In order to begin the extensive recovery process after falling victim to a case of identity theft, you must first catch and remove the thief from your accounts. Though this does not always mean physically catching an individual that has entered into your private information, it does entail making it so that they can no longer use your information for their own personal gain - whether this is through changing a password, closing an account or simply placing a freeze on credit or debit cards, there are many options for you to choose from. After this has been done, you may begin the actual recovery process which starts with filing both parts of an identity theft report.
What is this report?
An identity theft report begins with an official affidavit that states that the transactions or activity in question is in dispute - you're officially stating that you were not responsible for what happened, you didn't make the charges or the changes, and it was not you that signed up for something. This piece of paper will go a long way toward getting back to the point where your information is private and secure, and is a legally binding document once signed. It may include a list of the suspicious activity, the specific transactions, and any information that you already have about the occurrence of theft. In addition to this sheet, you'll have to also file a police report in many states, making it publicly known that there was a crime committed. This way, when you're approaching your financial or local law enforcement and government institutions, there will be a record of you stating that you're not responsible for what has occurred, even though it happened with your name.
How can I start filing one?
Many computer services that focus on credit and identity theft monitoring offer forms like this within their suite of user tools. If or when a transaction like this is found, it can be noted and printed - giving you something to take with you when you go to make the report and start the recovery process. Before taking any action toward closing accounts, recovering funds and getting your life back on track, it's important to have this type of paper filled out, as it can reduce the number of headaches that you face in the future, as well as expedite the services that you will need to utilize while going through the process. If not provided by your monitoring company, the form (which is called an FTC affidavit) can be filled out and submitted online - you must print a copy to take with you to the police station. The identity theft report is comprised of both the affidavit and the police report - you'll need both pieces in order to proceed, as well as to have a complete and finished record of an occurrence of identity theft. Without the use of credit monitoring and identity monitoring services, it may be extremely difficult to catch these thieves, resulting in a great deal of lost time, lost money and deflated morale.