No Surprise – Identity Theft Tops FTC Consumer Complaints


The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) reported that ‘identity theft topped the FTC’s national ranking of consumer complaints for the 15th consecutive year.’ On February 27, 2015 the FTC issues its Consumer Sentinel Network for 2014 which identified these Top Ten complaint categories (including the number of complaints and percentages) for 2014:

  1. Identity Theft (332,646 -13%)
  2. Debt Collection (280,998 -11%)
  3. Impostor Scams (276,622 -11%)
  4. Telephone and Mobile Services (171,809 -7%)
  5. Banks and Lenders (128,107 -5%)
  6. Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries (103,579 -4%)
  7. Auto-Related Complaints (88,334 -3%)
  8. Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales (71,377 -3%)
  9. Television and Electronic Media (48,640 -2%)
  10. Internet Services (46,039 -2%)

Since 1997 the FTC has collected “fraud and identity theft complaints, …has more than 10 million complaints, including those about credit reports, debt collection and mortgage assistance scams, among other subjects.” To collect these complaints the FTC established the Consumer Sentinel Network as a “unique investigative cyber tool that provides members of the Consumer Sentinel Network with access to millions of consumer complaints” about:

  • Identity Theft
  • Do-Not-Call Registry violations
  • Computers, the Internet, and Online Auctions
  • Telemarketing Scams
  • Advance-fee Loans and Credit Scams
  • Immigration Services
  • Sweepstakes, Lotteries, and Prizes
  • Business Opportunities and Work-at-Home Schemes
  • Health and Weight Loss Products
  • Debt Collection, Credit Reports, and Financial Matters

Given the headlines we read every day about identity theft on the Internet it seems unlikely that we will see any changes in the complaint categories anytime soon.

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