The US Federal Trade Commission’s annual report on consumer complaints reveals that identity theft remains the most problematic issue. Last year, consumers reported losing more than $1.6 billion (€1.16 billion) to fraud.
Jessica Rich, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, says Americans of all ages are vulnerable to identity theft and urges consumers to visit the FTC’s special identity theft page for advice on how to protect themselves and how to mitigate the damage.
Last year, around 20% of the identity theft complaints came from the 20-29 age group.
According to the report, identity theft complaints accounted for 14% of all complaints, followed by debt collection (10%), banks and lenders (7%), imposter scams (6%), mobile and telephone services (6%), prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries (4%), auto related complaints (4%), shop-at-home and catalog sales (3%), TV and electronic media (3%) and advance payment for credit services (2%).
While identity theft complaints top the chart, it’s worth noting that the number of reported incidents has decreased compared to 2012. In 2012, identity theft complaints accounted for 17%.
This is the second time since 2001 that the total number of complaints decreases compared to the previous year. The last time this happened was in 2006.
The Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2013 is available on the FTC’s website.