What do people complain about to the Federal Trade Commission? The FTC just announced its top complaint categories for 2018 -- and imposter scams topped the list. These are often scams where people claim to be from a government agency, such as the IRS or the Social Security Administration, and trick people into turning over money or personal information.

The FTC received about three million complaints from consumers in 2018. Here are the top dozen complaint categories:

  • Imposter scams
  • Debt collection
  • Identify theft
  • Telephone and mobile services
  • Shop-at-home and catalog sales
  • Banks and lenders
  • Credit bureaus, information furnishers, and report users
  • Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries
  • Auto related
  • Internet services
  • Credit cards
  • Health care

Why is this important to know about? The FTC only has limited resources, so it needs to decide where to focus its enforcement efforts. Understanding what the top consumer complaint areas are is often a great way to predict what the FTC's priories will be in the coming year.