by: Daniel Vasquez April 5th, 2011 | 9:12 AM
Beat out only by Colorado, Florida ranks second in the nation for fraud and identity theft complaints, according to a report by the Federal Trade Commission.
The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan statistical area, also known as South Florida, unfortunately earned the highest rate of ID theft complaints in both the state and nation with 184 complaints per 100,000 residents, according to the FTC records.
Each year the FTC publishes a report on fraud and ID theft called the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. An analysis of of that report by 24/7 Wall St. (247wallstreet.com) reveals that that Florida is the second worst state when it comes to such complaints, followed by (in order) Maryland, Nevada, Arizona, California, Washington, Delaware, Alaska and Georgia.
More than 1.3 million consumer fraud complaints were filed in 2010, resulting in losses of about $1.7 billion dollars. The top categories of complaints include ID theft, debt collection, Internet services and lotteries. The average loss by each victim was nearly $600 each.
With a population of about 18.8 million people, Florida took in more than 92,000 complaints last year, with about 492 complaints per 100,000 residents. Here is what 24/7 Wall St. said about our Sunshine State: Florida has the highest per capita rate of identity theft complaints in the country. In 2010, the state had 114.8 complaints per 100,000 population. The greatest percentage of these complaints, 24%, involved government documents or benefits fraud.
What to do: If you believe you are a victim of fraud, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 866-966-7226 or go to http://www.myfloridalegal.com. You may also contact the FTC at 1-877-ID-THEFT or visit FTC.com.