Uncanny location proximity in web ads

I’ve noticed over the past several months a number of advertisements on web sites that are in a “hot girlz in Boston” and/or Brookline (a city just outside of Boston) format, which had me quite worried about spyware issues. For a while, I’ve been convinced that there has been some sort of cookie or other malware broadcasting to the world “hey, this guy lives in Boston!” I’ve run every conceiveable spyware removal tool, deleted cookies, turned off cookies, etc, yet I still see these ads. They’re not always on those types of web sites, either. Respectable sites seem to have the same ads.

Recently, though, it struck me - I don’t live in Boston or Brookline, I live in southeastern Massachusetts (down by Fall River, for those that know the area) - about 50 miles from Boston and Brookline. Lived here my whole life. I don’t know of anything I’ve ever typed or clicked that would give the impression that I live in Boston or Brookline. I could see, perhaps, something Bostony appearing (I mean, it is our capital and all), but Brookline? That’s a random enough city name that I definately would have remembered such an event.

My question rambles to this - is it perhaps my IP address that’s connecting me with Boston and Brookline? My ISP is Verizon DSL. Is it possible that my IP is registered in either or both of those two cities, and thus causing the ads to target me as a resident of there? Or is there something more sinister going on that I should consider looking into? Or am I just completely paranoid and should consider professional help?

That’s exactly it. Those types of ads are notorious for using IP geolocation, which is not terribly accurate since the IP may be associated with a network access point one or two towns over or more.

See how this site does: http://www.ip2location.com/

Outstanding! Thanks for the help.

control-z, the site you linked to says I’m in Hudson, MA on a Verizon line. As with Boston and Brookline, Hudson is about 80 miles away. I feel much better now.

I’m always amused to see pictures of blonde, buxom lasses with the caption, “HOT GIRLZ IN TAIPEI”.

Hmm. That site said I was in Hamilton, Ontario. I don’t believe that’s the case. I don’t have a static IP, so I’m sure that’s what’s throwing things off, but I wonder why it thinks I’m in CANADA?

One of the fora I used to visit (via Cablevision) thought I was in Torrington, CT. I went with it - told folks I managed an apartment building there. I’ve never been there.