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

Comments

Why aren't you doing anything about telemarketers? I report the numbers to the Do Not Call Registry, but these people still keep calling me. A lot of them are scams.

The same thing here...the one that calls the most is Credit Card Services...they even call from local area codes and phone numbers. I've had it with all of them and it seems nothing is done to stop them

Me too. And the darn robo calls! The DNC Registry is virtually useless.

YOU ARE SOOOOOO RIGHT...[It's just "gonna. gonna gonna" and nothing happens]!!!

I agree with beaner. I have a list of 100 calls. I have do not call. I spend $1.75 to *69 the number and there is supposed to be a $500 penalty per call. VISA MasterCard lower your debt. Funny thing is I have no debt. This must stop. They yell, they hang up!

hello beaner, they could be calling about something you actually put your name on like a prize drawing or they could be calling about something that excludes them from the Do Not Call List.

But.....what if they're not calling for those reasons, what if they're actually breaking the law? What is FTC's response to why those calls continue after so many reports.

The FTC is feckless, toothless, and corrupt - to the extent that they rely on private citizens and public companies to do their dirty work for them in civil court.

An example of this is the FTC's repeated refusal to take action against Local Lighthouse and its d-bag principal, Eric Oakley, to the point where Google was forced to bring civil action against them in Federal Court.

The Federal Trade Commission asserts that we should all report robocalls each and every time we get them. But they won't read the complaints, they'll just aggregate them and go after the worst offenders statistically. Hey, FTC, should I quit my job to make time to report robocallers just so you will ignore my reports?

I'm writing to my congressperson and demanding an investigation into the Federal Trade Commission in this matter. I'd like to know how they justify repeatedly failing to take enforcement action in the face of overwhelming evidence of fraudulent activity on the part of Local Lighthouse.

The FTC's refusal to investigate and prosecute one of the largest scam robocallers in the country is inexcusable and shameful. The FTC needs a complete house cleaning. Don't use the FTC complaint form unless you enjoy wasting your time. Write your congressperson and demand a house cleaning of the FTC.

Around here it is the sorry auto insurance company like(All snake) and (Snake Farm) just to name two of the most sorry

If your concerns are with insurance companies, contact your state insurance commissioner or department of insurance. The FTC does not have jurisdiction over insurance companies; the states have nearly exclusive jurisdiction over insurance companies under the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1946.
The only major exception to state jurisdiction is for systemically significant non-bank providers under the Dodd_Frank Act. Some insurance companies have been named as such but the purpose of the designation has little to do with policy holders and claims and more to do with capital requirements and financial- crisis planning. So, contact your state.

Insurance salespeople cold call from lead lists. These lists are generated using mail-outs. Occasionally old lists are reused, which is a violation of the DNC. The FTC has clear jurisdiction over DNC violations, regardless of the industry.

How about finally putting an end to "business opportunity" fraud in the way of MLM companies like Herbalife that are poorly disguised pyramid schemes? Thousands of people are being ripped off daily!

Make sure you put Ocwen Loan services on top of your list

Please look at Ocwen Loan. They have their computer set up so that you can't pay your mortgage if the first of the month falls on a Saturday or Sunday of the month. The carge you a $5.00 fee if you don't pay by the 5th of the months. Please look into their procedures.

Ocwen is a servicer that should be put out of business for what they do to homeowners. They DON'T HELP any of the poor people that got switched to their company. Ocwen does't have the right paper work to take or sell these homes BUT THEY STILL DO IT EVERY DAY some were in the U.S.

It's up to you to be sure the payment arrives on "or before" the due date. If they don't accept payments on Sat/Sun, then when the 1st falls on either day, you need to send the payment to arrive/be posted by the last of the preceding business days. Simple solution and all up to you!

All of these scams, hackings, illegal debt collections, continual illicit phone and internet scams do not surprise me one bit; and all of this will not get any better any time soon; in fact, I see this getting worse. We have all of this hi-tech equipment which has allowed these criminally-minded people to get into our lives; and many of us doing whatever we can to protect ourselves from them -- but there is no where to escape all of this illegal activity going on within our country and in the world. In order to do so, we would have to remove all devices from our homes, even our telephones, and these criminals would still find a way to get us!!

I have been getting calls for a survey so they say but they are calling early as 7:20am to 10:20 pm I have kept it on my phone just for the time and ask to not call even on a sunday they call

IRS impostor. Wants me to sens the money I suposely owe to the IRS inspector at 571=2105561.No name given, If I fail to comply, I will be arrested by police. Date of incident02/23/15, at 08:02 AM.

The IRS will NEVER call demanding money. I mean never! you will recieve letters in the mail. Report it to the IRS and here on this website. I am an accounting major and trust me they will NEVER under any circumstances do that. The only time an IRS agent might call you is to verify an appointment you have with them and that is all. Point this out to the moron that keeps calling. Ask for his info and tell him your recording the call and handing it over to the FBI. That should stop it.

