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Identity Theft & E-Commerce


“The power of choosing good and bad is within the reach of all. ” 

From the moment the internet got introduced, E-commerce took its baby steps and along with it, so did the unfortunate among us, the hackers. The internet with all its merits serves as the dealer of doom as well as an integral medium through which hackers may invade the privacy  of numerous individuals and access their personal information to be used by them for  carrying out their personal objectives. The series of increasing online identity frauds have been up due to the inefficient privacy laws and lack of policies imposed on  businesses in order to safeguard personal information of individuals. 

The economy and e-commerce in a better sense has taken a huge hit due to the growth of  identity theft cases resulting in loss of billions of dollars every year by individuals and  businesses. Businesses on the other hand have seen quite a decline in their customers and  sales as people are hesitant to engage in such e-commerce transactions due to the risk of  getting ripped off.  

What needs to be promoted are ways to carry on such online transactions without falling into  a trap and the government in particular through FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is  implementing such mechanisms and carrying out social campaigns with the aim to teach  consumers prevention and handling while carrying out e-commerce transactions. 


Taking a hint from the topic, our identity and our recognition are the weapons of the outcasts,  their easy access to our socials, financial records and other personal information are used by  them to impersonate us in order to conduct transactions without our knowledge. With  everyday passing by, victims lose thousands of dollars for compensation and restoration of  their uprooted lives by these thieves.  

With these felons running around the block, rate of consumers becoming wary of such e-commerce transactions has been increasing with a major share of them completely such  transactions all together. 

Companies that are handlers of such e-commerce transactions need to provide surety to their  consumers that their information will be handled with integrity and their personal information  will not fall into false hands for wrongful usage. 

Also some laws may be enacted, which may persuade companies and businesses enabling  them to protect consumer confidentiality and allow for fast correction of credit documents.

To slip into a little detail about the ways used by the fraudsters to exploit their victims, to  embark with the simple and traditional one of stealing credit cards, identity cards in pickpocketing incidents and even housebreakings. 

To mention a creative one, criminals often use the course of dumpster diving whose  explanation may be in the title itself, mainly in which they search through the person’s trash  in order to find personal information about them and enjoy the benefit of gathering pre-approved credit card applications helping them through it all. 

In various cases the criminals may eavesdrop on potential victims when they are giving out  their credit information to a hotel or a rental agency without the awareness of their  surroundings. Also with the technological up rise many people have not acquired the usage of  smartphones wisely and may respond to fraud SMS alerts or text messages that ask for their  personal information luring them through future benefits which makes it irresistible for them  to provide such information. To sum up these tactics may be very successful if used  effectively and may rob the victim of a life’s fortune without them having any sense of what  happened to them. 

Impact Of Identity Theft 

As a major crime in society, identity theft can be a cause of deep emotional impact on the  victim, stressing them and making them feel depressed while trying to recover from such  loss. These victims acquire a lifelong fear of engaging in e-commerce transactions as they are  fearful of having such incidents befalling on them again. Such victims continue to face  hardships even when the fraud has ceased while applying for new financing and bank  accounts. Considering all this, undoing damages by these criminals is a daunting process.  These thefts also take a huge hit on the economy as businesses suffer losses due to fraudulent  transactions and less trust between them and the consumer. 

Effect on E-Commerce 

E-commerce has taken a downfall with the rise in cases of identity theft with the sole reason  of high risk of being the next identity theft victims no matter how careful they may be. Fact  being that according to reports the criminals tend to use traditional methods of identity theft, 

still the consumer being a precautionary one avoid participating in online transactions in fear  of joining the club of those of the sufferers. This mainly has a negative impact on companies  such as PayPal, Amazon who rely heavily on online transactions and are suffering losses due  to the ongoing felonies. 


In a nutshell, identity theft has been an increasing concern in this fast moving and  technological upgradable environment. It has resulted in great losses for businesses and left  its victims in distress. The need to control and cure it has been the main concern for which 

various laws may be enacted and a constant eye may be kept on it for its fast removal from  the society. 


The likelihood of becoming a victim of identity theft reduces the extent to which an  individual safeguards their personal information. Consumers should be cautious in their  online dealings, rather than avoiding e-commerce, given its practical advantages. If a person  believes they are a victim of identity fraud, they should move quickly to minimize the harm  that the criminal may cause. 

The individual could report to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), or contact other  appropriate agencies that may assist the individual. Consumers should feel safer conducting  transactions online now that the government is continually developing new laws to combat  cybercrime. 

Work Cited

IvyPanda. (2019, March 3). Identity Theft and E-commerce. Retrieved from

By Prisha Gupta

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