Identity Theft Tops Consumer Complaints for Eleventh Year

The Federal Trade Commission recently released the list of the most common consumer complaints in 2010. Identity theft topped the list for the eleventh year in a row. The FTC received 1,339,265 in 2010, and 250,854, or 19%, involved identity theft. In second place, there were 144,159 debt collection complaints.

For the first time, “imposter scams,” in which imposters pose as friends, family, respected companies, or government agencies in order to persuade consumers to send money, made the top ten. The FTC has issued a new consumer alert to help consumers avoid imposter scams.

FTC spokeswoman Claudia Bourne Farrell commented, “Most people don’t know how their identity was stolen. If you lose your wallet on Monday and Tuesday someone starts using your cards, you have a pretty good educated guess. Otherwise you don’t. And how would you know if someone stole your identity on the Internet?”

More than half of…

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