Debt Collection and Identity Theft Complaints Surge in 2015
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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.