Online Auction Fraud: Ethical Perspective

Journal of Business Ethics 79 (3):235-244 (2008)

Abstract
Internet fraud is an issue that increasingly concerns regulators, consumers, firms, and business ethics researchers. In this article, we examine one common form of internet fraud, the practice of shill bidding (when a seller in an auction enters a bid on his or her own item). The significant incidence of shill bidding on eBay (in spite of the fact that it is illegal just as it is in live auctions) exemplifies the current ineffectiveness of regulatory means as well as the lack of effective societal mechanisms to prevent online fraud. Further, the proliferation of shill bidding along with other types of internet fraud may have broader implications. If unethical behavior such as shill bidding becomes too widespread on the internet, regulators and other societal forces may deem it necessary to institute controls that will impact the entire online marketplace as well as the future development and regulation of business activities on the internet. Our results indicate that shill bidding is perpetrated on eBay significantly more often than 0.1% rate of fraud estimated by the firm. This suggests that regulators, users, and others stakeholders may become concerned enough to act. The impact of those responses on the internet of the future may affect a broad array of users beyond the unethical sellers on eBay.
Keywords internet fraud  shill bidding  online auctions
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9374-8
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References found in this work BETA

Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace.Richard Spinello - 2005 - Journal of Information Ethics 14 (1):70-90.
The Nature of and Conditions for Online Trust.Daryl Koehn - 2003 - Journal of Business Ethics 43 (1/2):3 - 19.
Ethical Issues in Electronic Comemrce.Bette Ann Stead & Jackie Gilbert - 2001 - Journal of Business Ethics 34 (2):75 - 85.

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