Debt Collection: How To Tell If A Caller Is Real -

Debt Collection: How To Tell If A Caller Is Real

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Target Emails Raise Questions About Legitimacy: We Get Answers Target Emails Raise Questions About Legitimacy: We Get Answers

A warning about bogus debt collectors.

The Department of Consumer Affairs says 7 million South Carolinians are vulnerable because of recent security breaches.

Scammers now equipped with your private information, could make you think you owe debt that you really don't.

So how do you know if a collector is legit? We got a rare glimpse into a real collection agency to find out how you can tell the difference.

As the owner of a debt collection company in Greenville, Eric Bergelson has gone through criminal, credit and FBI background checks, been fingerprinted, and had to obtain licenses in 25 states.

His agency, Dynamic Recovery Solutions, is so highly regulated, his employees had to turn off their monitors when we were there.

It's the scammers, he says that have given his industry a bad name and he wants to clear the record.

"A real collection agency won't go and elaborate with a story of how they might come in and file suit. We've heard stories of have you ever been to jail, things of that nature, heavy handed tactics are not what collection agencies that are legitimate do," said Bergelson.

We asked: "To figure out if a call is legitimate, what are the things that you should ask for?"

Bergelson: "An immediate validation of the debt. Any legitimate agency will be happy to send you a validation notice which will have the original creditor, the amount owed, and who to contact and any state disclosures that are necessary."

He also says real debt collectors must be licensed so get the

- full company name

- location

- and license number

Another thing to keep in mind.. If a caller claims you'll be arrested, you know right then and there it's bogus. The Department of Consumer Affairs says that's illegal, and there is no debtors prison in South Carolina.

In reality, real collectors may even be helpful.

We asked: "Will legitimate debt collectors negotiate with clients who owe money?

Bergelson: "Sure, they are happy to negotiate, they are happy in some cases to schedule out a payment plan or schedule out a payment plan or compromise the amount that is due, and in some cases they'll do both."

All you have to do is ask.

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