Identity theft ranks as top consumer complaint
WASHINGTON (CNN) — More than 2 million consumer complaints were filed in 2013, with identity theft topping the list, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Thursday.
In the last calendar year, 290,056 reports of the crime were collected by the agency, representing 14% of total complaints.
The total number of complaints received in 2013 was down slightly from 2012, but in most years, complaints had increased since 2001, when less than 326,000 were filed.
Here are some highlights from the report:
• The rest of the top five complaints were: debt collection; banks and lenders; imposter scams; and telephone and mobile service.
• More than half of the complaints were related to fraud and cost consumers more than $1.6 billion through the year. Of those who complained of fraud, 44% said they lost no money.
• Victims of fraud were contacted most often by phone, followed by e-mail.
• Florida had the nation’s highest amount of identity theft and fraud complaints per capita. North Dakota saw the least amount of both types of complaints per person.
• People ages 50 to 59 had the most fraud complaints. However, identity theft hit people in their 20s the most often.
Complaints filed with the FTC are included in a database of more than 9 million entries available to law enforcement for researching cases, identifying victims and finding potential targets.
Consumer complaints can be filed with the FTC online at FTC.gov/complaint and by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).
CNN’s René Marsh contributed to this report.