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Identity Theft: Self-Help Form Letters

Information

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is using your name or your accounts without your permission to:

  • buy things
  • obtain services
  • get credit cards
  • rent an apartment
  • re-route your income tax refund or other money due to you, or
  • give police a phony ID making them think you committed a crime

Each year, most consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concern Identity Theft.

In some cases, identity theft occurs within families to children, seniors, and domestic violence survivors, making reporting and recovery especially difficult.

If someone steals my identity, how can it affect me?

  • You can get collection calls and letters for things you never bought.
  • You can get unfavorable entries on your credit report. This can make it harder for you to get credit. It can also make you have to pay a higher interest rate.
  • You may have to meet with your bank to convince them that someone stole your identity.
  • Becoming the victim of an identity theft can be a complicated and frustrating time in your life.

What can I do?

The Federal Trade Commission has letters you can use to notify a debt collector or credit bureau of the theft of your identity.

To use the letters, you must first report the crime of identity theft to the police. You do not need to know the name of the person who used your identity. Show the police the debt collection letters or other papers showing someone used your identity.

You can also visit the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network to learn more.

How can I get the letters to send?

The Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center has on-line interviews to help you make good letters to help you undo the harm from identity theft. The letters are good in Alabama.

In order to be able to get the letters, you need to use Adobe Flash Player. If you do not have it, you will need to download the free Adobe Flash Player.

You also need to be able to see Microsoft Word forms. If you do not have Microsoft Word, download the free Microsoft Word Viewer.

You cannot charge anyone money to get to these letters.

Links to Form Letters:

Letter to Creditor

Use this letter when someone is asking you to pay a bill to them that is in your name, but which you did not authorize. You can also use it for a credit card statement with charges you didn't make.

You will need:
  • To answer the interview questions and get the letter, you need to have a copy of the bill or credit card statement when you start the interview.
  • You will also need to provide a copy of your proof of your identity.

Click below to use the interactive interview for a Letter to a Creditor directly collecting their own bill.

Fill in the form! Letter to Creditor - Identity Theft

Letter to Debt Collector

Use this letter when a lawyer or a Debt Collector is asking you to pay a bill in your name that you did not authorize.

You will need:
  • To answer the interview questions and get the letter, you need to have a copy of the letter from the lawyer or Debt Collector when you start the interview.
  • You will also need to have a copy of the police report you made.
  • A copy of your proof of your identity.

Click below to use the interactive interview for a Letter to a Debt Creditor collecting a bill for someone else.

Fill in the form! Letter to Debt Collector - Identity Theft

 

Letter to Credit Bureau 

Use this letter when you want to get a credit bureau to remove from your credit report items resulting from identity theft.

You will need:
  • You will need a copy of your credit report in hand when you start the interview. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau here. You do not have to pay for a copy of your credit report. One credit report from each company is available to you free each year.
  • A copy of the police report you made.
  • A copy of your proof of your identity.

After you make the letter, send it. Include in the envelope the letter and attachment, a copy of your credit report with the incorrect items circled, a copy of the police report you made, and proof of your identity.

Click below to use the interactive interview for a Letter to a Credit Bureau.

Fill in the form! Letter to Credit Bureau - Identity Theft

Reviewed May 2013


AlabamaLegalHelp.org offers legal information, not legal advice. We try hard to make sure this website accurately explains your rights and options. However, the site does not apply the law to your personal facts. For this sort of legal advice, you should call a lawyer. To apply for free legal services in Alabama, call the Legal Services Alabama office that is closest to where you live OR call toll-free 1-866-456-4995. You can also apply online at intake.alsp.org.

Last Review and Update: Sep 18, 2014