Report: D.C. among top U.S. cities targeted by web scammers

Don\'t pick passwords with information hackers can easily find in public records. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON – When cyber crooks lay their online traps, D.C. computer addresses are among their favorites to target, according to a cybersecurity firm.

The scammers create phony websites to lure people into revealing financial or personal information, including credit card, bank account and Social Security numbers.

The cybersecurity firm ThreatMetrix says crooks choose computer addresses that might cloak their hoaxes in credibility. To that end, California’s Silicon Valley cities Santa Clara and San Jose top the list of the top 100 U.S. cities for fraudulent web addresses.

D.C. is No. 35 on the list.

“As cybercriminals become more sophisticated and identify new ways to compromise businesses and consumers, cities with high technology know-how and connectivity rates are more likely than ever to be attractive targets for cybercriminals. To protect against online fraud, any business operating online needs to take preventative measures and have a strategic fraud screening process in place,” Vice President of Product Management at ThreatMetrix Peter Liske said in a news release.

ThreatMetrix has based its findings on a sampling of transactions across more than 1,900 customers and 9,000 websites.

In 2012, D.C. ranked No. 9 on ThreatMetrix’s list of cities where online fraud originates.

View ThreatMetrix’s live streaming world map of web fraud on its website.

The top 10 U.S. cities for online fraud origination according to ThreatMetrix are:

  1. Santa Clara, Calif.
  2. San Jose, Calif.
  3. Chesterfield, Mo.
  4. New York
  5. Atlanta
  6. Fremont, Calif.
  7. Tempe, Ariz.
  8. Dallas
  9. Rochester, N.Y.
  10. Miami

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