updated 4/18/2012 4:55:27 PM ET 2012-04-18T20:55:27

Fraudsters are taking a big bite out of visitors to the Big Apple, a new study by the security firm ThreatMetrix shows.

In a list of the top 10 cities in which online fraud originates, ThreatMetrix  researchers placed New York City at the head of the pack, edging out Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Omaha, Neb., for the infamous top slot.

Rounding out the top 10 cities are Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Washington, D.C., and Lexington, Ken.

ThreatMetrix analyzed a sample of nearly 1 billion transactions by e-commerce merchants in the first quarter of 2012 to devise its list. Researchers scored each transaction with a fraud risk of low, medium or high.

The study showed that in New York, online transactions are 1.5 times more likely to be at risk of fraud  than the No. 2 city Atlanta, and twice as likely as Chicago, the third-ranked city.

It's no shock that New York City topped the fraud list, ThreatMetrix chief products officer, Alisdair Faulkner, said. It's essentially a numbers game, and where are you going to find more people, and potential victims, than in the City that Never Sleeps?

"As fraudsters grow more sophisticated and expand globally, it's only natural that large cities with international profiles, easy access to shipping and high connectivity rates will become breeding grounds for new generations of cyberthreats, including both fraud and malware," Faulkner wrote.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved


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