Identity Theft Tops List of FTC Complaints in 2010


This month, the Federal Trade Commission released its list of the top ten consumer complaints received by the agency in 2010. This list represents a good indication of some of the areas toward which the FTC may direct its resources and increase its scrutiny.

For the 11th year in a row, identity theft was the number one consumer complaint category. Approximately 19% of the complaints received in 2010 (or 250,854 out of the 1,339,265 complaints) were related to identity theft. Debt collection complaints were second among the top complaints received by the agency, and internet services were third.

“Imposter scams” also made the list for the first time, coming in at number 6. “Imposter scams” involve people who pose as friends, family, respected companies, or government agencies to get consumers to send them money. The rise in imposter scams has prompted the FTC to issue a new consumer alert, “Spotting an Imposter,” to help consumers avoid these commonplace scams.

The FTC Report also breaks down complaint data on a state-by-state basis. According to the report, residents of Colorado filed the most fraud complaints per capita, followed by Maryland. Residents of Florida and Arizona filed the most identity theft complaints.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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