Smartphones, with the developments in the information and communication technology arena, have made up the potential of a new type of economic activity known as e-commerce. Online marketplaces have been gaining popularity in the country as elsewhere in the world.It has created employment opportunities, enhanced the mobility of goods and services. This three-billion-taka industry has been contributing to the economy positively over the last couple of years.
However, according to a front-page report published in this newspaper yesterday, criminals have been using such online stores to safely market their stolen goods, including mobile phones, laptops and watches! Stories were cited in the report that police called buyers who bought second-hand mobile phones from virtual markets and recovered the same to hand over to their real owners. In such cases, buyers are the ultimate losers who not only face the hassles with the law enforcers but also have to hand over their purchased goods.
Since there is no system of verification for those who post a selling offer on an online shopping store, culprits have chosen these sites to implement their deceptive plots.
When victims realise that they are deceived, they cannot find any trace as criminals block all communication channels soon after sales of the stolen goods. Stolen mobile sets are traceable through their IMEI numbers and can be recovered but, other stolen goods that do not bear any such mark can be marketed easily through e-commerce sites!
The e-commerce industry has been flourishing and many vibrant foreign e-commerce companies have started investing in Bangladesh because of the huge potential in online trading with the rise in the number of smartphone users and the introduction of mobile and online transaction facilities. Rackets of frauds have been destroying this potential through some loopholes in these online e-commerce platforms.
Sometimes, what is offered through e-commerce sites does not match with what they deliver. If this situation continues, buyers will not find enough ground to believe in these online stores and the authenticity of what they offer. As a result, a prospective sector will lose its credibility and the economy will bear the burnt in the long run. Steps must be taken for the verification of identities of those who offer something online.