Folks from New Jersey and Pennsylvania are among the country's most cyber-stupid when it comes to Internet scams, according to a new study by The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a Virginia-based federal agency that tracks Internet fraud reports.
We ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in the center's Top 10 list of complaintants' home states; more than 7 percent, or about 22,000, of the 314,246 complaints filed last year with IC3 came from New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents. California has the most cyber-suckers, representing 12 percent, or 34,000 victims.
Internet scams cost Americans nearly $500 million last year, the IC3 found. Complaints rose 3.4 percent over 2010.
People fell for all sorts of scams, but the most common were FBI-related (bad guy poses as the FBI to defraud victims); identity theft; advance-fee (bad guy persuades victim to pay in advance for a promised good or service but then never delivers); and non-delivery (you never receive what you thought you bought). More than 23,000 people got stung in work-from-home and romance cons, according to the study.