This post was written by Amy S. Mushahwar.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that, for the twelfth year in a row, identity theft tops the list of consumer complaints received, constituting 15% of the overall 1.8 million complaints submitted in 2011. Debt collection complaints came in as second at 10% of the overall complaints. The FTC released these facts yesterday in its annual Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) Databook. The CSN is a secure online database of millions of consumer complaints available to law enforcement, and stores complaints received by a number of entities, such as state attorneys general offices, the Department of Justice's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Within its Report, the FTC noted that those in the 20-29 and 30-39 year age brackets were most susceptible to identity theft and comprised 44% of the total reported victims. The states of Florida, Georgia, California, Arizona, Texas, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware were the top ten states for per capita reported cases, with the Miami-area being the most dangerous metropolitan area for identity theft. Next year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to contribute complaints to the CSN database, which will provide law enforcement with even more information about reported cases of identity theft.