Consumer complaints to the FTC increased in 2015

The FTC received more than 3 million complaints in 2015. That’s up from 2.5 million in 2014. Some of the increase can be attributed to the fact that more people know to complain to the FTC about bad business practices, frauds and scams. Technology helped, too — more complaints are reaching the FTC through the convenience of mobile apps. The top three complaint categories are still debt collection, identity theft, and imposter scams. The FTC took aggressive action in 2015 to help address each area and will continue to make each a high priority in 2016.  

  • Abusive debt collection: The FTC brought a record number of new cases, banned bad debt collectors, talked with industry, and found new ways to do outreach.
  • Identity Theft recovery: During 2015, the FTC launched a major advance to help identity theft victims: When you use IdentityTheft.gov, you'll get a personal recovery plan that walks you through each recovery step, tracks your progress and adapts to your changing situation, and pre-fills letters and forms for you.

Rounding out 2015’s top 10: Telephone and mobile services; prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries; banks and lenders; shop-at-home and catalog sales; auto-related complaints; and television and electronic media.

For a complete list of all complaint categories, check out page six of the FTC’s 2015 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.

Your complaints matter to 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 scammers. The FTC’s aggressive law enforcement efforts put the bad guys out of business, and our consumer education campaigns empower people just like you to make well-informed buying decisions and recognize frauds and scams. And you can watch this space, about this time next year, to see where your reports came in the line-up of 2016’s top frauds.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

who do I contact about a cable company

You may want to start with your state and local consumer protection agencies.

I'm needing to talk to someone about a warrany issue that I cannot resolve I'm going through BBB with and not in the medition level I'm disabled and in Pain so it't hard to keek responding in the process that I'm in.

An FTC article about resolving consumer problems includes these tips.

  • Some consumer organizations help people with complaints. Others are interested in hearing about problems that influence their education and advocacy efforts.
  • Companies selling similar products or services often belong to an industry association that may help resolve problems between its members and consumers.

i keep getting emails sent to my phone from people claiming to be from there FTC claiming i have warrants and that I'm being sued its quite annoying to get these emails every tax season

If you get an email that claims to be from the FTC, please forward it to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov, and delete the message from your inbox.

If you can't forward it, please report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Give details about the message and the number it came from. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Thank You for the help. This person has stolen everything from me. No money yet but he or she is just starting to do that. I hope y'all can get them.

2063302216 calling people acting as the FTC harassing people to pay a debt that does not belong to them. Threatening people with warrants for arrest on debts that does not belong to them

Please report these calls to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

for the past 2 months I've been getting calls saying I owe this payday loan since 2011,they leave a message saying "you've been served",when I get home from work it's too late to call. about two weeks ago a lady called,left her name,my complete ssn,i called the next day at work,she actually hung up the phone,i called back she hung up the phone,i asked to speak with her supervisor,i asked his name.i don't know where to turn.i asked for the name of the company she won't give it to me.which agency do I call?

I have been told for over a year that I won mega millions drawing.but couldn't get hold of me. So I had to pay for a gold seal etc. I paid thousands to these people. I feel like such a fool. I guess I needed to feel it was real. Now I found out they have gotten hold of my identity and open accounts in my name. They have ruined me. Everything I had worked hard for they took from me. He act like he was trying to help me and befriended me. He calls his self tony Ferris cell phone number 1_876-593_1283/1_876-860-8507/ 1-876-890-8428.

For help with identity theft, go to IdentityTheft.gov. You can report the theft to the FTC, and get a personal recovery plan that addresses the problems you have. Find out how to close accounts that were opened in your name, and who to notify to protect your information.

My daughter sent me an article about the current rash of scamming seniors. Can you give me the address to check validity of military requests, or if they are scam.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Army has information warning people against scammers who pretend to be U.S. soldiers. This page from the U.S. Army CID explains more.

The Army warns against scammer who pretend to be soldiers but then ask for money for things like transportation costs, communication fees, marriage, processing and medical fees.

I want to know about a international credit corporation. They called several times saying I owe them money or a Judgement had been made against me. Then yesterday I get a letter from named company saying same thing as in the phone calls. I see lots of complaints about this company and their business practices and all the numbers I see from them always come up as a scam so wondering if we need to worry about them or not.

