How to tell if a debt collector is legitimate or a scam – WSOC TV
PAGELAND, SC – A woman in Pageland turned to Action 9 for help after receiving a letter from a debt collector, and she wasn’t sure if it was legit or a scam.
Felicia Miller gave birth to her son in September 2020 at Atrium Health Union. She thought she had paid all of her medical bills until she received a notice from Medical Data Systems stating that she still owed the hospital over $ 1,800.
“I was just trying to find out if the money will go to a real bill or if it is a scam,” she told Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke. “To be on the safe side, I just wanted you all to investigate.”
Action 9 often receives complaints about debt collectors. Some are real businesses while others are con artists who try to extract money from people.
Here are some tips on whether it’s legitimate:
First, contact the vendor or company they say they owe instead of the debt collector in case the collector turns out to be a scammer trying to get personal information or money.
Ask the supplier for two things:
1) If you owe money.
2) If the supplier uses the collection agency who contacts you.
Through their investigation, Stoogenke and Miller discovered that Medical Data Systems, which also uses the name Medical Revenue Service, is a legitimate business that Atrium Health uses for debt collection. However, Miller found out that she did not owe the hospital any money.
According to Miller, after Action 9 intervened, someone from Atrium called her and told her that her account balance was zero.
“$ 1,800 is a big wad of money that I don’t just have to hand out,” she said.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, debt collectors generate more fraud reports than any other industry. Click here to see the list of debt collectors the FTC has banned.
(WATCH: New rules: Debt collectors can contact you via social media)
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