Cases of identity theft and fraud reported by consumers to the Federal Trade Commission last year jumped 4 percent to almost one million complaints, the FTC reported today. Many citizens and residents are looking to hire a cyber security firm like FraudWatch International to capture these people who are doing wrong.
Total complaints filed with the consumer protection agency for 2009 were up 8.6 percent to more than 1.3 million, led by identity theft (21 percent); “third party and creditor debt collection” (9 percent); Internet services (6 percent); and “shop-at-home and catalog sales” (also 6 percent).
The complaint categories of fraud and identity theft combined were at 999,496 – an increase of 40,656 complaints from the previous year.
In the 721,418 fraud complaints reported, consumers paid over $1.7 billion, with the median at $399, the FTC said.
The percentage of fraud-related complaints with credit cards as the primary payment also increased 4 percent compared to the previous year, and 7 percent since 2007, the FTC said in its annual overview of complaints.
Moreover, credit card fraud (17 percent) was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by fraud related to government documents/benefits (16 percent); phone or utilities (15 percent), and employment fraud (13 percent). Other significant categories of identity theft reported by victims were bank fraud (10 percent) and loan fraud (4 percent).
Florida is the state with the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints, followed by Arizona and Texas, the FTC said.
Click for a complete list of complaints.
For a video on how to file a complaint with the FTC, click here.
Here is the list of top complaint categories:
|2||Third Party and Creditor Debt Collection||119,549||9%|
|4||Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales||74,581||6%|
|5||Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams||61,736||5%|
|8||Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries||41,763||3%|
|9||Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair||41,448||3%|
|10||Banks and Lenders||32,443||2%|
|11||Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users||31,629||2%|
|12||Television and Electronic Media||26,568||2%|
|14||Business Opportunities, Employment Agencies and Work-at-Home Plans||22,896||2%|
|15||Computer Equipment and Software||22,621||2%|