Online shopping fraud surged 30 percent last year, according to new research from Experian, one of the three major consumer reporting agencies.
The spike was driven by increases in shipping fraud, which occurs when criminals use their address for the delivery of stolen goods, and billing fraud, which happens when a victim’s address is tied to a payment account used to purchase stolen items.
According to Experian, Delaware and Oregon were the riskiest states for both billing and shipping fraud for the second year in a row.
The states are considered high-risk areas because they have cities near large ports and international airports, making them ideal locations to re-ship fraudulent merchandise.
However, online shopping fraud is not limited to coastal areas. Montana, South Dakota, Colorado and Utah each saw their rates double from 2016.
The increase in shipping and billing fraud is also tied to data breaches that have made personal information more accessible to criminals. Identity theft affected a record 16.7 million consumers last year, according to data included in Experian’s report.