Identity theft is the No. 1 consumer complaint across the U.S., says a Federal Trade Commission report quoted by the Sacramento Bee. Florida, Arizona, and California were the top locations of complaints. Of the 1.3 million complaints filed with the FTC last year, more than 250,000 – 19 percent – were for identity theft.
Other frequently cited complaint categories: debt collection, Internet services, prizes/sweepstakes/lotteries, shop-at-home sales, foreign money and counterfeit check scams, and credit cards. Appearing for the first time in the FTC’s annual compilation were “imposter scams” in which callers pose as friends, family, or government officials to deceive people into wiring money or handing over financial information. That category includes the “grandparent scam” in which a caller poses as a desperate grandchild needing bail money wired to them after being arrested in Canada.