The ease of shopping for the customers and a large, ready-to-tap customer base for the sellers is driving the prolific growth of ecommerce, which is estimated to grow to $4.48 trillion by 2021. Low barriers to entry, significantly lower investments and ability to reach out to a global customer base are some of the reasons more and more sellers are choosing ecommerce platforms to grow their business.
However, these same reasons give a chance to the bad actors to exploit these platforms. Scammers create fake seller profiles which they use to sell fake and/or counterfeit items. They also post details of expensive items—that do not actually exist—and offer large discounts to make the offer hard-to-put down. When a buyer makes the payment, these scammers escape with the money while the buyer keeps waiting endlessly for the items that never arrive.
Scammers often copy posts and pictures from genuine sellers and post them on other platforms or social media. When a prospective buyer clicks the post, she is directed to a fake lookalike website, which is used to phish out customer credentials. Usually these fake websites are up for a short duration and by the time a buyer realizes she may have been duped, the website vanishes. To make matters worse, tech-savvy scammers keep changing the IP addresses, which makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to catch them. Bad actors also use advanced evasion techniques to avoid detection and escape.
Protecting the Users
Since it is the ecommerce platforms that run the risk of losing users—both buyers and sellers—they must ensure that their platform is secure and safe for all users. Therefore, they are trying to spread awareness about the rising menace of ecommerce scams through messages on their platforms. These messages warn customers of the possible scams they should be wary of in order to prevent falling prey to these scams. Ecommerce platforms also advise customers to avoid sending money to anyone posing as a representative of the company.
The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
She can be reached on LinkedIn.