Victim exonerated of a fraudulent loan of $ 45,000 in his name
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – The wait is over for Pat Golab, who for the past year has worked with us to clear his name from an SBA loan approved on his behalf.
The letter states that “after a thorough review of the loan file and the information you provided, we have confirmed that you have not applied for this loan or received any benefit from this fraudulent loan.”
Thieves used his identity to obtain a $ 45,000 economic disaster loan from the SBA. Not only did Golab not apply, but she doesn’t have her own business.
When we first met we didn’t know where this would take us. Golab had never dealt with the SBA before and frankly neither had I. We knew she was the victim of identity theft. The signs were obvious from the start.
It all started with a letter in September 2020, when they informed Golab that his candidacy was approved. She repeatedly called the SBA, who then directed her to the Inspector General’s Office where she was able to claim identity theft.
“It was so long and stressful,” Golab said.
We called and left several messages. When we got a response, we were told to be patient with the process. During this time, the loan was accumulating interest, and soon the only correspondence Golab had with the SBA were the bills that came in each month.
During a phone call with an SBA official, they told us Golab was not supposed to pay as they were continuing their investigation. However, that didn’t mean the bills would stop or the loan would go off her credit. Golab was always addicted to money.
The situation reached its boiling point for Golab after she managed to get her hands on the app used by these thieves to secure the loan.
“They didn’t even answer half of the questions and simple things like ‘have you ever declared bankruptcy’,” Golab said.
The thieves used his name, address and Social Security number to apply for the $ 45,000 loan, but left virtually everything else blank.
Simple issues like ethnicity, gender and veteran status were ignored. Golab says it should have been a red flag, but it only got worse from there.
“Things like, ‘How long have you been in business? “Nothing,” Golab said.
This is the same app that requires an answer to every question, otherwise the request is returned. For reasons that are not yet clear, this request was approved anyway. We’ve since learned that the SBA has stepped up some requests to help pay businesses faster during the pandemic.
With little oversight, up to $ 79 billion is said to have been approved for fraudulent loans since March 2020.
“It could happen to anyone and I have no idea what I could have done to further protect my information,” Golab said.
We reached out to Congressman Jim Cooper’s office, where they also made phone calls and emailed the SBA on behalf of Golab. Between their help and Golab’s perseverance, the wait was finally over.
Golab says she will be more vigilant about her credit report in order to spot red flags sooner. She also contacted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where they can place a free one-year fraud alert on your credit. You can visit identity theft.gov for a complete guide through the process, as well as freezing your credit report and more.
To her credit, Golab kept all letters and emails and prepared as best she could for the opportunity to speak up for her cause. She knows that there are many others who can become victims themselves. For them, she has this message.
“I guess you just have to persevere, even when it seems like you’re not going anywhere. You can’t give up, ”Golab said.