The Federal Trade Commission has released its annual summary of consumer complaints for 2016, contained in the FTC’s latest Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. The FTC compiles the report annually based on complaints received by the Consumer Sentinel Network. Complaints include those made directly by consumers to the FTC, as well as complaints received by state and federal law enforcement agencies, national consumer protection organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
Complaints from consumers concerning debt collection were the most numerous, with “imposter scams” and “identity theft” comprising the second- and third-largest categories of complaints, respectively. Complaints regarding credit reporting also remained in the top 10.
The complaint categories making up the top 10 areas of consumer complaints are:
|Number of Complaints Received||Percentage of All Complaints Received|
|Telephone and Mobile Services||292,155||10|
|Banks and Lenders||143,987||5|
|Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries||141,643||5|
|Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales||109,831||4|
|Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users||49,679||2|
|Television and Electronic Media||49,546||2|
As in 2015, Florida, Georgia, and Michigan were the top three states for fraud and other complaints, while Michigan, Florida, and Delaware had the most identity theft complaints.
The top categories of complaints often frame the FTC’s priorities for the upcoming year. Troutman Sanders LLP will continue to monitor FTC regulatory and enforcement activity in each of these categories.