The Top Consumer Complaints of 2011

The Top Consumer Complaints of 2011

February 28, 2012 Updated Feb 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM EDT

(FTC news release) The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday released its list of top consumer complaints received by the agency in 2011.

For the 12th year in a row, identity theft complaints topped the list. Of more than 1.8 million complaints filed in 2011, 279,156 or 15 percent, were identity theft complaints. Nearly 25 percent of the identity theft complaints related to tax- or wage-related fraud.

The report breaks out complaint data on a state-by-state basis and also contains data about the 50 metropolitan areas reporting the highest per capita incidence of fraud and other complaints. In addition, the 50 metropolitan areas reporting the highest incidence of identity theft are noted.

The next nine complaint categories are:
                                                                                                  Number     Percent
Debt Collection Complaints                                                180,928     10 percent
Prizes, Sweepstakes, and Lotteries                                  100,208     6 percent
Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales                                     98,306     5 percent
Banks and Lenders                                                               89,341     5 percent
Internet Services                                                                     81,805     5 percent
Auto Related Complaints                                                      77,435     4 percent
Imposter Scams                                                                     73,281     4 percent
Telephone and Mobile Services                                          70,024     4 percent
Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair           47,414     3 percent

The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad. Enforcers search the database to research cases, track targets, and identify victims.

"The FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network is an incredibly powerful tool for law enforcers who are working to protect consumers and go after the bad guys," said David Vladeck, Director of the agency's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "It's used by agencies across the country and around the world to enhance their enforcement efforts."

Read the entire FTC news release HERE.

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