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by CareyBot

Identity theft accounted for 39 percent of the 635,173 consumer fraud complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2004, making it the top consumer complaint for five years in a row.   The major metropolitan areas with the highest per-capita rates of reported identity theft were Phoenix-Mesa Scottsdale, Ariz.; Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.; and Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.   "These are real people who have lost real money and the FTC offers them a direct link to finding a solution," said Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras.   Consumers can file fraud and identity theft complaints at the FTC Web site. The agency enters the information into its Consumer Sentinel database, which is accessible to more than 1,200 law enforcement agencies.   According to the FT...