Debt collection, impostor scams, and identity theft remain at the forefront of consumer concerns, and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. The Federal Trade Commission fielded more than 3 million complaints in 2015 alone, a significant jump compared to the 2.5 million received in 2014. Abusive debt collection was 29% of overall complaints. Debt collection was the top complaint mainly from data contributors who collect complaints via a mobile app, producing a surge in unwanted debt collection mobile phone calls.
Identify Theft was the second most reported behind abusive debt collection, despite increasing more than 47 percent from 2014. Identity theft has been the top category for the previous 15 years and only recently has dropped down on the Federal Trade Commission’s list of most reported complaint. Tax- or wage- related fraud (45%) was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by credit card fraud, phone or utilities fraud, and bank fraud. The FTC has combated this by providing a personal recovery plan for victims of fraud, available through the IdentityTheft.gov website.
Imposter Scams, where individuals pose as government officials remained the third most commonly reported complaint. The FTC cleaned up a bit, shutting down a fake Medicare operation and working to educate the public through webinars, town halls, blog posts, and twitter.
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