If you think you owe a debt, contact the business yourself and ask about your account. You can ask the business if it is using a third party to make debt collection calls for it.

If you don't recognize the debt, the calls and letter might be from a fake debt collector. This FTC article explains how to tell if you're dealing with a fake debt collector.

We are receiving calls uon calls from people that don't leave a message. Is tghere a way I can just list all of them at once I have 10 so far this month. Hard to get around some days and going to tghe p;hone only to find it is one of those calls is getting real old. I have even answered and they don't say anything.

If you’re getting repeated calls from the same number, your phone company may be able to block that number, but first ask whether there’s a fee for this service.

If you’re getting unwanted calls from a lot of different numbers, look into a call blocking solution. There are online call blocking services, call blocking boxes, and smartphone apps that block unwanted calls. Do an online search to look for reviews from experts and other users, and find out whether the service costs money.

For more information, see Your top 5 questions about unwanted calls and the National Do Not Call Registry.

My friend has been receiving calls for over 5 years & continues to receive them, someone has stolen her identity and she is at a loss as to what to do. They are calling her saying she is in default ex: for a student loans etc and the person they are looking for lives in another state and they have the same name as hers, and they also have her living in the state where these people are & she has never lived there. When the calls come through after asking a few questions they know it isn't her after giving them her birth date, is there anything that can be done regarding this ongoing problem she is having as we are both stumped as to what to do. I would appreciate any help you could offer! Thank you again, and I look forward to any help that I can obtain with this problem that never stops

If someone uses your information to make purchases, open new accounts, or get a tax refund, that’s identity theft. Recovering from identity theft often takes time and persistence. IdentityTheft.gov make it easier to report and recover from identity theft. When you use IdentityTheft.gov to report a problem, you’ll get a personal recovery plan that:

  • walks you through each recovery step
  • tracks your progress and adapts to your changing situation
  • pre-fills letters and forms for you.

Check out this new video to see how it works.

I am a victim of identity theft. I filed a report with the FTC and I have a Victim's FTC complaint number. When I contacted the credit reporting agencies, they stated that the FTC complaint number isn't adequate - that I must have a police report. When I contacted the local police, they referred me to the FBI, who referred me to the FTC website. What do I need to do to get the extended 7 year fraud alert with the credit report agencies if they won't accept the FTC complaint number? Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

If you reported identity theft to the FTC, but did not print a copy of your Identity Theft Affidavit, please call 1-877-438-4338.

If you did print a copy of your Identity Theft Affidavit, go to this page about steps to resolve identity theft. It explains how to use the Identity Theft Affidavit to get a police report, and to make a complete Identity Theft Report.

Had $141,000.00 stolen from me in a real estate unsecured debt payment scam have all documents to provide but am being ignored I've reported to every agency you could possibly name and this has not help don't know what to do I'm lost as if know one wants to deal with it

You may want to talk with a lawyer about your situation.  To find a lawyer, you could use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association, or visit this site from the State Bar Associations.

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that is used by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Getting call from 908-209-3829 that leave a message stating that "if you want to be added to the do not call list, hit 2 now". Assume this is some sort of scam.

Just got scammef out of 2000 dollars to get a loan. Now i owe theBank money and my rent is overdue.How can i get my money back?

If you have to pay a fee in advance for a "guaranteed" loan or credit card – you’re dealing with a scam. Legitimate lenders never promise loans or credit cards before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or a bankruptcy. Legitimate lenders don’t pressure their customers to wire money, and you have little recourse if there’s a problem with a wire transaction.

These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

An arbitration services keeps calling me and threatening to sue me over a $200.00 cash advance for $4415.00. They hung up on my 6-7 times..finally I got someone to help me..and tell me what it was. I asked for supervisor she hung up on me too. 858-843-4026.. Is this a scam?

If you think the person calling you is a fake debt collector, this FTC article can help. Sometimes fake debt collectors call people and threaten them and try to get money. The fake collectors tell people they owe money, when they really don't.

If you know you have a debt, call the business yourself and ask about your account. You have rights when a debt collector calls you. A debt collector has to give you information about the debt in writing, within 5 days of the day he contacts you. This FTC article about debt collection tells more.

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