There are lots of scams out there but contacting the FTC doesn't always work. How do you know they've even received your complaint? I complained and never received any reply.

I got a response. They just gave me a link to a bunch of useless information that had no relation to my complaint. Useless!

NCL called us and told us if we would book a cruise through them and pricing went down the would give us the better price. Pricing went down and they admit to it but they said they will only give us 25% of the reduction of $380.

My mother is old and something very agited when the phone ringing,unfortunately somebody very early in the morning and sometime during the day kept on calling without talking.I put that number her number in do not call list,it is still happened.We are very tired and upseted about that.

At least the million $ Jamaica lottery has stopped calling. Thank you.

Every now and then I get a call from the million $ Jamaica lottery. At one time I was receiving calls back to back. This went on until I showed the other side, if you know what I mean.

How did you get them to stop? we have 5 to 7 a day . they start at 4am.He is relentless. Weve tried everything . not answering, hanging up, threatening with police/FBI. Yelling. Even pretending we would send $. He has not missed a day of harassment in 3 months. police wont even take report. Just now found out area code was Jamaica. This is at my clients house( im a senior care giver)Yesterday I said"OK what will it cost for you to stop?" he said $800. then gave me address in Arizona (an apartment) to send $. I'm desperate. Her son wont change # because he worries it the only # she still remembers.

I'm so sorry to hear this, sadly I've yet to hear of anyone who has found help as a victim of fraud and harassment .
Believe it or not, I have been the victim of fraud 3x. In less than a year stolen cell, account taken over)t- mobile refuses to help . Rented a room on CL 8 months in, stolen lease cell extorted for $ extorted my family , called the abuser I was hiding from has all my medical, SS, passwords checks past ID cards med. records &more. He filed a false eviction(won) trapped me in my room for 4 days to prevent my appearing stole everything I had. The PD ( knowing he was convicted of ID credit card theft) would not allow me back in the house( I escaped on day 4 had a legal right to enter) when I called for a standby. I had video of everything as well as his physical attack. Side note ; I did not know past court history was available online in this state.
I strongly urge everyone to check this before renting, befriending dating ETC.
Where I am at now,1town over, the neighbor brazenly jumped the cement fence broke in nd stole my wallet with me inside!He then called the cops claiming assault . I haven't reported it. Why bother? Sadly there are huge theft rings and officials with their hands in the cookie jar.
- I. Found where the person who stole my ID &sold it to &large fraud operation, the 'Landlord' is also connected to. So I buddied up to this scumbag & was able to go into this apt. twice.
This criminal made up lame reasons for ( the 10-12 wigs, green cloth backdrop covering a wall in L.R & prof. cam on a tripod facing it just like DMV , 'Im into Photography". Realtor lockbox , 'Im always losing my keys, thats an extra key box". LOL, no furniture' I just moved in & Im always traveling to NY to meet up with my boss (Boss inNY was true) only a murphy bed & expensive computer equipment.In bedroom , locked when we walked out, always left the place before 2pm never went back until night.
This is also a mexican immigrant community, this man is very tall very very thin, is black , gay & wears outrageous costumes everyday in a town of copy cat " keep up with the Joneses type.
My guess is NY-AZ org. Dealing in fake visas Check. ID & IRS fraud, God knows what else. I would not be surprised if they had overseas connections.
I know of one "hub" they use. It is in Scottsdale, it is an apartment.
The perp is buddy buddy with certain top sergeants . I confiscated some evidence, BTW this was before I knew anything or had my identity stolen. he befriended me. Was this a coincidence? 1/2 mile from the room from He** & just as things were getting scary there.
To FF, Instead of using this info to help People I am being harrased by the so called public servants sworn to serve and protect.
I'm sure there are sectors of this identity theft ring all over the state of AZ I'm very curious to know if this is related. I have names of victims, perps(most likely aliases) and the apartment address.
In the end , the only thing a person really owns is his or her integrity.
Readers, Please , how to handle this? My Id is out of state w/pic not on file stolen B.C every type of identifying card except SS card stolen all acceptable types of photo ID . How do I go about getting an ID card & ID document replacements? I've researched finding no answer.
Q. 2# If you knew who did this to you(&they rub it in your face everytime you walk out your door & laugh at you, literally snicker and mockingly say your name)
Intimidation. What the heck would you do? What could you do without reducing yourself to their level? Without losing your personal moral code and integrity.
Help ! PO'd, deflated Alone & quickly losing sense of self or reason to exist in fear in an inhumane world.
Sincerely,
3xvictim

If you have that type of info, you should go to the closest FBI office. Take every shred of "evidence" you have with you.

