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|
|Third Party and Creditor Debt Collection||119,549||9%|
|Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales||74,581||6%|
|Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams||61,736||5%|
|Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries||41,763||3%|
|Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair||41,448||3%|
|Banks and Lenders||32,443||2%|
|Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users||31,629||2%|
|Television and Electronic Media||26,568||2%|
|Business Opportunities, Employment Agencies and Work-at-Home Plans||22,896||2%|
|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.
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Bureau of Consumer Protection