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It is important to establish some causes, effects, and factors of online shopping scams through past researches and even first-hand experiences of the scammed buyers. Scammers use the latest technology to set up fake retailer websites that look like genuine online retail stores. They may use sophisticated designs and layouts, possibly stolen logos. In the world of e-commerce, bogus sellers would put up fake online shops together with their fake identities and after fooling their victims, they would just disappear like a bubble. So what might be the possible causes, effects, and factors of the presence of bogus sellers?
Amazon is one of the largest international electronic commerce companies who ships millions of product from the US around the world. With its international scope, Amazon is more prone and open to scams and every bogus seller can take advantage of it. A seller opens a new merchant account on Amazon, which is incredibly easy to do and does not entail any sort of vetting process, and then begins selecting a large amount of popular items to sell at unbelievably low prices, which they can do with a few clicks using Amazon’s streamlined seller’s platform. When a customer places an order, the seller claims that the item was shipped and will arrive in around three or four weeks, and often provides a false tracking number. But they don’t actually ever ship anything. They merely sit back and wait for Amazon’s two-week payment cycle to run its course, whereupon they collect their cash. The customer often doesn’t get suspicious until after the scheduled delivery date, which is often enough time for the scammer to make off with the money. Nationally, according to ACG Acting Director, Police Senior Superintendent Marni C Marcos Jr., the group has investigated a total of 555 online scam cases from 2016 up to present which falls under the Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code or Swindling. 44 of the 555 total online scam cases covers the period of year 2017 up to present. These were reported complaints include online transactions most especially online selling and buying.
A local incident of bogus selling also happened when a man used someone else’s identity on Facebook to scam not only the seller, but also the buyers. Jocel Acain Bejerano, 26, resident of Purok Pagasa Seminary Drive in Barangay West in Tagum City, was charged with Lations of Section 4 (Cybercrime Offenses) of the Republic Act 10175 or The Cybercrime Law, and Article 315 (Using of Fictitious Name) of the Revised Penal Code. Bejerano was charged based on the complaint of the victim Jonathan Sollos Paorco, 26, a resident of San Gabriel Creek in Buhangin District in Davao City, that the former took advantage and used his name and photos as “bogus-buyer and bogus seller” online. Social network businesses face a homologous problem; they depend on their users to post accurate profiles. Just like in the physical world, trust in the online world is often misplaced; not everyone honors promises. Second, trust creates the conditions for its own abuse; a person cannot be duped unless she trusts a scammer in the first place. The convenience of the internet specifically the social media really makes it way easier for the bogus sellers to sign up and then sign off with their evil schemes. Moreover, results show that trustworthiness promotes both intention to buy and actual financial risk taking. Perceived risk was not found to moderate the relationship between trustworthiness and intention to buy. Instead, trustworthiness partially mediated the influence of perceived risk on intention to buy.
While the above studies provide valuable information regarding the presence of bogus sellers in the world of e-commerce, caution is highly suggested to be exercised when shopping online and dealing with sellers.
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