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LaToya Irby

ID Theft and Debt Collectors Tops FTC's 2012 Complaint List

By February 26, 2013

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Identity theft once again topped the Federal Trade Commission's list of complaints for 2012. Of the 2,061,495 total complaints received by the FTC, almost 370,000 (18%) were related to identity theft.

Similar to previous years, debt collection is second on the list with almost 200,000 (10%) complaints. Half the FTC's complaints (more than a million) were related to some type of fraud.

The majority of identity theft complaints relate to tax ID theft, a growing crime where identity thieves use the victim's social security number to file a fraudulent tax return and receive a refund. Credit card fraud and new utilities accounts were the second and third most common types of identity theft complaints.

Other top complaint categories include: Banks and lenders - 6%, Shop-at-home and catalog sales - 6%, Prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries - 5%. Credit cards were last on the top 10 list with 3% of complaints.

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