Identity theft tops FTC complaints

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more complaints about identity theft than any other issue in 2013.

The commission said on Thursday that identity theft had added up to about 14 percent of the complaints it received last year. Of those, thirty percent were related to benefits- or government documents-related issues.

The commission also received more than 1.1 million fraud complaints, which it categorizes separately from identity theft. Those added up to a loss of more than $1.6 billion for American consumers.

“The good news: Millions of consumers are beating the scammers,” the FTC’s Colleen Tressler wrote in a blog post.

“That’s because complaints matter at the FTC. If a business doesn't deliver on its promises, if someone cheats you out of your money, or if you've spotted a scam, you’ve been telling it to the FTC. Your complaints help us stop rip-off artists, scammers, and fraudsters."

According to the trade commission, the 20-29 age group had the highest number of reported identity theft cases. That age group accounted for about 20 percent of the commission’s complaints.

The Miami metropolitan area had the highest rates of identity theft complaints.

The second most common complaint, debt collection, accounted for 10 percent of the agency’s complaints. Complaints about banks and lenders were the third most common complaint.

In all, the FTC received more than 2 million complaints.