The Federal Trade Commission recently published the 2012 annual report, Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, containing a listing of the top 10 consumer complaints.
Data come from the Consumer Sentinel database, which includes consumer complaints filed with the FTC, law enforcement, and consumer protection agencies. For the first time, consumer complaints exceeded the 2 million mark in 2012.
The report shows identity theft continues as the No. 1 consumer complaint category, accounting for about 18 percent of complaints received in 2012.
The most common type of identity theft reported involved government documents/benefits fraud (46 percent), followed by credit card fraud (13 percent).
After identity theft, top complaint categories include debt collection (10 percent); banks and lenders (6 percent); shop-at-home and catalog sales (6 percent); prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries (5 percent); impostor scams (4 percent); Internet services (4 percent); auto-related complaints (4 percent); telephone/mobile services (4 percent); and credit cards (3 percent).
Each of 20 other complaint categories garners 2 percent or less of the complaints. A sample of these categories includes foreign money offers/counterfeit check scams, advance payments for credit services; television/electronic media; and health care.
Based on complaints per 100,000 population, Illinois ranks No. 11 (100.9) for reported identity theft complaints, with Indiana at No. 33 (67.5).
Florida has the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints, with Georgia and California following. South Dakota has the lowest reported rate.
The full report is available at www.ftc.gov/sentinel. Click “reports” (other reports also available).