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January 22, 2004

Identity Theft Again Tops FTC Complaints List for 2003

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:29 pm

Today, the Federal Trade Commission released its Top Ten List of Consumer Complaints for 2003, as part of its report National and State Trends in Fraud and Identity Theft”. The press release states:

For the fourth year in a row, identity theft topped the list, accounting for 42 percent of the complaints lodged in the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database. The FTC received more than half a million complaints in 2003, up from 404,000 in 2002, and Internet-related complaints accounted for 55 percent of all fraud reports, up from 45 percent in 2002.


  • Of the 516,740 complaints received in 2003, 301,835 were complaints about fraud and 214,905 were identity theft reports.
  • Identity theft reports represented 42 percent of all complaints, up from 40 percent in 2002.

  • police  Computer technology may be making fraud easier to perpetrate, but it is also helping to track the complaints and facilitate law enforcement.

    “Howard Beales, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection noted that in addition to the complaints consumers register directly with the FTC, other organizations, including the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, The National Consumers League’s National Fraud Information Center, Canada’s Phonebusters, and Better Business Bureaus contribute complaint data to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database.

    “More than 900 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia are using Consumer Sentinel, accessing one-and-a-half million consumer complaints through the Sentinel network,” Beales said. “They can coordinate actions, track down leads, and research other law enforcement tools. This model – one central source of consumer fraud data available to law enforcement, reflecting overall trends in fraud, ID theft, and emerging scams – is making our work more efficient for law enforcement and more effective for consumers.”

    Consumer Information:


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