Identity theft complaints once again are the top consumer complaints for 2013, as published in the “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2013.”
Overall last year, consumers lost more than $1.6 billion to fraud, the Federal Trade Commission said earlier this year.
Data comes from the Consumer Sentinel database, which includes consumer complaints filed with the FTC, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies. Consumer complaints in 2013 exceeded 2 million.
The identity theft complaints accounted for about 14 percent of all complaints received.
The most common types of identity theft reported, 30 percent, were tax- or wage-related.
After identity theft, top consumer complaint categories included debt collection, 10 percent; banks and lenders, 7 percent; impostor scams, 6 percent; telephone and mobile sales, 6 percent; telephone and mobile services, 6 percent; prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries, 4 percent; auto-related complaints, 4 percent; shop-at-home and catalog sales, 3 percent; television and electronic media, 3 percent; and advance payment for credit services, 2 percent.
Based on complaints per 100,000 population, Illinois ranked 10th for reported identity theft complaints, and Indiana ranked 35th.
Florida was the state with the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft, with Georgia and California following for identity theft, and Nevada and Georgia for fraud and other complaints. North Dakota had the lowest rate.
The full report is available at www.ftc.gov/sentinel/. Click “Reports.” Other reports are also available.
Opinions are solely the writer's. Joseph Pellicciotti is a lawyer, professor and vice chancellor at Indiana University Northwest.