Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
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.
Debt collection scams are 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 those from states that publish a list. Click here for Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Michigan
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.
|1. No-Call Complaints (41,517) complaints from consumers regarding no-call violations and illegal telemarketing calls||
(internet services & service providers; data privacy & security; consumer frauds)
|Imposter Scam Calls (5,049 complaints)||
1. Easy Credit. Online or in the classifieds, these
ads all promise that you can get a loan no matter how bad your
credit rating. The catch? You have to pay a fee up front. Advance
fee loans are illegal. Don't send the money! This is not credit
repair, it's credit disaster.
2. Mail and Phone
Solicitations (3,528) -
Consumers continue to be inundated with mail, emails and telephone
calls offering them 'valuable prizes.' Often, the mail looks
official, as if it is from a government agency. Foreign lottery promotions are the
largest type of sweepstakes scams that affect consumers nationwide
(buying, leasing, repair, service contracts, rentals)
|Telecomm (941 complaints)||
2. Phishing. No matter what they say, when they
call or email wanting you to give them your social security, credit
card, or bank account number, DON'T DO IT. Not for any reason, no
matter who they say they are or why they say they need it. They will
steal your identity (and your money).
|3. Financial/ Debt Collection (1,769) - Most of the complaints under this category involve debt collectors (856). Consumers indicate they have received calls from harassing collectors who are threatening and will repeatedly call attempting to collect a debt. Other complaints that fall under this category involved credit/debit card fees, pay day loans, credit repair companies and unauthorized use of credit/debit cards. Some of these complaints involved hidden fees and billing disputes as well.||
3. Consumer- Related Services
(security systems; restaurant/ catering services; tech repairs)
|Collections, Credit Reporting, or Financial Services||
3. Nigerian Fraud. A fleeing deposed government
minister (or his widow) wants to deposit the treasury of a foreign
country in your bank account. Anytime you have to send money to
collect a huge windfall, you should STOP in your tracks.
Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries
|4. Automobile Repair or purchase (1,962) - Some of the complaints alleged consumers paid for repairs and that services provided were shoddy. Consumers reported repair companies that return vehicles to the consumer in a worse condition than how it was initially given to them. Other complaints involved consumers not receiving title to their vehicles at the time of sale||
4. Landlord/ Tenant Disputes
(Security deposit releases, tenant-harassment)
|Financial Services (358 complaints)||Shopping, Food, or Beverages||
4. Counterfeit Cashier's Checks. It looks like the
real thing: a cashier's check drawn on a familiar bank is as good as
gold, right? Wrong. The counterfeits in circulation today are very
high quality forgeries. They might even fool your bank at first.
Banks and Lenders
5. Identity Theft (1,669) - Identity theft occurs
when someone takes another's personal information such as Social
Security number, date of birth, or credit card number, bank account
information and uses it to commit fraud. This past year our office
saw a significant increase in income tax identity theft (1,162) and
security data breach (239) complaints.
(Wireless and Residential Phones; Energy Servicers & Suppliers; Cable and Satellite)
|Internet, Utilities, Phone, or TV Services||
5. Bogus Debts. You may receive a threatening
letter demanding payment on a debt you never heard of. Don't pay it.
There are scammers who will demand payment on totally fictitious
debts in the hopes that a few people will be scared into paying.
Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries
6. Communications / Technology/ Online Services (1,657)
A large portion of these complaints involve telephone cramming and billing practices (702), when consumers who received a phone bill for services that they did not order, or unauthorized fees on their telephone bill from third parties. Cable and Satellite complaints (365) involved billing disputes and misleading promotions.
(debt collection; credit card billing; debt settlement; payday loans; credit repair; credit reporting agencies; identity theft)
|Household Goods or Property Improvement||
6. Government Grants. A scammer may contact you to
say that you have been awarded, or can apply for, a government
grant. The scammer may offer to help you get the grant. Government
grants are not awarded to people who have not applied for them, no
one can appply for you, and there is never a fee.
Shop-at-home and Cataglog Sales
7. Real Estate and Construction (1,300) -
Complaints involving home repair contractors is our most common type
of real estate complaint. These complaints often involve storm
chasers going door-to-door asking for money up front and providing
little to no work. Other complaints involve contractors who provide
shoddy workmanship or fail to honor warranties.
7. Retail Sales
(any sale of goods: food, clothing, rent-to-own)
International Money Transfer Schemes
7. Foreign Lotteries. You did not win the foreign
lottery! Anytime you are asked to send money in order to collect
your winnings in a lottery or sweepstakes, STOP. It is a scam called
advance fee fraud. You do not have to pay an up-front fee to receive
real lottery or sweepstakes winnings. Don't be persuaded or bullied
by a smooth operator on the phone.
Automobile -Related Complaints
8. Retail/ Wholesale (1,258) - Most of the complaints involve purchase made
through internet, telephone or mail, and involve late deliveries or
products never delivered. Other complaints involve the purchases of
appliances, furniture and other items in which there have been
warranty problems, defective products that either did not work as
advertised or were never delivered. Complaints also involved
products not always ringing up at price advertised when they checked
out at the register. Other retail related complaints included issues
with rebates, coupons, and gift cards.
8. Home Repair/ Construction
(home improvement services not delivered or done poorly)
|Sweepstakes or Prizes and other scams||
8. Home Repair. Beware of unsolicited door-to-door
home improvement offers. If it is a one-time offer, available only
today, or a special deal on materials leftover from another job, be
doubly cautious. If your home needs repairs, your best bet is to
call more than one reputable roofing or driveway or other home
repair company in your area and check their references.
Credit Bureaus and related
9. Travel/ Timeshare (1,125) - Timeshare and travel
club complaints continue to increase. Most complaints allege
consumers were promised guaranteed resale of previously owned
timeshare; maintenance fees increase continuously, undisclosed fees,
and other services that were promised but not provided.
(mortgage modifications; mortgage and loan broker fraud; foreclosures)
Home Ownership Issues
|9. Business Opportunities. Jobs or business opportunities that require you to pay up front for training, equipment, or "kits"; are highly suspect, especially if you found the offer on the Internet and have no independent information about the company involved. Legitimate employers hardly ever require new hires to pay to start the job.|
Television and electronic media
|10. Health (1,040) - This year the Division received more complaints concerning billing issues concerning hospital and doctor visits, as well as supplemental purchases. Many complaints involved consumers who paid for health club memberships only to have the club shut down soon after accepting their money.||
10. Mail Order
(purchases made online or from a catalog)
|10. Shopping Sprees. Telephone solicitations offer a $500 (or similar amount) "Shopping Spree," supposedly sponsored by a known company or even governmental agency. The caller tries to get the consumer's bank account number to collect a small fee, supposedly for the shipping and handling of vouchers. Shopping spree promotions usually are fake.|
|Published annually in March||Attorney General top 10 consumer complaints reported to the office: number of complaints and description||Attorney General Schneiderman top 10 consumer complaints reported to the office: followed by the number of complaints and description||Consumer complaints reported to the AG and number of complaints||
OH AGl Office Complaints
(top 8) .
|From the Texas Attorney General's office|
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!