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How Widespread Is Fraud?
From sea to shining sea. Every state has had consumers who have been scammed, and
the numbers are growing.
According to the Federal Trade Commission's 2005 annual report detailing consumer
complaints about fraud, identity theft topped the list at 225,000 (37%) of the 686,683
complaints filed. Other top categories: Internet auctions (12%), foreign money offers
(8%), shop-at-home catalog sales (8%) and sweepstakes and lotteries (7%).
Other Findings from the Report:
- Internet-related complaints accounted for 46% of all fraud complaints.
- The percent of Internet-related fraud complaints with "wire transfer" as the reported
payment method more than tripled between 2003 and 2005.
- Credit card fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed
by phone/utilities fraud, bank fraud, and employment fraud.
- The most frequently reported type of identity theft bank fraud was electronic funds
transfers. Consumers can test their knowledge about identity theft at www.onguardonline.gov/quiz.
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