Debt Collection and Identity Theft Complaints Surge in 2015

Debt Collection and Identity Theft Complaints Surge in 2015
Image: morgueFile
March 1, 2016

Plagued by debt collectors, identify theft or imposter scams? You're not alone. Those were the three most common categories of consumer complaints recorded in 2015 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

With help from a data contributor that collects complaints using a mobile app, debt collection complaints rose to the top spot making up 29 percent of all complaints in 2015. Nearly 898,000 complaints were lodged against debt collectors whereas identity theft complaints came in second with about 490,200 complaints.

Despite its seemingly low number compared to debt collection, identity theft complaints actually increased 47 percent from 2014 following a jump in tax identity theft. Imposter scams remains as the third-most common complaint.

The data is compiled and published annually in the Consumer Sentinel Network data book and includes complaints made directly by consumers to the FTC as well as those received by state and federal law enforcement agencies, national consumer protection organization, and non-governmental organizations.

The book includes both national and state statistics, as well as the states and metro areas at generated the most complaints per capita.

The online database is available to 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies which use the data to research cases, identify victims and track possible targets.

Overall, the network in 2015 collected more than 3.083 million consumer complaints. Florida, Georgia and Michigan were the top three states for fraud and other complaints, while Missouri, Connecticut and Florida were the top three states for identity theft complaints.

Get Connected with Consumer Connections

Stay up-to-date about issues that really matter! Get the Consumer Connections newsletter!

We're committed to providing you with information you need to make you a better, more informed consumer. Whether it's a vehicle recall, a product recall, or a new scam, we feature it in Consumer Connections.

So why not give it a try? Go on. All of your friends are doing it. It's completely free and comes just once a week.

So you're finally ready to trade in your current car for a new one! Congratulations on such an important step. If you've never bought a new car before, you may know nothing about the process. To begin with, there are a number of things you should do to get ready to buy the car before you ever step on the dealership lot.

Have you ever noticed that your bank account somehow had 'extra' money in it even though you knew for a fact it wasn't yours? If so, you are not alone. It happens more often than you would think. All it takes is for a bank teller to type in one wrong number at the time a deposit is being made.

Great rates do exist. But even if you are offered a low interest car loan, you can probably save more money by accepting a slightly higher rate and using rebates or other incentives or by getting your own financing and taking the rebates and incentives.

Many people feel like they just can't get ahead when it comes to money. What you may not know is that saving during tax season can start you on the path to financial security. We urge you to take advantage of tax season to prepare for unexpected emergencies or plan for the future. Here are some tips to help get started.