WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- The Federal Trade Commission received more than two million consumer complaints in 2012.
FTC say snearly half of them were related to some type of fraud, and they cost Americans more than $1.4 billion.
Identity theft was the most common complaint to the agency. It accounted for about one in every five complaints.
Next, debt collection, followed by complaints related to banks and lenders, shop-at-home and catalog sales, and finally, prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries rounded out the top.
When it comes to identity theft, remember scammers aren't above digging through dumpsters for your personal information.
So, shred sensitive documents, especially during this tax season.
Tax ID Fraud: A Haunting And Growing Crime For Millions
You can avoid falling prey to most scams if you heed this repeated warning, never reply to emails, phone calls or text messages that ask for your personal or financial information.
They often come disguised as an account alert. So, if you are worried, follow up with the credit or debit card company yourself.
Research the company before you do any business with them. And, a quick online search of the company name and terms like "scam", "complaint", or "fraud" can save you trouble later.
FTC Top 10 Consumer Complaints
FTC's 2013 Consumer Sentinel Network Report
The Federal Trade Commission reports that 43 percent of identity theft scams were related to tax fraud. That's why it is so important that you and your tax preparer carefully guard your personal information.