Identity theft tops FTC consumer complaint list for 2003

| Friday, January 23, 2004

For the fourth year in a row, identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint list, accounting for 42 percent of the complaints lodged in the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database for 2003, according to an FTC report released Thursday.

The FTC detailed consumer complaints about identity theft in its annual report. The FTC received more than half a million complaints in 2003, up from 404,000 in 2002.

In addition to the complaints consumers register directly with the FTC, other organizations, including the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, The National Consumers League’s National Fraud Information Center, Canada’s Phonebusters and Better Business Bureaus contribute data to the FTC’s database.

Of the 516,740 complaints received in 2003, 214,905 were identity theft reports.

Copies of the FTC report, “National and State Trends in Fraud and Identity Theft,” can be found online at www.consumer.gov/sentinel/pubs/Top10Fraud2003.pdf.

To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at www.ftc.gov.