The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 3 million consumer complaints in 2015 with debt collection topping the list, according to its newly released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. The annual report, which does not include do-not-call complaints, provides national and state-by-state data on consumer complaints received by the FTC.
Debt collection complaints moved from the second-most reported complaint category in 2014 to the top in 2015. The FTC stated that this change was largely due to a substantial increase in the number of complaints contributed by PrivacyStar, a non-governmental source that collects complaints through a mobile application. According to the FTC, this development also caused a spike in complaints related to debt collection calls to mobile phones. Of the total 897,655 debt collection complaints received by the FTC in 2015, 895,158 involved third-party debt collection and 2,511 involved creditor debt collection. (Fourteen complaints were coded for both types of collection.)
Identity theft complaints, which occupied the top spot for the previous 15 years, were the second-most reported category in 2015. Nevertheless, identity theft complaints still increased more than 47 percent from 2014 and the FTC reported a large jump in the number of such complaints involving tax identity theft. Imposter scam complaints, which the FTC describes as complaints about scammers impersonating someone else to commit fraud, continued to be the third-most common complaint in 2015.
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