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Identity theft tops consumer complaints to FTC

Consumer Reports News: March 10, 2011 10:32 AM

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its annual list of top consumer complaints for 2010, and for the 11th year in a row identity theft came in first with 19 percent. Debt collection complaints came in second at 11 percent. More than 1.3 million calls were logged.  
For the first time, imposter scams made the top 10 complaints, coming in fifth. This scam is when someone poses as a friend, family member, government agency or the like, to try and get consumers to send money. The FTC has issued a helpful spotting-an-imposter tool that can help consumers recognize and avoid such scams. 

Here is a breakdown of the top 10 complaints listed out of the 1,339,265 calls received:

  1. Identity theft
  2. Debt collection
  3. Internet services 
  4. Prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries
  5. Shop-at-home and catalog sales
  6. Imposter scams
  7. Internet auctions
  8. Foreign money/counterfeit check scams
  9. Telephone and mobile service
  10. Credit cards

Consumer Reports Money Adviser recently offered some advice on how to avoid common scams.

—Maggie Shader

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