Every year the Federal Trade Commission collects data on consumer complaints in the United States. For the 14th consecutive year identity theft is once again at the top of the chart of most reported consumer complaints.
According to the FTC consumers lost $1.6 billion due to various forms of ID theft. From a total of 2 million complaints filed to FTC, law enforcement agencies and consumer complaint agencies 290,000 (or 14%) were attributed to identity theft.
“Americans of all ages are vulnerable to identity theft, and it remains the most common consumer complaint to the Commission,” said Jessica Rich, director, Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We urge consumers to visit FTC.gov/idtheft for tips to prevent and mitigate the damage from identity theft.”
30% of these reported consumer complaints were tax or wage related which continue to be the largest category within ID theft complaints. These incidents for the most part affect people 20-29 years of age who filed 20% of total complaints. Besides identity theft other top complaints include debt collection, bankers and lenders, imposter scams and telephone and mobile services.
It’s also interesting to note that Florida has the highest reported identity theft and fraud complaints per capita, followed by Georgia, California and Nevada. The FTC advises anyone who thinks they were a victim of a scam, ID theft or other frauds to file a complaint with the agency.
You can read the entire FTC’s press release here. It once again reiterates how ID theft is a very serious issue affecting millions of Americans every year. We advise you to learn more about ID theft and various ways to prevent it to make sure you don’t become a victim. Of all ID theft cases 43% were done through email, 21% through phone conversations and another 20% through websites. Average reported loss was $2,294 per customer!