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Consumers told it to the FTC: Top 10 complaints for 2014

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Today, the FTC announced its top 10 consumer complaints for 2014. Of the more than 2.5 million consumer complaints received…

  • Identity theft once again tops the list, with 13 percent of total complaints filed.
  • Debt collection held steady as the second-most-reported complaint, with 11 percent.
  • Imposter scams — where con artists impersonate government officials or others — moved into third place on the list of consumer complaints, entering the top three complaint categories for the first time. The increase in imposter scams was led by a sharp increase in complaints about IRS and other government imposter frauds.
  • Rounding out the field: Telephone and mobile services; banks and lenders; prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries; auto-related complaints; shop-at-home and catalog sales; television and electronic media; and finally, internet services.

Florida, Georgia and Nevada are the top three states for fraud per capita and other complaints, while Florida, Washington and Oregon are the top three for identity theft complaints. 

For a complete list of all complaint categories, check out page six of the FTC’s 2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.

Your complaints matter at the FTC. If a business doesn’t deliver on its promises, if someone cheats you out of your money, or if you've spotted a scam, tell it to the FTC. Your complaints help us stop rip-off artists, scammers and fraudsters. The FTC’s aggressive law enforcement efforts put the bad guys out of business, and our vigorous consumer education campaigns empower people just like you to make well-informed buying decisions and recognize frauds and scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Why doesn't the FTC do something about the Windows 10 intrusive ads that are plaguing my computer as well as everybody else in pop ups, in task bars, as well as on start-up... I never gave permission! I will buy Apple from now on...

I'm w/ Briget Small on this. Reading all of these comments makes me realize how clueless ppl are about technology. The FTC is doing everything they can to find the robocallers, but THEY ARE LIMITED BY TECHNOLOGY!!!! When you have ppl in countries all over the world w/ the ability to fake the # and origin of the call, using VOIP & spoofed VOIPs, routing the call thru various spoofed IP addresses, how do you think it can be tracked??? The FTC has no juristiction over the VOIP companies in other countries. If they actually do get lucky and locate the last VOIP #s used and the robocallers haven't changed anything yet, they can trace back to the original location. BUT IT TAKES TIME. And the robocallers usually switch everything after a short time, making the original info useless. And since most of these scams are run from places OUTSIDE of the US, it's almost impossible to get them. When they're located in the US, the FTC can eventually catch them, but again it TAKES TIME. Especially when the ppl use a physical location & VOIP/IP address for only a few weeks, then cancel everything, move & start fresh w/ all new everything. Be realistic!!! These a-holes will always be around, whether its robocalls or internet scams, as long as there are ppl who will fall for it and give them $$. The ONLY thing that the government could improve on is public education. But even then, they can't force ppl to go to classes to learn how to spot scams or buy TVs so they see public announcements. Even sending info in the mail isn't fool proof because some ppl might think its junk mail & throw it out w/out looking at it. The ones who fall for these things are usually the older gen who aren't tech savy. So not only is it the gov's job to educate ppl, it's our responsibility too. It's not the gov's fault that the tech world is making things easy for criminals & hard for the law to track them. They're doing the best they can to get these guys w/in the scope of the tech that they have. And they can't do it if ppl don't file claims in the right way!!! It's all about the data. The more data they get quickly, the faster they can put it together & track the criminals before they tear down shop & move somewhere else. Give these guys a break, they're doing the best they can, and doing a darn good job of it too considering what they have to do to catch these criminals. File your complaints through the right channels as soon as it happens & LET THE FTC DO ITS JOB!!!!

Herbalife is the #1 scam, why don't you shut them down?

I'm releasing 100 gangsters from prison for each day the gov refuses to stop white collar crime. They will go after white collars.

Thomas Buckley, "Green lite", got busted for embezzling millions from people. And the judge did not order him to pay back.

PLEASE ENFORCE the DO NOT CALL registry. Thanks!

It seems obvious that the DNC list is only enforced when the FTC gets enough complaints about a single entity (with all the data, thank you). I have filed complaints (to no avail, as far as I know), but, if there were only 2.5 million in 2014--when there could easily be 250 million, if people thought it would do any good--the people don't have faith in the law or the process.

I complained about obvious fraud from a known company with an address and a CEO. I paid $750 for advertising on an online newsletter with which I'd advertised for several years. They stopped running the newsletter, running no ads, and refused to refund my money. Instead of any investigation into these criminal acts, I was sent a useless list of "Ten Ways to Avoid Fraud," which any informed individual should know, and which had absolutely nothing to do with my complaint. I'm wondering now if anyone read my complaint. I feel frustrated. This company, who did not respond to the BBB, is going to continue ripping off people like me, when some of them should be in jail!


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