The Federal Trade Commission received more than 2 million complaints last year and, for the 13th consecutive year, identity theft tops the list, according to NBC News.
According to the 2012 annual report, 18 percent of all consumer complaints were related to identity theft, and the numbers show a huge rise in the percentage of identity theft fraud cases related to taxes and wages, NBC reports.
The FTC reports that there are three basic types of ID theft related to taxes and wages, as NBC reports:
When the scammer, using a stolen Social Security number, applied for an income tax refund in your name is the most common method.
ID thieves misuse Social Security numbers to create bogus dependents to boost their fraudulent refunds, delaying legitimate refunds.
They use stolen SSNs to get jobs. Victims don’t find out about the fraud until they get a notice from the IRS that says they’re under-reporting their income, the article says.
The FTC report, combined with the Javelin Research survey, notes the number of identity theft victims reached more than 12.6 million in 2012.
The complete list of the FTC’s Top 10 Complaint Categories for 2012 is as follows:
- Identity Theft (369,132 complaints)
- Debt collection (199,721)
- Banks and lenders (132,340)
- Shop-at-home and catalog sales (115,184)
- Prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries (98,479)
- Imposter scams (82,896)
- Internet services (81,438)
- Auto-related complaints (78,062)
- Telephone and mobile services (76,783)
- Credit cards (51,550)