In many ways, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the clearinghouse for consumer complaints. The FTC complaint portal is set up to accept complaints relating to identity theft; scams and rip-offs; mobile devices or telephones; internet services, online shopping, or computers; education, job, and making money; and credit and debt.
The FTC fields a stunning number of complaints about robocalls and calls made to numbers on the government’s Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry – more than 2 million from August through early November 2017. Lemberg Law analyzed 100 days of data and discovered that, although the government agency logged complaints about 700,000 different phone numbers, a dozen stood out as the worst offenders. Each had racked up more than 1,000 complaints, while the top phone number (417-5677-0154) had logged a whopping 3,140 complaints.
Consumers Receiving Debt Reduction Robocalls
The data analyzed by Lemberg Law revealed that consumers most often complained to the FTC about robocalls and do-not-call list violations relating to debt reduction schemes. The FTC received more than a quarter million complaints about those types of calls. Consumers reported receiving close to 200,000 calls that were dropped or that left no message, and more than 100,000 from people pretending to be from the government, businesses, or family and friends. Here’s a breakdown of the 2 million robocalls and DNC calls by topic:
And here are those same topics as percentages of the total number of robocall and DNC complaints received by the FTC.
At first glance, it seems strange that complaints are debt collection phone robocalls average about 100 per day, a rate significantly less than other topics. This may be because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has assumed responsibility from the FTC for logging consumer complaints relating to debt collection abuse.
No Dramatic Changes over Time
With the exception of complaints where the consumer didn’t report the topic of the call (“no subject provided”), there are no distinct trends or shifts in complaint topics over time.
Consumers wishing to report complaints to the FTC can do so here: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/