Help your customers be on the look-out for fraud

Do you know the largest consumer fraud issues in Iowa? According to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Complaint figures for 2010, Iowa had just over 7,500 consumer complaints of identity theft and fraud in 2010. Fraud and other complaints made up the largest category with 6,397 complaints. The top ten categories reported are

  • Debt Collection  12% 
  • Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales  7% 
  • Internet Auction   6%
  • Internet Services  6%
  • Impostor Scams    6%
  • Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries  5%
  • Foreign Money Offers and Counterfeit Check Scams  4% 
  • Television and Electronic Media  4%
  • Telephone and Mobile Services   3% 
  • Health Care  3%

More serious was identity theft with 1,111 victims reporting complaints. Those reporting identity thefts reporting the following fraud.

  • Phone or Utilities Fraud  17% 
  • Credit Card Fraud  17% 
  • Government Documents or Benefits Fraud  13% 
  • Employment-Related Fraud   10%
  • Bank Fraud   8% 
  • Loan Fraud   3% 
  • Other  26% 
  • Attempted Identity Theft  8%

The Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) is a secure online database of millions of consumer complaints available only to law enforcement. The executive summary is compiled annually and is available at the following link. It contains national information regarding fraud complaints and is also broken down by state and MSAs.

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