The rapid growth of e-commerce sites and the popularity of them among individuals has been on a sharp rise over the last couple of years. A recent study conducted by Assocham and Grant Thornton says that the number of online shoppers is set to rise from 20 million in 2013 to 40 million in 2016 as an additional 200 million Indians will have access to internet by then.
$8.5 billion: The projected size of the Indian e-commerce market by 2016.
38 million: The expected number of users making online transactions in 2015, the report says.
While Indians are shopping online more than ever, they are also exposing themselves to the constant threat of online frauds.
The risks of e-transactions
- Internet security: One of the most critical risks that one faces is to compromise on personal information that someone may use for financial gains. Individuals need to be careful if the terminal and the website they are transacting on, is secure and they should also refrain from sharing personal information with untrusted sites. One must change the net-banking and credit card passwords frequently while transacting online.
- Beware of counterfeit goods: Since an e-commerce portal has thousands of vendors offering a product, buyers need to be wary of what they are buying. If the product is being offered at a price that is too good to be true then it probably is. There have been several instances of counterfeit products being sold online. Individuals must research about third party sellers before making a deal online.
- Disclosure issues: Online portals keep changing their free delivery conditions and while the delivery may be promised to be free, often there are terms and conditions which are not disclosed upfront. So while the cost of a product may be displayed as Rs 400, at the payment window a delivery charge of `50 might be added. So, watch out for the condition on free delivery. Also watch out if the manufacturer is offering warranty on the product or is it similar to what is being offered by your nearest retailer.