The Federal Trade Commission announced the areas where it received the most consumer complaints in 2020.  The top three areas were identity theft, imposter scams, and online shopping and negative reviews.  The FTC received more than 4.7 million complaints last year.  

With people doing more shopping from home than ever this year, it's not surprising that online shopping would be one of the top complaint categories.  The "online shopping and negative reviews" category includes complaints about undisclosed costs, failures to deliver on time, non-delivery, refusal to honor a guarantee on purchases made online, internet auctions, and businesses trying to prevent people from giving honest reviews about products or services they purchased. 

More than 498,000 impostor scams were reported to the FTC, which included, for example, complaints about romance scams and complaints about people falsely claiming to be the government, a relative in distress, a well-known business, or a technical support expert.

The top ten compliant categories were: 

  • Identify theft (29.39%)
  • Impostor scams (10.56%)
  • Online shopping and negative reviews (7.49%)
  • Credit bureaus, information furnishers, and report users (6.7%)
  • Banks and lenders (3.62%)
  • Internet services (2.97%)
  • Auto related (2.55%)
  • Debt collection (2.55%)
  • Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries (2.46%)
  • Health care (1.77%)

States reporting the most fraud complaints were Nevada, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, and Georgia.