Note: The full text report discussed below is embedded at the bottom of this post.
From the Federal Trade Commission:
Identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission’s national ranking of consumer complaints for the 15th consecutive year, while the agency also recorded a large increase in the number of complaints about so-called “imposter” scams, according to the FTC’s 2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, which was released today.
Debt collection held steady as the second-most-reported complaint.
The Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book is produced annually using complaints received by the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network. That includes not only complaints made directly by consumers to the FTC, but also complaints received by state and federal law enforcement agencies, national consumer protection organizations and non-governmental organizations.
The report includes not only national data but also a state-by-state accounting of top complaint categories and a listing of the metropolitan areas that generated the most complaints.
In 2014, 2,582,851 complaints were entered into the Consumer Sentinel Network.
Florida was the top source of complaints per capita both for identity theft, and fraud and other complaints. For fraud and other complaints, Georgia and Nevada had the second and third highest per capita complaint rates, while Washington and Oregon were in the second and third position for identity theft complaints.
From the Report
The Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) is a secure online database of millions of consumer complaints available only to law enforcement. In addition to storing complaints received by the FTC, the CSN also included complaints filed with state law enforcement organizations such as the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection, the Montana, North Carolina and Oregon Departments of Justice, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, and the Offices of the Attorneys General for Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Washington. Federal agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, contribute data.
Top 10 Complaint Categories 2014
|Identity Theft||332,646||13 percent|
|Debt Collection||280,998||11 percent|
|Imposter Scams||276,662||11 percent|
|Telephone and Mobile Services||171,809||7 percent|
|Banks and Lenders||128,107||5 percent|
|Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries||103,579||4 percent|
|Auto-Related Complaints||88,334||3 percent|
|Shop-At-Home and Catalog Sales||71,377||3 percent|
|Television and Electronic Media||48,640||2 percent|
|Internet Services||46,039||2 percent|