Being a victim of identity theft is a financial devastating situation and, unfortunately, occurs to many consumers. In 2010, the FTC received the most complaints from consumers regarding identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just released a report based on over 1 million consumer complaints recorded on the Consumer Sentinel Network from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

A large portion of the top fifteen FTC consumer complaints involved the financial industry including banking, lending, credit cards, credit reporting, and debt collection. On the very top of that list lies the category of Identity Theft, responsible for 19% of total complaints. From 2008 to 2010, the number of consumer complaints regarding identity theft has actually fallen more than 20% but it remains the category receiving the most complaints.

Florida had the highest rate of reported complaints related to identity theft. In the metropolitan area of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach in Florida, there were 9,972 identity theft complaints. In the New York, Northern New Jersey, and Long Island metropolitan area in the Northeast had the highest number of identity theft related complaints at 18,173.

Debt collection complaints are next on the list, accounting for 11% of total consumer complaints, up from 9% in 2009. The FTC noted that imposter scams, “where imposters posed as friends, family, respected companies and government agencies to get consumers to send them money”, were a new addition to the list of top ten consumer complaints.

FTC List of Top 15 Consumer Complaints in 2010

RankCategory# of ComplaintsPercentage of Complaints
1Identity Theft250,85419%
2Debt Collection144,15911%
3Internet Services65,5655%
4Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries64,0855%
5Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales60,2054%
6Imposter Scams60,1584%
7Internet Auction56,1074%
8Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams43,8663%
9Telephone and Mobile Services37,3883%
10Credit Cards33,2582%
11Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair31,7262%
12Bank and Lenders29,9672%
13Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users28,7242%
14Mortgage Foreclosure Reflief and Debt Management28,5842%
15Television and Electronic Media28,2452%

To view the full 2010 FTC consumer complaints report, click here.

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