Network News: Summer 2021

Summer 2021
Volume 14 | Issue 3
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Consumer Sentinal Network

Historic Data and User Highs


Sentinel now has a historically high volume of data, totaling over 50 million consumer complaints.  The breakout includes over 30 million Do Not Call complaints, over 18 million fraud complaints, and over four million identity theft complaints.  This historic volume is a result of the surge in pandemic complaints, the agency’s new ReportFraud complaint collection portal, and the addition of new sources of data.  The average annual Sentinel user volume for this year to date is also at a historic high at nearly 3,000 users.

New Sentinel Data Contributor

Sentinel welcomes the U.S. Social Security Administration as a new data contributor and appreciates the effort and talent of the SSA Office of Inspector General’s technical team that built the Sentinel data connection.  SSA provides a high volume of valuable fraud and Do Not Call complaints related to SSA impostor scams.  These complaints will aid in quantifying the rise in SSA impostor scams that we began to see a few years ago.

In the Spotlight: Cyptocurrency


The number of consumers investing in cryptocurrency has increased.  But as a Spring FTC Consumer Protection Data Spotlight suggests, the number who report getting stung by cryptocurrency investment scams has skyrocketed.  Before consumers use or invest in cryptocurrency, they should know what makes it different from cash and other payment methods, and how to spot cryptocurrency scams or detect cryptocurrency accounts that may be compromised.  Here’s what to know about cryptocurrency and scams.

Did You Know?

We delete data older than five years biannually, and we plan to do so again on September 10th.  If you still need the complaints, you can place a one-year, renewable litigation hold within Sentinel to prevent that from occurring.      

Sentinel Success Stories


Sentinel complaints have aided the FTC’s recent law enforcement actions.  Here are three recent examples: first, the operators of the MoviePass subscription service have agreed to settle FTC allegations that they took steps to block subscribers from using the service as advertised, while also failing to secure subscribers’ personal data.

Second, the FTC and the state of Arkansas sued the operators of a “blessing loom” investment program, alleging that it has operated as an illegal pyramid scheme that bilked tens of millions of dollars from thousands of consumers, and targeted African-Americans and harmed people struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Third, online lender LendingClub Corporation agreed to pay $18 million to settle FTC charges that the company deceived consumers about hidden fees that it charged and about whether their loan applications were approved.

In addition, the Sentinel team is working with various agencies to ensure that they can make best use of the Sentinel data in active cases.  Such agencies include the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice as well as the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. 

If you have a Sentinel success story, we would love to hear about it at

Warning Signs

The FTC warns of a surge in rental car fraud with bogus websites, advising consumers to never pay with a gift card.  It also warns about a phishing scheme targeting unemployment insurance benefits and consumer information. 

Consumer Sentinel Network

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