Consumer Payment Card News

ID Fraud Sentinel

The Federal Trade Commission opened a new Web site that offers the general public information culled from a complaint database. The Consumer Sentinel database is designed to allow law enforcers to share data about ID fraud. However the public may now peer into some of information produced by this law enforcement tool. The new Web site for the public contains aggregated data based on more than 300,000 consumer complaints lodged with the FTC. The underlying database is a multi-agency project whose leading partners include the National Association of Attorneys General; National Consumers League; Better Business Bureaus; and the United States Postal Inspection Service. More than 80 public and private organizations contribute consumer complaints to the database as well as agencies in Canada and Australia. Consumers who visit the new site will be able to view data that shows such things as the scams that garner the most frequent consumer complaints; the scams that cost consumers most; the location of companies complained about, by state and by province; the number of identity theft complaints, by state; and the types of identity theft most frequently reported. In addition to the statistics about consumer fraud and identity theft, consumers can use the new Web site to find out whether their local law enforcers are members of Consumer Sentinel, file a complaint about consumer fraud or identity theft, and learn what organizations contribute consumer data to the database. Free consumer education materials are available from the FTC’s web site at www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

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