ID Fraud, Abusive Debt Collectors Top Consumer Gripes in '08
Identity fraud was the top complaint consumers lodged last year with the Federal Trade Commission, followed by gripes about harassing and abusive debt collectors, the agency reported today.
Of the 1,223,370 complaints the FTC received last year, 313,982 - or 26 percent - were related to identity fraud. The biggest chunk of those complaints related to credit card fraud (20 percent), while employment fraud and fraud related to government documents/benefits each accounted for 15 percent of identity fraud complaints. Phone or utilities fraud made up 13 percent, while 15 percent of complaints related to bank and loan fraud complaints.
Debt collectors have always generated a large volume of complaints, but this is the first year that the FTC has included the industry as a category in its top complaints listing, FTC spokeswoman Claudia Bourne Farrell said.
In November 2008, nationwide debt collection agency Academy Collection Service and its owner agreed to pay $2.25 million to settle FTC charges that its collectors misled, threatened and harassed consumers, disclosed their debts to third parties, and deposited postdated checks early, in violation of federal law.
The largest share of identity fraud complaints per capita came from consumers in Arizona, California, Florida, Texas and Nevada, the FTC's state-by-state breakdown indicates.
In 63 percent of the complaints filed with the FTC last year, the consumers' primary method of interacting with the named entity was over the Web or through e-mail.
February 26, 2009; 2:55 PM ET
Categories: Fraud , U.S. Government | Tags: debt collectors, fraud, ftc, id theft, identity theft
Save & Share: Previous: Adobe Issues Security Update for Flash Player
Next: Microsoft: Attackers Target Unpatched Excel Flaw
Posted by: jprice3 | March 5, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.