2017 Most Recent Top 10 Lists and Statistics of Consumer Complaints

2018 Most Recent Statistics of Consumer Complaints of Frauds, Scams, Identity Theft and Other Consumer Problems

National Top Ten Consumer Complaints of Scams

This page lists the most recent fraud, scam, identity theft and other consumer complaints available for each area (country, state, province, etc) that compiles the statistics. If your area's stats are not listed here, and you know where to find them, click here to let us know where they can be found.

Identity theft is once more the top complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission, which has released its 2017 annual report of complaints. using data collected in 2016.

The FTC report gives national data, as well as a state-by-state accounting of top complaint categories and a listing of the metropolitan areas that generated the most complaints. This includes the top 50 metropolitan areas for both fraud complaints and identity theft complaints.

Below is the FTC report top ten consumer complaints, followed by Money Magazine's list, The consumer Federation of America and those from states that publish a list.

Besides a description, the FTC (and some states) provide the total number of complaints they received and the percent each category is of the total. 

We've included NY state for comparison.  You can find the state lists, too. Click here to see the stats for Arizona, Illinois, Ohio and Oregon And Click here for Missouri, New York, Oregon, Ohio and Texas

Rank Federal (FTC)

CNN Money Magazine

Consumer Fed of America New York
1 Debt collection
859,090 complaints
28 percent
1. Automobile
Car shoppers reported misleading advertising for new and used cars, faulty
repairs, leasing and towing disputes and getting suckered into buying lemons.
1. Auto: The top consumer complaints are misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, and leasing or towing disputes. 1. Internet
4,605 complaints
(internet services & service providers; data privacy & security; consumer frauds)

2 Imposter Scams, Scammers claiming to represent government agencies
406,578 complaints
13 percent
2. Home Improvement/ Construction
Home owners griped of shoddy work, as well as failure to start or finish thework altogether.
2. Home Improvement / Construction: The runner up for the most complaints includes shoddy work, and failure to start or complete home improvement jobs. 2. Automobile
3,437 complaints
(buying, leasing, repair, service contracts, rentals)

3 Identity Theft
399,225 complaints
13 percent
3. Credit & Debt Collection
Borrowers complained of hidden fees, billing and fee disputes, mortgage-related fraud, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt-collection tactics and questionable credit repair services.
3. Utilities: Bringing us into the top three are service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric, and gas services.

3. Consumer- Related Services
2,444 complaints
(security systems; restaurant/ catering services; tech repairs)

4 Telephone and Mobile Services
292,155 complaints
10 %
4. Retail sales and Utilities
Consumers singled out items ringing up at a higher price than marked, misleading ads, defective merchandise, service and billing disputes with a variety of providers, including phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas companies.
4. Credit/Debt: Credit and debt complaints refer to billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, and illegal or abuse debt collection tactics. 4. Landlord/ Tenant Disputes
2,005 complaints
(Security deposit releases, tenant-harassment)

5 Banks and Lenders, Loan scams, credit fixers
143,987 complaints
5 percent
5. Professional services
Consumers complained about lawyers, real estate agents, said they had fallen prey to misrepresentations and subpar and unlicensed work from a variety of service providers,
5. Retail Sales: Halfway through the list are retails sales, which can mean false advertising and other deceptive practices; defective merchandise; problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards, or gift certificates; and failure to deliver. 5. Utilities
1,730 complaints
(Wireless and Residential Phones; Energy Servicers & Suppliers; Cable and Satellite)

6 Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries
141,643 complaints
5 percent
6. Landlords and Tenants
When complaining about their landlords, renters reported unhealthy or unsafe housing conditions, deposit and rent disputes,
illegal eviction tactics and a failure to make repairs.
6. Services: Complaints regarding services can be misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, and failure to perform. 6. Credit
1,606 complaints
(debt collection; credit card billing; debt settlement; payday loans; credit repair; credit reporting agencies; identity theft)
7 Shop-at-home and Cataglog Sales
109,831 complaints
4 percent
7. Solicitations
Telemarketers and misrepresentations from door-to-door
salespeople, and mail solicitations, as well as violations of the "do not call" registry.
7. Landlord / Tenant: These complaints include unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promises amenities, deposit and rent disputes, and illegal eviction tactics. 7. Retail Sales
1,214 complaints
(any sale of goods: food, clothing, rent-to-own)

8 Automobile -Related Complaints
94,673 complaints
3 percent
8. Internet purchases and Health Services

Misrepresented products, defective products, Medical practionars without licenses, misleading claims,
8. Household goods: Schemes involving household goods include misrepresentations, failure to deliver, and faulty repairs to furniture and appliances. 8. Home Repair/ Construction
1069 complaints
(home improvement services not delivered or done poorly)

9 Credit Bureaus and related
49,679 complaints
2 percent
9.Fake Lotteries, sweepstakes, work at home scams and get rich scams 9. Health products and services: These include misleading claims, unlicensed practitioners, and failure to deliver.
9. Mortgage
921 complaints
(mortgage modifications; mortgage and loan broker fraud; foreclosures)

10 Television and electronic media
49,546 complaints
2 percent
10. Household Goods
Consumers reported many issues related to household furniture and appliances, including misrepresentations about the goods
and faulty repairs.
10. Internet sales and fraud:
 Internet sales problems involve misrepresentations or other deceptive practices and failure to deliver online purchases. Fraud includes bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, work-at-home schemes, grant offers, fake check scams, imposter scams and other common frauds.
10. Mail Order
715 complaints
(purchases made online or from a catalog)
  Published annually in March As published each year (usually in July for the preceding year) From their annual report Attorney General Schneiderman top 10 consumer complaints reported to the office: followed by the number of complaints and description

A complete list of all complaint categories is available on page six of the report.

The FTC enters complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database that is available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies across the country. Agencies use the data to research cases, identify victims and track possible targets.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.

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