For ID Theft Victims, ‘Re-loaded’ Debt can be a Recurring Headache

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Imagine getting phone calls demanding you pay back a $56,000 student loan, but you never took out any loans. You don’t have a formal education, and you don’t speak English. That’s exactly what Eric Friedman, director of Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection, said happened to a resident who came to his office for help. Friedman said his office was able to figure out that the consumer was a victim of identity theft: At one time, the person’s identity had been stolen, a student loan in that person’s name was taken out and the scammer then defaulted on the loan.