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Azadian Law Group
March 8, 2016

In 2015, federal authorities received at least 3 million complaints from consumers regarding allegedly illegal business practices, according to a recent announcement from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This represents a nearly 17 percent increase from the number of consumer complaints filed with the FTC in 2014, when roughly 2.5 million consumers filed complaints with federal authorities.

According to officials, the majority of the complaints filed in 2015 were related to claims of:

  • Abusive debt collection practices – For the first time in about 15 years, this category took the top spot for consumer complaints. Authorities largely attribute this surge to the fact that many complaints (particularly those related to unwanted debt collection calls to mobile phones) are being filed via mobile apps.
  • Identity theft scams – While this category had held the top spot for consumer complaints for the past 15 years, it came in at number two last year. Authorities did note that tax-related identity theft complaints have surged within this category of complaints and that the states associated with the highest number of identity theft consumer complaints included Missouri, Florida, and Connecticut.
  • Imposter scams (in which the perpetrators pretend to be government officials or other authorities and, in doing so, attempt to steal people’s sensitive personal information) – This remained the third most common category for consumer complaints last year.

Federal Trade Commission Receives 17% More Consumer Complaints in 2015

Commenting on this surge in consumer complaints – and the FTC’s actions to address them, Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, has stated:

We recognize that identity theft and unlawful debt collection practices continue to cause significant harm to many consumers… Steps like the recent upgrade to IdentityTheft.gov and our leadership of a nationwide initiative to combat unlawful debt collection practices are critical to our ongoing work to protect consumers from these harms.

Why the Surge in Consumer Complaints in 2015?

Explaining the significant increase in FTC consumer complaints in 2015, authorities have been quick to point out that this hike may not necessarily be due to the fact that more businesses are reverting to poor, illegal and/or unethical practices. Instead, officials have pointed out that the increase is more likely due to the facts that:

  • More consumers are aware of their rights and option to file complaints with the FTC.
  • Online filing options have made it easier for consumers to follow through on filing complaints.

Additional Top Consumer Complaints in 2015

In addition to filing complaints regarding abusive debt collection practices, identity theft, and imposter scams, consumers also filed a substantial number of complaints related to the following issues/industries, rounding out the top 10 spots for FTC consumer complaints in 2015:

  • Telephone and mobile phone services
  • Prizes and lotteries
  • Lending institutions, including banks
  • Catalog sales
  • Motor vehicle sales
  • TV and media services
  • Credit bureaus.

Contact a Los Angeles Consumer Attorneys at the Azadian Law Group, PC

If you have been the target of any illegal business practices, contact a Los Angeles consumer attorney at the Azadian Law Group, PC for a free case to review to find out more about your options for recovery and justice.

At the Azadian Law Group, PC, our lawyers exclusively represent consumers and employees– we never represent companies or employers. This has endowed our attorneys with the experience, knowledge, insight and resources necessary to effectively represent our clients in any legal setting and bring their cases to favorable resolutions.

Call us at 626-449-4944 or send us an email via this contact form to find out more about how we can help you. If you choose to move forward with us, you will not have to pay us any legal fees until or unless compensation is secured for your case.

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