Over 81 million Americans shopped online on Cyber Monday, with sales totaling $6.6 billion, the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, according to Adobe Analytics.
With more consumers shopping online or on mobile devices—the fastest-growing channel of e-commerce, according to ComScore—fraudsters have migrated their activity to take advantage. (See also: Ecommerce Fraud: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself)
Experian analyzed millions of online transactions from the first six months of 2017 to identify fraud attempts online and identified the states and zip codes with the highest rates of attack based on attempted fraudulent e-commerce transactions.
Many of the higher-risk states, cities, and ZIP™ codes are located near a coast, large port-of-entry city or airport, making them ideal locations for reshipping fraudulent items. Among states, Oregon, Delaware, Florida and New York each ranked in the top-10 for both shipping and billing fraud.
|Shipping: Riskiest States|
|Billing: Riskiest States|
The top-ranked cities for online shopping fraud included Miami, Houston, Portland, and Los Angeles. These cities perhaps allow criminals to move stolen goods more effectively near ports and international airports.
Billing fraud occurs when the suspected victim's address is tied to the payment account used to purchase the stolen goods. Typically items are bought using the victim's billing address but then shipped to an address where the fraudster can pick up the items. Billing fraud is not location specific and can happen all across the country, whereas as shipping fraud—when the delivery address used for the purchased good is actually for the fraudsters—tends to happen in certain areas near the coast or port cities.
The top-ranked ZIP codes™ for online shopping fraud
Diving further into the top ZIP code™ rankings for online shopping fraud and you see that Miami, Fla., makes up a significant portion of the list. In fact, several of the same ZIP codes are on both lists. The other common ZIP Code™ that appeared on both lists is from South El Monte, Calif., home to a large number of industrial properties that are frequently targeted by fraudsters to send packages and then reship overseas.
|Shipping: Top 10 riskiest ZIP™ Codes|
|ZIP Code||Attack rate|
|33122 [Miami, FL]||2409.4|
|91733 [South El Monte, CA]||1655.5|
|33198 [Miami, FL]||1295.2|
|33166 [Miami, FL]||1266.0|
|33195 [Miami, FL]||1037.3|
|33192 [Miami, FL]||893.9|
|97251 [Portland, OR]||890.6|
|07064 [Port Reading, NJ]||808.9|
|89423 [Minden, NV]||685.5|
|77072 [Houston, TX]||629.3|
|Billing: Top 10 riskiest ZIP™ Codes|
|ZIP Code||Attack rate|
|77060 [Houston, TX]||1337.6|
|33198 [Miami, FL]||1215.6|
|33122 [Miami, FL]||1106.2|
|33166 [Miami, FL]||1037.4|
|91733 [South El Monte, CA]||780.1|
|33195 [Miami, FL]||713.7|
|97252 [Portland, OR]||670.8|
|33191 [Miami, FL]||598.8|
|33708 [St. Petersburg, FL]||563.6|
|33792 [Miami, FL]||493.0|
How can I protect myself from online shopping fraud?
Consumers can protect themselves from online shopping fraud by following these tips to maintain peace of mind while shopping online:
- Shop on sites that offer secure protection for your payment and personal information.
- Actively monitoring your online accounts for any charges you don't recognize.
- Use two-factor authentication when possible to secure account access.
- Always create strong, unique passwords.
- Use Tracking Numbers to confirm your order status and that the item is headed to the proper destination.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
This article was originally published on December 7, 2017, and has been updated.