Identity theft again tops FTC’s top complaints list for 2011

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on February 27, 2012 released its list of top consumer complaints received by the agency in 2011. For the twelfth year in a row, identity theft topped the list at 279,156 complaints or 15%. The breakdown for the next nine complaint categories (from a list of 30) is as follows:

Category Number Percentage
Debt collection 180,928 10
Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries 100,208 6
Shop-at-home and catalog sales 98,306 5
Banks and lenders 89,341 5
Internet services 81,805 5
Automobile-related 77,435 4
Imposter scams 73,281 4
Telephone and mobile services 70,024 4
Advance-fee loans and credit protection/repair 47,414 3

The FTC records the complaints in its Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Other federal and state law enforcement including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Justice’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, and the attorneys general offices of Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington also contribute to the database content, along with private-sector organizations such as U.S. and Canadian members of the Better Business Bureau, Western Union and Moneygram, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.