies of possible fraudulent activities.
Identity theft affidavits are used to notify credit companies of possible fraudulent activities.

The FTC’s identify theft affidavit, which is a model for state forms, has five sections spread over six pages. The first section identifies the victim of the ID theft. Required information includes name, address and phone number; Social Security and driver’s license numbers; and date of birth. An additional portion of this section is for ID information if it was different at the time of the fraud. A final portion of the section allows the ID theft victim to confirm that he or she did not authorize use of personal information to establish an account, did not receive any goods or services as a result of the fraudulently opened account and will work with law enforcement officials if charges are brought against the person who stole the ID.

Identity theft is one of the most common complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission.
Identity theft is one of the most common complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission.

In the second section, which is titled About the Fraud, the identity theft affidavit allows the victim to list information about the person who stole the ID, if available. Information includes name, address and phone numbers. There are also blank lines on which the ID theft victim can give additional information about the person in question and additional information about the crime itself.

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The Documentation, or third, section of the identity theft affidavit is for the victim to verify his or her identity. This verification is in two forms. First, the victim verifies that he or she can provide a government-issued photo ID. Second, the victim verifies he or she can provide proof of residency.

Victims detail which information was stolen in the About the Information or Accounts section of the identity theft affidavit. This section covers both personal information that is now incorrect in a credit report because of ID theft and credit inquiries on the victim’s credit report that are a result of fraudulent activity. Known frauds committed by the person who stole the ID, such as accounts opened with banks, credit card companies or utilities, also go in this section.

The final section of the FTC identity theft affidavit covers any law enforcement reports the victim made. If law enforcement reports have been filed, the victim lists the law enforcement department, report number, filing date, and the law enforcement officer’s name, badge number and phone number. The final lines of the affidavit are for victim and witness signatures. The affidavit then can be filed with participating credit bureaus, financial firms and utilities.

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