Wednesday, April 11, 2012

U.S. States with Highest Consumer Fraud

24/7 Wall Street published an analysis of consumer fraud that ranked the top ten states in terms of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission per 100,000 people. FTC complaints are put in two categories: identity theft complaints and other fraud complaints. Identity theft was the top category with debt collection fraud coming in second. Here are the top ten states as published by 24/7 Wall Street:
10. New Jersey
9. Washington
8. Georgia
7. Virginia
6. Arizona
5. Nevada
4. Maryland
3. Delaware
2. Colorado
1. Florida

According to the analysis:

Identity theft was the most common one, representing 15% of all complaints. Many other categories relate to a growing number of Americans in debt as a result of the recession and the housing crash. Debt collection fraud was the second most common category, defined by the FTC as consumers reporting abuse by both legitimate debt collectors and those pretending to be. Other categories included banking and lending scams, as well as scams arising from promises of relief from mortgage debt.
Not surprisingly, many of the states that were hit hardest by the mortgage meltdown are on the list including New Jersey, Arizona, Nevada and Florida. What was surprising to me is that California and Illinois are not on the list. Also, I was surprised to see Colorado, Delaware and Maryland in the top five.

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