According to the Federal Trade Commission, of 1,339,265 complaints received last year, 250,854 ““ or 19 percent ““ were related to identity theft.
Debt collection complaints came in second place, with 144,159 complaints, followed by complaints about Internet services.
The report lays out complaint data on a state-by-state basis and also features data about the 50 metropolitan areas reporting the highest-per-capita incidence of fraud and other complaints.
For the first time, “impostor scams“ ““ where fraudsters pose as friends, family, respected companies or government agencies to get consumers to depart with their cash ““ made the top 10. Internet auctions, phone and mobile services, and credit card complaints were also included on the list.
FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans fall prey to identity thieves every year, through means including dumpster diving, skimming, phishing and the tradtional way of stealing wallets, purses or personnel records, the agency said on its website.