You are a successful businessman. You own a percentage of the business enterprise in your city. You are as influential as your city mayor, or not. You are more influential to him than he is to you. They call you Boss Tom. And then one day, all of a sudden, a name Boss Tom came out in the news. You thought it was another guy having a name like yours. The news was a bad one, a bad news. They are looking for you. Yes you, Boss Tom. And you ask yourself, why? You have not done any criminal act. You are a good guy. This guy just escaped the town by plane, using your name. Later, bank institutions are trying to reach you only to find out that you have transferred a large sum of money. You have no knowledge about the bank transaction, someone must be using your ATM, your ID, your whole being.
That is just one of the scenarios that can happen if someone’s ID is stolen. It is not just about an ID card or an ATM card; more than that, it is the theft by someone trying to rob everything about you, everything that you have.
There are many forms of identity theft. It can be as big as stealing a bank account down to simple fake posing on social media. Here is one scenario in which someone poses as another person on social media account.
A guy has a crush on this fine-looking, lovely lady. So he searches for her account on Facebook. Voila! He finds her. But she is so pretty that an ordinary guy like him will surely not win her heart. What he does is use photos of someone who is really good looking. The moment the girl notices his poke, or PMs, or friend request, she will surely accept his request or messages. His good looks drive the lady to be intensely curious about him. They become so close, and before they knew it, the girl becomes attracted to him.
To make the short story shorter, she falls in love. But they have not met yet. When the moment arrives that they should meet, the guy has no idea how this kind of quandary would be solved. But they have to meet, just like in many other stories. They had to. And when they actually meet, the girl, to her surprise, could not believe what she is seeing. What do you think is the ending of this story? Will she still marry him? Or will she dump him for not telling the truth? But she already fell in love with him, except for his face.
What you have just read is just a made-up story. But unlike any other made-up stories, this is the kind of story we have already heard on the news. We have assigned many crimes on identity theft. But do we have tracking for people not telling the truth, for not showing their real faces? What would you do if you found out that someone was using (a photo of) your face, because they think you are handsome, to flirt with pretty ladies? What would be your reaction if you see a stranger and his or her profile picture is you. Do we have a legal system to protect these victims? Are there any regulations on this flaw, national or international level? What if he is just using a picture of you to promote you, because he is a fan of yours. What if he is not doing any harm. There seems to be no system regarding this issue.
If the woman in the story, still falls in love with the guy even after realizing that he is not actually who he is, will it erase the crime of stealing one’s identity? But if the woman, after seeing the guy, turns from being a lover to an enemy, can she file a case against the guy? If so, on what grounds—for lying, for breaking her heart, for stealing someone’s face, or for using someone’s photo? Who really is the victim here, the woman in the story or the one whose identity has been stolen? It is likely the latter. If this happens in your area, please report immediately to the authority. If this happens to you, you can at least, make an ID theft affidavit.
Like any other affidavit, an ID theft affidavit is a sworn statement with a witness demonstrating that someone has stolen your identity.
Identity theft is a grave offense. If you are the victim, you need to provide an identity theft affidavit. This will make your claim more credible than just mere sharing your complaints. The affidavit will strengthen your claim because in an affidavit, you were made to swear that what you want to be written and be read in the document is true. And you may be liable for anything if something is proven as false.
Getting an ID theft affidavit is easy. The fastest way is to go to a notary office. In a notary office, everything will be prepared, from writing or editing the paper down to making the signature.
The other method of furnishing such document is to do it on your own. There are many templates that can be downloaded from the Internet. These templates will come in handy since you only need to replace the important information such as names, address, date, the case name.
In any case, whether you prepare the document yourself or just let the notary office do it for you, still you need someone as your testimony, as well as the signature from a lawyer. Remember to make the affidavit as soon as possible. Delaying it will just weaken your statement.
Be as accurate as you possibly can. By accurate, it means to say your content should be as objective as possible, and making it less personal.
Write less, but it should be complete in details. Make sure you do not add anything that is unnecessary. If you make your own affidavit, it is better to just use a template. In that way, your wordings will be guided and with limitations than if you write a new one from scratch. Remember, preparing an affidavit is not a regular thing to do for ordinary people.
You may include in the statement all the information when the fraud happened—the where, how, who, when. This will show patterns of the fraud and eventually may be helpful in the investigation.
An affidavit is a legal document. Everything you write can be used against you. You can be sued if your intentions are malicious. If you are sincere and honest on the wordings, and the content in general, there is nothing to worry.
If the case is fraud, that is, if someone stole your identity and took advantage of you financially, your best friend is your bank. The bank may not have all the power to assist and regain what has been lost, but ad interim, it is your best ally. The best that the bank can do is to close your account to avoid possible financial casualty. The tracking of the criminal should come next. This will be assigned to special agents whose job is to track down fraud criminals.
Banks have their own investigative department. They may be doing their job to track criminals, but reporting to your local police department is as also important. The police can always detect any unusual movement in your particular area.
Other agencies, companies, or institutions you consider as helpful in the investigation may also need to be informed. But the bank and the police department will just do.
ID theft is a delicate matter. Try not to cause panic among your friends, the people in your community. When it is too obvious, it will skunk the whole process of investigation. It is good to be informative, but it is much better if it is done cautiously.
So these are the things you should do when preparing for an ID theft affidavit. It would also help if you consider some tips on protecting your self from an ID theft.
Keep your credit card from anyone at all times. If possible, have two or more credit cards, one for trivial purchases such as for using restaurant bills and the other one for serious purchases. Or better, use debit cards instead of credit cards. With debit cards, you can just deposit with a very minimum credit, which makes it safer than if you have a card that has an unlimited credit.
Be observant of the vendors you have dealt with. If possible, always make some note recording with them.
Secure your email. When possible, always change your password regularly.
Your pins or passwords should be as tricky as it can be. Do not settle with ordinary daily words. Use something out of the ordinary and is not directly related to you.