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  • Mysterious city codes in GA4: What's going on?

    Posted by Lucas on 4 May 2022 at 7:28 am

    Hey there – got a bit of a puzzle on my hands and was wondering if anyone’s found themselves in a similar situation before? So, here’s the lowdown: When I’m on GA4, and I’m looking at who’s accessing my application, I’m seeing this city, “91471,” pop up a lot. Seems a tad strange, right? I mean, last time I checked cities went by names, not numbers. Everywhere else is showing up with usual city names like New York.

    The real-time view is giving me the same story. I’ve even checked it out on the map, and this 91471 seems to be in Germany. Now, this is where it gets weird. I’ve got absolutely no reason to have anyone in Germany accessing my application; it’s strictly for an internal set of users and they have to log in to use it.

    I’m scratching my head trying to figure out why this place is showing up as a number and whether I should brush it off as a fluke or start worrying. I’ve already made everyone change their passwords, set up multi-factor authentication for logins, and even blocked Germany from accessing the thing altogether!

    So, has anyone else had the same kind of thing happen or got any idea of what’s going on here? You’d really be helping me out.

    Gurdeep replied 11 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Sophia

    Member
    5 December 2022 at 8:44 pm

    It seems like you’re facing an unusual situation. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) showing a number instead of a city name might appear strange, but there could be possible explanations for it. A potential reason could be that the number you’re seeing is actually a ZIP code. In your case, this might indicate a small or less-populated town in Germany that isn’t registered with a recognizable city name in the analytics API, hence it’s showing the ZIP code. If you’re certain that no one from Germany should be accessing your application, the traffic could be from VPN users or perhaps bots running from German servers. Since you’ve already taken serious security measures, you could wait and see if the unusual data persists or cease after these changes. If it continues, it might be worth getting in touch with Google support or further investigating network logs and traffic sources to identify the cause.

  • Gurdeep

    Member
    4 February 2023 at 2:21 am

    The “91471” you’re seeing is likely not a city, but a ZIP/postal code, hence it’s appearing as a number. Google Analytics attributes traffic to the location of the internet service provider (ISP), not the actual physical location of the individual accessing your application. It’s highly likely that the ISP is based in Germany, even if your users are not. The “91471” may also could be related to an anonymization of user data that Google Analytics applied, in compliance with data privacy regulations, like GDPR in Europe. That being said, precautionary measures like multi-factor authentication and password changes are always a good idea when any suspicion is raised. It would also be beneficial to further investigate on your server logs for any irregular login behavior.

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