Identity theft and impostor scams among top consumer complaints last year, FTC says
The Federal Trade Commission received more complaints about identity theft in 2010 than any other issue.
A total of 1.3 million complaints came into the FTC last year and 19%, or 250,854, of those were related to identity theft, the government agency said in a report released on Tuesday.
This marks the 11th year in a row that the FTC received more identity theft complaints than anything else -- a problem that has persisted over the years as more and more information is shared on the Internet.
Not surprisingly, debt collection came in second place, with 144,159 complaints, or 11% of the total, the FTC said.
And for the first time, impostor scams -- in which impostors pose as friends, family, corporations or government agencies in an effort to get people to send money or share personal information -- cracked into the top 10 issues about which consumers filed FTC complaints.
The FTC also released a consumer guide online on Monday called "Spotting an Imposter," which warns of impostor scams that use "phone calls, e-mails, letters, faxes or even text messages in their deceptions."
Here's the top 10 most complained-about consumer issues for 2010, from the FTC:
||Category||No. of complaints||Percentage|
|4||Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries
|5||Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales
||Foreign Money/Counterfeit Check Scams||43,866||3%|
|9||Telephone and Mobile Services||37,388||3%|
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles