A new study has identified Arizona as the seventh worst state in the country for cybercrime. This translates into more than 60,000 Arizonans reporting cybercrimes totaling over $20 million last year. What’s surprising about this, at least at first glance, is that Arizona has just over 2% of the nation’s population, and ranks 14th in that department. You’d expect, for example, that the most populous states – California, Texas, Florida and New York – to have a relatively high percentage of crimes on the internet. After all, they total about a third of the population of the entire country. The question, is, why does the rate in Arizona appear to be out of sync with number of people who live here? And does where you live, your age, and your gender have anything to do with it?
Geographical, Gender and Age Factors in Cybercrime
If you look at a map of the United States that shows, by state, the level of cybercrime, which gender is most often the target, and the age range of the most victims, this is how the information breaks down among the top 10 or so states with the highest rates of cybercrime:
- Gender. The sexists in the country will be surprised to learn that in most of the high cybercrime states, the victims are more often men than women, and by a fairly large margin. Only three of the top 11 states show more female victims than male.
- Age. While you might expect the elderly to be by far the primary targets of cybercrime, the age of the victim appears not to be all that significant. Most victims range in age from 30 to 60+. And while the most victimized age in Arizona is the over 60 group, in Texas the primary targets are between the ages of 30 and 39.
- Location. Perhaps the biggest surprise in all these figures is that a significant number of the highest cybercrime states are in the southwestern United States. They include not only Texas and California, but also Arizona, New Mexico (36th in population), and Nevada (33rd in population). Other western states on the high end of cybercrime are Colorado, Wyoming and Washington. The only high cybercrime state in the southeast is Florida.
While these figures are interesting, we suggest that what they really mean is that cybercrime is a crime of opportunity. Those who engage in internet crimes such as fraud and identity theft take victims as they find them. And what is clear is that whether the issue is age, gender or location, none of those factors offers protection or immunity from cybercrime.
The Feldman Law Firm PLLC
1 E. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004