Identity theft tops list of consumer complaints

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Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 12:00 am

Identity theft and debt collection were the top consumer complaints of 2013, according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission.

Americans last year complained the most about identity theft, with nearly 300,000 consumers saying their personal data were used without their knowledge, according to an annual tally from the FTC.

About 14 percent of the more than 2 million complaints reported to the agency were related to identity theft. Roughly 30 percent of those were reported by consumers who said their personal information was used illegally in tax- or wage-related documents, the agency said.

American consumers lost more than $1.6 billion to fraud overall last year, the FTC said.

About 10 percent of consumers said they were bedeviled by debt collectors, and an additional 7 percent reported that they were bothered by banks and lenders.

A smaller slice of Americans said they experienced fraud for car-related issues (4 percent), sweepstakes and lotteries (4 percent) and impostor scams (6 percent).

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