1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
E-commerce is more than just electronics and commerce added together. It represents an entirely new way of doing business over a medium that changes the very rules of doing business. It is therefore, far more about strategy and business management than it is about technology. E-commerce and the internet, if correctly utilized for development, can be instruments for ensuring future sustainable economic growth. Throughout the world, the profound impact of electronic commerce in the economics and societies of the glob will no doubt improve economic efficiency, competitiveness, and profitability (for those engaging in e-commerce) and, therefore result in the development of the information society. E-commerce and the new emerging digital technologies and services can be tools for development and help improve the livelihood of millions across the globe, by linking up remote regions and bringing together scientist, administrators development professionals, managers, and people into projects and programmes to promote economic and social development. The general category of e-commerce can be broken down into two parts. 1. E-merchandise: selling goods and services electronically and moving items through distribution channels, for example through internet shopping for groceries, tickets, music, cloths, hardware, travel, book, flower or gifts. 2. E-finance: banking, debit cards, smart cards, banking machines, telephone and internet banking, insurance, financial service and mortgages on-line. Farooq Ahmed  reported that the enormous flexibility of the internet has made possible what is popularly called ecommerce, which has made inroads in the traditional method of business management. All facets the business tradition with which we are accustomed in physical environment can be now executed over the internet including online advertising, online ordering, publishing, banking, investment, auction and professional services. E-commerce involves conducting business using modern communication instrument: telephone, fax, e-payment, money transfer systems, e-data inter-change and the internet. E-commerce is not only a new technology and a new frontier for global business and trade, it is also still evolving. It is essential, therefore for Nigerians to understand in detail what e-commerce is, what are their challenges, and opportunities it holds, lastly what can be done to harness the benefits from e-commerce. Fraud is a crime of using dishonest methods in order to obtain something from someone else (Provost, 2012; Wilson et al., 2014). Through this day of information technological development, users and consumers are more susceptible towards online fraud and scams. Scams are a dishonest action or actions of fraud that are taken by an individual or group towards another individual. Internet fraud on the other hand is the use of internet services or software with the usage of internet to defraud their victims in order to take advantage of them (FBI, 2016). Internet fraud can be through the following high profile methods such as business e-mails, data breach, and denial of service, e-mail account compromise, malware, scareware, phishing, spoofing, and ransomware (Jayabalan, Ibrahim, & Manaf, 2014). Other natures of internet fraud include business fraud, credit card fraud, internet auction fraud, investment schemes (Abdallah, Maarof, & Zainal, 2016), Nigerian letter frauds and non-delivery merchandise (Wada, 2011). The trend of e-commerce initially began in the early 90’s, the concept was made possible through the electronic data interchange (EDI) of whereby the exchange of business transaction or documents was between computers was made possible. Prior to the EDI was the existence of Advanced Research Project Agency Computer Network (ARPANET) which was at the beginning a research tool. The term eventually evolved towards Internet in the early 80’s of the Internet Protocol (IP) was the method of transferring data through between computers. Information was shared and exchanged equally. The initial users of the Internet were mainly researchers of universities as they had the capabilities to access and interact with the necessary equipment to access the internet (Eccleson, 2009). The World Wide Web (WWW) was the revolution of the Internet (Gefen, 2012). Through the creation of hypertext mark-up language (HTML) and addresses which places the uniform resource locators (URLs), the internet has become the interactive that it became in this year 2017 (Eccleson, 2009). The accessibility to the WWW has made it possible to have the graphical and virtual space to interact with various users over the Internet (World-Bank, 2015). Through this possibility, the interactions of businesses were made possible. The use of e-commerce can be beneficial or disadvantages towards the user.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The electronic payment system is a major pre-requisite for e-commerce implementation, but the Nigerian economy is largely cash-based with over 90% of funds in circulation. Thus payment for goods and services is mostly by cash due to reasons largely attributed to ignorance, illiteracy and lack of adequate infrastructure to guarantee availability and security of transactions (Ojo 2004, Ovia 2015, and Bickersteth 2005). Other factors that are responsible for the low level of e-commerce participation is the image problem (Olesin 2006, and Ezeoha 2006a). Payment cards with origin from Nigeria are rejected outside because of the level of Internet fraud and Advance Fee Fraud known as 419. All these put together have influenced in one way or the other the implementation of e-commerce in Nigeria. The recent reform in the banking sector was responsible for the drastic reduction in the number of banks from 89 to 25 banks with strong capital base. The resulting banks are strong, vibrant and highly competitive and are operating at the cutting-edge of ICT. Thus, these banks are expected to bring about a radical change towards embracing e-banking culture, particularly, the use of e-payment system.
1.3. AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine global e-commerce fraud: role of technology evolution and economic condition. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the level of global e-commerce in Nigeria.
2. To examine the types of e-commerce fraud globally.
3. To examine the impact of technology evolution on global e-commerce fraud.
4. To examine the role of technology evolution and economic condition on the global e-commerce fraud.
5. To examine the relationship between e-commerce fraud and role of technology evolution and economic condition of the nation.
6. To examine ways of reducing e-commerce fraud in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the level of global e-commerce in Nigeria?
2. What are the types of e-commerce fraud globally?
3. What are the impacts of technology evolution on global e-commerce fraud?
4. What are the roles of technology evolution and economic condition on the global e-commerce fraud?
5. What is the relationship between e-commerce fraud and role of technology evolution and economic condition of the nation?
6. What are the possible ways of reducing e-commerce fraud in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study’s significance can be stated as follows. It provides a clearer picture of the integration between the notion of trust and cyber-fraud perception with theory of planned behaviour based on empirical evidence of e-commerce applications in a developing country such as Nigeria. It highlights a critical construct in terms of a contribution to foster adoption of e-commerce by customers. It provides an integrated model to predict customers’ intentions to adopt ecommerce as a medium for transactions. This paper can be used as useful citation source for many other researches or practitioners who are interested in studying the role of technology and economic condition in global e-commerce fraud.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the global e-commerce fraud: role of technology evolution and economic condition, a case study of ministry of science and technology, Lagos state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
E-commerce: Is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. These business transactions occur either as business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business.
Fraud: The activity of obtaining money illegally using the Internet. The term refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses email, websites, chat rooms, or any Internet related means to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme.
Technology:The branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelationwith life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering,applied science, and pure science.
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