FTC Issues Report of 2009 Top Consumer Complaints

New Video Details How to File a Complaint

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission today released a report listing top complaints consumers filed with the agency in 2009. It shows that while identity theft remains the top complaint category, identity theft complaints declined 5 percentage points from 2008.

The FTC is releasing a new animated video showing how people can file a complaint, and offers examples of what complaints the FTC handles. To watch the video, visit http://ftc.gov/multimedia/video/scam-watch/file-a-complaint.shtm (also available in Spanish at http://ftc.gov/multimedia/video/scam-watch/file-a-complaint_es.shtm).

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.

The top complaints were:

Rank Category No. of Complaints Percentages
1
Identity Theft 278,078 21%
2
Third Party and Creditor Debt Collection 119,549 9%
3
Internet Services 83,067 6%
4
Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales 74,581 6%
5
Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams 61,736 5%
6
Internet Auction 57,821 4%
7
Credit Cards 45,203 3%
8
Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries 41,763 3%
9
Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair 41,448 3%
10
Banks and Lenders 32,443 2%
11
Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users 31,629 2%
12
Television and Electronic Media 26,568 2%
13
Health Care 25,414 2%
14
Business Opportunities, Employment Agencies and Work-at-Home Plans 22,896 2%
15
Computer Equipment and Software 22,621 2%

A complete list of complaints can be found at: http://www.ftc.gov/sentinel/reports/sentinel-annual-reports/sentinel-cy2009.pdf.

The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, click http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or call 1-877-382-4357. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,700 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. For free information on a variety of consumer topics, click http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm.

(2009 fraud)

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Claudia Bourne Farrell,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2181
STAFF CONTACT:
John Krebs,
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-2692