I received a strange snail mail statement from "Mohela: A Department of Education Servicer", billing me for a total of $8678, split between two student loans. I ignored this, assuming it was either a mistaken mailing or someone trying to con me.
Received another mailing so I studied Mohela's web site, then called them and told them I never filed for a loan. They told me they'd send me an "identity theft kit". I subsequently placed a 90 day fraud alert at the credit bureaus.
Received the "kit" in the mail which turned out to be a sheet of paper with confusing instructions, including a request for the following:
Five samples of your signature, two of which must be no more than one year before or one year after the date of the disputed signature, or other means of identification, as applicable, corresponding to the means of identification used to falsely obtain the loan.
I called Mohela several times to get clarification since I didn't know of a specific disputed signature, nor a date associated with such a signature. I obviously didn't know what means of identification were used to falsely obtain the loan, since I wasn't the one who did it!
Generated a crime report at identitytheft.gov with the following personal statement:
My credit report has two fraudulent student loans from Mohela: one was opened in June 2017, the other in September 2017. I did not know about these loans until I received statements in the mail in 2018. Mohela reports that the loans are for the University of the Southwest in New Mexico, but I never lived in New Mexico, nor had reason to take out student loans. I have been a software engineer for 17 years and have never filled out a FASFA application. Mohela and Experian report that I lived at [REDACTED] in Fort Collins in 2017, but this is fraudulent. I have never lived at that address. I have been living in California since 2011.
Took a day off work to gather all the documents that Mohela requested and mail off my identity theft packet.
By now I've gotten to be really good at calling Mohela, I've learned how to bypass their automated response system, then say the minimal-but-sufficient sequence of words to the normal customer service person, in order to talk to a supervisor.
On this day I contacted Mohela to get my status. They told me that I needed to call the University of the Southwest in order to release my records to Mohela. I made a few calls and got a hold of someone in their financial aid department. They politely informed me they would only release my records if I were to first obtain a police report from my local police department.
I walked into the Mountain View police station, they were nice but they said they were not equipped to handle cases like mine. I told them I merely needed a case number in order to appease the university. They begrudgingly generated a courtesy crime report and told me they would send it to Fort Collins PD, since that's where the bogus address is located.
I called the university again and gave them my case number with the MVPD. They finally said they would agree to work with Mohela.
I heard back from the university, they backed off one of the two loans.
The Fort Collins Fraud Unit asked for a signed statement, so I composed another letter similar to the one I wrote for Mohela.
Received yet another bill from Mohela so I called them, they assured me that the loan would be cleared by the end of the month.
FCPD informed me they have "suspended involvement" in my case. Apparently they did not gain any lucrative suspect details from the known institutions, and turned over all information to the Department of Education.
Mohela called me to inform me that both loans have finally been backed off.