I contactedthe FTC by letter in the first of February and still haven't heard from them.It was about the JACKSON HUNTER MORRIS the debt settlement company that has $5700.00 of my money.Has the case gone to a court settlement?

You can get information about FTC Cases and Proceedings at ftc.gov/enforcement.

I would like for the FTC investigate the "FREE BOOK" that JON and PETE NAJARIAN are advertising. I believe what these brothers are doing is a fraud. The FTC,by checking them(NAJARIAN'S) out. Thanks,AZul.

Unfortunately, we cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments. Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice.

You don't address those complaints either. Who do you think you're fooling?

The purpose of these comments is to shame you into doing the job you're being paid to do, and failing that, to publicly document that you're not doing the job you're being paid to do.

This is the Government Employee Shuffle - and why I will no longer work professionally with government agencies. It's a never-ending game of buck-passing.

It's always some other agency's responsibility until you're presented with inescapable evidence that in fact it is your responsibility, then the discussion shifts to "we don't have the budget". Bull. It's also your agency's job to ensure it has adequate budget to accomplish its mandate. There is nobody to blame for the FTC's incompetence except the FTC itself.

what I hate is when you get one of these spam calls and you hang up, they do not release you phone so your phone is tied up for another 5 to 10 minutes.

As a former Telemarketer boss, I can explain how they call, (NOT SAYING IT"S RIGHT!) you take your 3 digit prefix (not area code) and make a list starting from 0000 through 0999 on page 1 next page 1000 to 1999 and so on and have your employees call, these companies DO NOT use the do not call list. We were doing it for a certain circus and claiming to help the local DARE program when a Police cheifs wife was called and we were told they didn't have a Dare program, I re-wrote the script to be honest.

Someone is using my daughter's ss# since she was 12 years old, she's 21 now & I reported it to FTC,SSA,the 3 credit reporting agencies & local authorities and no one would do anything about it since we didn't know who it was. We found out the name & address of the person due to a background check for employment. We reported it again & still nothing. She can't even get a new SS# & she is just starting her life as an adult! What good is it to report things like this if the government does NOTHING to help? This is why people take matters into their own hands, when evil people mess with the innocent.

amomof4- that happened to me awhile ago and because they couldn't find the other person the SSA issued me a new number but I had lost any money I had earned into SS

Please, include in your list of scammed Owen Loan Company and HSBC. They have been my nightmare and have spoiled my retirement years forever. They are heartless mortgage companies that destroy your credit while taking every penny you have in fake home loan mortgage modification schemes. Please, stop them, STOP THEM!!!

The highest % of interest that credit card companies can charge needs to be lowered significantly. I thought that years ago what is going on now was illegal. People will Never get out of debt.

The interest rate on credit cards needs to be reduced significantly. I thought that years ago the very high rates were illegal. What has happened and is there any way to change. People will never get out of debt if this continues.

My thanks to the FTC for "advertising" the scams that are besetting consumers. You are contributing to the common welfare. In Navy speak: "BZ" - WELL DONE.

I just had my Farmers Insurance premium raised but not notified that they were going to increase the automatic payment. I didn't know about it and so could not stop it. I was told by a friend that they cannot raise your rates without notifying you first. Is there such a rule?

can you please provide me with a resource on how I can 1) get my money back from a non responsive company for an order I place 4 days ago?
2) report the website for their suspicious activity?

An online company should have return instructions on the site or on your receipt. When you shop online, it’s wise to consider the company’s reputation and return policy before you buy. You can try other ways to contact the company. Visit the company's website. Look for a "Contact Us" link and use the information there. Then, please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint.

don't have enough facts to actually give you a resource, but generally contacting BBB and Atty Gen Consumer Services in your state will make a difference. If it involves interstate commerce, then the Feds can help. If you used a credit card and have refused/returned the purchase or never received it, you can contest the charge on your card. They will credit your money back to you and investigate the situation. If they feel you should not be charged, they will reverse it on the company. That's assuming the co is legit.

Call from a person identified as Jamie J. Cormier called to say that I needed to respond to legal charges against me. Phone number 848-482-3807 is number called from.

I had the same call today

rcvd a text from 2027530576 i will type exactly as i rcvd.
ontact#347-960-6502 This is inform you that we are sending down a fax across to your corporate offices about the fraud you did and will take strictctions at 11;30am tomorrow at your employment, so without wasting time call back on the above given number otherwise we will not be responsibleashington D.C. Crime Bureau.

No company contact name given. This is crazy. I dialed the number 2027530576 and a gentleman answered the phone Hello.

These people must be stopped. If they are debt collectors than they are using inappropriate tactics.

If people would take the time to fill out the complaint form at ftc.gov/complaint maybe the FTC could expand their database and eventually hone in on the scammers. I wouldn't expect the FTC to respond to every complaint as I imagine they receive hundreds if not thousands a day.

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