The Federal Trade Commission has released the top list of consumer complaints for 2010 (pdf), and identity theft continues to be a significant problem. It is especially problematic in Florida, which is “the state with the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints, followed by Arizona and California.”
The list showed that for the 11th year in a row, identity theft was the number one consumer complaint category. Of 1,339,265 complaints received in 2010, 250,854 – or 19 percent – were related to identity theft. Debt collection complaints were in second place, with 144,159 complaints.
The report breaks out complaint data on a state-by-state basis and also contains data about the 50 metropolitan areas reporting the highest per capita incidence of fraud and other complaints. In addition, the 50 metropolitan areas reporting the highest incidence of identity theft are noted.
For the first time, “imposter scams” – where imposters posed as friends, family, respected companies or government agencies to get consumers to send them money – made the top 10. The FTC also has issued a new consumer alert, “Spotting an Imposter”, to help consumers avoid imposter scams.
Here’s more from the report’s executive summary:
- The Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) contains over 6.1 million complaints dating from calendar year 2006 through calendar year 2010. There are over 7.8 million do-not-call complaints from this same time period.
- The CSN received over 1.3 million complaints during calendar year 2010: 54% fraud complaints; 19% identity theft complaints; and 27% other types of complaints.
- Identity theft was the number one complaint category in the CSN for calendar year 2010 with 19% of the overall complaints, followed by Debt Collection (11%); Internet Services (5%); Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries (5%); Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales (4%); Impostor Scams (4%); Internet Auction (4%); Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams (3%); Telephone and Mobile Services (3%); and Credit Cards (2%). [...]
- Colorado is the state with the highest per capita rate of reported fraud and other types of complaints, followed by Maryland and Nevada.
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