stTxNe3YNdCEWItTEC-Qg0J16eo My three bittles.: IRS. -Identity theft.

March 28, 2020

IRS. -Identity theft.

This is the part 2 of the last life update thing here.

I don't mean for this to be a "woe is me" kind of post. I just need to write it all down so that I remember and can keep up with who I've talked to and what we've done so far.

February 12th.
We woke up to over $9,000 missing from our tax return and found out it was for some student loans in my name which is odd because I have NEVER in my  life taken out a student loan. Ever.

After many many phone calls we find out it's from the Department of Education in Missouri.
Odd. I've only ever once been to Missouri and it was literally driving through it with David on our way to Ft Carson, Colorado back in 2006. We stopped at the Arc in St Louis and I think we ate in Missouri. It might have been Kansas, I don't remember but I've never lived in Missouri or gone to school in Missouri. I honestly am not even sure where Missouri is.

The IRS told David a list of things to do to get it taken care of but explained that I'd have to be the one doing it since it was in MY name even though technically it was HIS money that they took. I don't work but we file jointly so yeah.....

First things first, file a police report. Okay, we head to do that and they tell us we need paperwork. The more the better. The IRS said that they'd sent a letter explaining who took it and why. (It took TWO weeks to get this letter by the way).

David scheduled me an appointment with JAG (lawyers on base) for the 14th.

Feb 13th
I spend day calling the Dept of Edu in Missouri to be told it was for Missouri State University. I ask her if there is ANYTHING they can send me to add to the police report. She says she'll put it in the mail that day.

I google, I call, they have NO idea what I'm talking about and then tell me that there are FOUR MO State Universities. She gives me the numbers to them.
The 2nd one informs me that it could also be another school and gives me that number.
At this point, I'm just thankful to talk to REAL people and not automated systems.

I've called the credit companies and their automated system told me to send in a bunch of paperwork (that I didn't yet have) to even begin to put an alert on my credit.

Out of the five schools-4 of them had NO clue what I was talking about and one never returned my call (or 2nd or 3rd call).

Feb 22nd
I call Dept of Edu in Missouri AGAIN to check to make sure they sent the letter.
This guy informs me that they DID send it but he'll send it again because I should have gotten it at this point.  He also informs me that it won't do much good to prove that I didn't take out the loan because it was signed electronically. (The first lady didn't tell me any of that) He also tells me the school it's through!! NONE of which I'd called!! (SO thankful for this man!)

I call that school and they assign me a girl named Ashley. Ashley called me back about 1/2 an hour later to introduce herself and tell me that they were looking into it. She was so nice and honest. When I asked her what they could do, she told me she wasn't sure because she'd never encountered this before but that she'd be in touch. I asked her if there was ANYTHING she could send me that I could add to take with us to file a police report. She emailed me copies of the payments.

We FINALLY get the letter from the IRS Saturday March 2nd.
Monday the 4th we head and file a police report.
We stop by the library to print off the email from Ashley. And while there, David printed off MY credit report. ALL 39 PAGES OF IT.

We rushed to the police department and sat down with him. After a bit, David went home to get my student ID from when I went to college for a whole semester and a half at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He also had to leave to pick up Fin from school and then called to reschedule the kids' dentist appts that were scheduled for 3pm. (picked up Fin at 2:15pm and got to the police station around 1pm).
The guy that sat with me and did the report with me was amazing. He was nice and told me he was sorry that this was happening and was shocked as he read over the credit report with me and realize that the 39 pages of crap was for medical bills, utility bills, student loans, car payments and even a tax lien against "me".  I had to write down each thing that I was disputing and the more pages I flipped, the more I wanted to cry. Another guy stopped by and tried to add it up real quick and stopped once he his about $50,000.

We then headed to JAG (lawyers) to schedule another appointment. The lady made copies of everything to hand to the lawyer.

Two days later (March 7th) we headed to our appointment with the lawyer. He tried to be helpful. Told us it'd be a long process and that hopefully afterwards we could get my social changed.
He told us nothing that we didn't really already know but just the fact that he'd already called people to try to get whatever he could was nice. He asked me how long it'd take me to sign papers if he emailed them to me giving him permission to talk on my behalf and that was a bit reassuring but still.

When we got home that afternoon, we had gotten the letter from the Dept of Education in MO--the copy of the loan agreement. My name. My social. My birthday. Two references. One a friend, one a parent. (Neither of which I know).

From here we have to send copies of everything to everyone and try to convince them that it's not me and hope it hits the right person somewhere along the lines. It'll be 6 months to a year of fighting to even get our taxes back and who knows what happens from there.

So now on top of our already messed up finances, we have this mess to deal with.
It's been absolute hell so far.
I feel like I'm getting nowhere.
All I get are automated systems.
It's a nightmare.
It's stressful.
It's a mess.
It's overwhelming.

(Part 3 coming soon)


Nicole said...

Oh my goodness! This is stressing me out! I really hope this works itself out!

Kristin said...

My pessimistic self is screaming, but look at the positive: at least the people helping you actually seem to be helpful, Maybe? :/

Tawnys Tid Bits said...

Amber! Seriously didn't know it was this bad! Go to equifax, or call.... ask for a price (starts off at $19.95 a month), claim that's too high, they will lower it. I pay $12.95 a month. They can place a fraud alert on your name/ss #. If ANYONE (even yourself) tries to open a line of credit, they will call you and ask you questions only you (or David) should know. I dealt with this back in December 2011 (Christmas day was spent on the phone with the bank, yeah I spoke to someone). Then again about a year later when someone called about a quote I made on car insurance. Actually happened again last month, so signed up for Equifax AGAIN! Not to mention now my email is FULL of spam, probably 100+ a day when I used to get maybe 5 a week. Grr... stupid identity theft people!

Micah Cain said...

Oh my gosh Amber!!
I hate that out of all people, you guys have to go through this! I got stressed just reading this.
I hope all of the people can help you guys out & you best be getting all that $$$ back!!! To me 9,000 is a lot!
Sending hopeful wishes that this process goes a bit easier

hula-la said...

oh my goodness! This is the stuff you hear about in the news...but not supposed to actually happen to YOU!!!
Have faith...and remember, TIME WOUNDS ALL HEALS!!!

Sending good wishes your way!


Jenn said...

GIRL, I would freak. You are more than within your right to bring out some "Woe is me" post. Poor you! $50,000?! NO! I hope you resolve this issue. I would cry as well!

Analilia said...

Oh man! I hope you get your money back and soon. That is a lot of money. Always remember, this is your blog, you can do what you want with it, even if it's a "Woe is me" post.

Analilia @ Ride the spiral

Dara said...

that is just awful. I am so sorry you are dealing with that! do you have any idea where it started from?

JennTRC said...

I can't even imagine, that sounds horrible.

It's good that you posted your experience here, because many people would not know how to handle this situation. Maybe someone can learn from this after all.

Angela Peters said...

This is insane, I would have just cried for days!

At least you found *some* helpful people!


Michael said...

I would be so depressed. I am so sorry this is happenening to you.

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