Ten Essential Tips to Creating an Effective Identity Theft Report
- File a Police Report with your Identity Theft Report
Filing a Police Report is a crucial part of the process. Many creditors, collection agencies, credit bureaus, and collection attorneys will disregard your claim of identity theft if you don’t file a police report. Some police departments won’t allow you to file a police report in identity theft or credit fraud situations. Be persistent and polite. If that doesn’t work contact an attorney to help you file the report.
- Include all Required Documents with your Identity Theft Report
Your Identity Theft Report must be a complete package. Otherwise the collection agencies might not stop trying to collect the fraudulent debt. The credit reporting agencies also require you to prove your identity and residency. They also require you to swear under oath you had nothing to do with the theft, did not authorize the transactions, and did not benefit from the theft. Proving these elements requires you to include all of the following documents:
Identity Theft Affidavit
Proof of your identity
Proof of your residency
- Be Truthful
You are signing your Identity Theft Affidavit and filing your Police Report under oath and penalty of perjury. Obviously, that means you must be truthful in your answers. If you lie or try to obscure the truth you could be criminally prosecuted. Don’t take the risk. Tell the truth.
- Don’t leave out fraudulent debts
Some debt collectors won’t actively collect from you but still might be out there waiting to pounce. Your credit reports will contain many of those accounts. Credit reports are notoriously inaccurate though so be sure to check all three (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to get the most accurate and up-to-date information. Don’t rely on just one credit report to find all of your fraudulent accounts.
- Have your Identity Theft Report notarized
A proper Identity Theft Affidavit should be notarized. That forecloses collection agencies and debt collection attorneys from arguing you owe the debt. Once you sign the Affidavit they simply cannot claim you owe the debt. Legally you don’t at that point. Of course this assumes you use the correct Identity Theft Affidavit with the correct information so be sure to use our free Identity Theft Affidavit so nothing is missing.
- Identify the perpetrator
Some victims of identity theft won’t know who stole their identity. In many cases the victims do know who stole their identity. If you can identify the thief and you are willing to prosecute you should identify them to the police, collection agencies, credit bureaus, and creditors. It will go a long way to proving your own innocence if you can identify the perpetrator. If that person is a loved one and you don’t want them prosecuted you should contact an attorney to see how to protect them.
- Mail your identity Theft Report by certified mail
Never submit your Identity Theft Report online. Mail it by certified mail. That allows you to prove the creditors, debt collectors, and credit bureaus all received your entire Report. You don’t need any signatures. Just use certified mail with Internet tracking and you can prove the exact date each agency received your Report.
- Never use credit repair agencies or so called “credit repair law firms”
Credit repair companies and credit repair law firms are mostly scams. It is that simple. They do not have your best interests in mind and they prove that fact by billing you monthly and sending out ineffective disputes containing false information. They also fraudulently request deletions of accurate information. These scammers are effective in marketing their services and pretending to be something they are not. They are not competent or effective at stopping identity theft debt collections or credit reporting.
- Include additional documentation if possible
If you have additional documentation that bolsters your claims of fraud include it with your Identity Theft Report. More information may help the credit bureaus and collectors to assess your claims properly. Be careful though. Don’t provide them documentation that creates confusion or might implicate you in the fraud. You want to be truthful but also keep their investigation as simple as possible.
- Be persistent
The best debt collection litigation attorneys can stop identity theft credit reporting and fraudulent debt collections in as little as a week. Most people, however, need more time. If you do it yourself you will likely need a few months. It is not uncommon to require multiple attempts before all of the collection agencies, credit bureaus, and collection attorneys get the hint. Being persistent is the key. If your first attempts don’t work, keep trying. If it sounds daunting to engage in multiple attempts to stop the fraudulent credit reporting and collection attempts, consult with a true debt collection litigation attorney to help.
Clearing up your credit and stopping debt collections of fraudulent accounts can be time-consuming, confusing, and frustrating. It can also be risky. You must swear under oath and penalty of perjury you had nothing to do with the fraud, did not authorize the fraud, and did not benefit from the fraudulent charges.
Following these ten essential tips to creating and using an effective Identity Theft Report will get you most of the way. If you are still confused or just want to save time, we can help you through this process.