Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser. Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly or by searching among alternative vendors using a shopping search engine, which displays the same product's availability and pricing at different e-retailers; as of 2016, customers can shop online using a range of different computers and devices, including desktop computers, tablet computers and smartphones. An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a regular "bricks-and-mortar" retailer or shopping center; when an online store is set up to enable businesses to buy from another businesses, the process is called business-to-business online shopping. A typical online store enables the customer to browse the firm's range of products and services, view photos or images of the products, along with information about the product specifications and prices.
Online stores enable shoppers to use "search" features to find specific models, brands or items. Online customers must have access to the Internet and a valid method of payment in order to complete a transaction, such as a credit card, an Interac-enabled debit card, or a service such as PayPal. For physical products, the e-tailer ships the products to the customer; the largest of these online retailing corporations are Alibaba, Amazon.com, eBay. Alternative names for the activity are "e-tailing", a shortened form of "electronic retail" or "e-shopping", a shortened form of "electronic shopping". An online store may be called an e-web-store, e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, online storefront and virtual store. Mobile commerce describes purchasing from an online retailer's mobile device-optimized website or software application; these websites or apps are designed to enable customers to browse through a companies' products and services on tablet computers and smartphones.
One of the earliest forms of trade conducted online was IBM's online transaction processing developed in the 1960s and it allowed the processing of financial transactions in real-time. The computerized ticket reservation system developed for American Airlines called Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment was one of its applications. Here, computer terminals located in different travel agencies were linked to a large IBM mainframe computer, which processed transactions and coordinated them so that all travel agents had access to the same information at the same time; the emergence of online shopping as we know today developed with the emergence of the Internet. This platform only functioned as an advertising tool for companies, providing information about its products, it moved on from this simple utility to actual online shopping transaction due to the development of interactive Web pages and secure transmissions. The growth of the internet as a secure shopping channel has developed since 1994, with the first sales of Sting album'Ten Summoner's Tales'.
Wine and flowers soon followed and were among the pioneering retail categories which fueled the growth of online shopping. Researchers found that having products that are appropriate for e-commerce was a key indicator of Internet success. Many of these products did well as they are generic products which shoppers did not need to touch and feel in order to buy, but importantly, in the early days, there were few shoppers online and they were from a narrow segment: affluent, male, 30+. Online shopping has come along way since these early days and -in the UK- accounts for significant percents; as the revenues from online sales continued to grow researchers identified different types of online shoppers, Rohm & Swaninathan identified four categories and named them "convenience shoppers, variety seekers, balanced buyers, store-oriented shoppers". They focused on shopping motivations and found that the variety of products available and the perceived convenience of the buying online experience were significant motivating factors.
This was different for offline shoppers, who were more motivated by time saving and recreational motives. Digital High Street 2020 English entrepreneur Michael Aldrich was a pioneer of online shopping in 1979, his system connected a modified domestic TV to a real-time transaction processing computer via a domestic telephone line. He believed that videotex, the modified domestic TV technology with a simple menu-driven human–computer interface, was a'new, universally applicable, participative communication medium — the first since the invention of the telephone.' This enabled'closed' corporate information systems to be opened to'outside' correspondents not just for transaction processing but for e-messaging and information retrieval and dissemination known as e-business. His definition of the new mass communications medium as'participative' was fundamentally different from the traditional definitions of mass communication and mass media and a precursor to the social networking on the Internet 25 years later.
In March 1980 he launched Redifon's Office Revolution, which allowed consumers, agents, distributors and service companies to be connected on-line to the corporate systems and allow business transactions to be completed electronically in real-time. During the 1980s he
Wine fraud relates to the commercial aspects of wine. The most prevalent type of fraud is one where wines are adulterated with the addition of cheaper products and sometimes with harmful chemicals and sweeteners. Counterfeiting and the relabelling of inferior and cheaper wines to more expensive brands is another common type of wine fraud. A third category of wine fraud relates to the investment wine industry. An example of this is when wines are offered to investors at excessively high prices by a company who go into planned liquidation. In some cases the wine is never bought for the investor. Losses in the UK have been high, Police to act. In the US, investors have been duped by fraudulent investment wine firms. Independent guidelines to potential wine investors are now available. In wine production, as wine is technically defined as fermented grape juice, the term "wine fraud" can be used to describe the adulteration of wine by substances that are not related to grapes. In the retailing of wine, as wine is comparable with any other commodity, the term "wine fraud" can be used to describe the mis-selling of wine in general.
Fraud in wine production refers to the use of additives. This may include colouring agents such as elderberry juice, flavourings such as cinnamon at best, or less desirable additives at worst; some varieties of wine have sought after characteristics. For example some wines have a deep, dark color and flavor notes of spices due to the presence of various phenolic compounds found in the skin of the grapes. Fraudsters will use additives to artificially create these characteristics. Fraud in the selling of wine, has seen much attention focused on label fraud and the investment wine market. Counterfeit labelling of rare and cult wines, unregulated investment wine firms characterise this type of fraud. Wine Spectator noted as much as 5% of the wine sold in secondary markets could be counterfeit and the DTI believes losses by investors to rogue wine investment firms amount to hundreds of millions of pounds. For as long as wine has been made, it has been manipulated and counterfeited. In ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder complained about the abundance of fraudulent Roman wine, so great that the nobility could not be assured that the wine they were pouring on their table was genuine.
For the poor and middle class of Rome, local bar establishments seemed to have an unlimited supply of the prestigious Falernian wine for unusually low prices. During the Middle Ages, wines from questionable origins were passed off as wines from more prestigious regions. In London, local authorities established laws for tavern owners prohibiting French and German wines from being cellared together so as to prevent the potential for mixing the wines or falsely representing them to the consumer. If a producer or merchant was found selling fraudulent or "corrupt wine", they were forced to drink all of it. In medieval Germany, the penalty for selling fraudulent wine ranged from branding to beating to death by hanging. During the Age of Enlightenment, advancements in science ushered in a new occupation of "wine doctors" who could fashion examples of wines from obscure items and chemicals. Writers like Joseph Addison wrote of this "fraternity of chymical operators" who would use apples to make Champagne and sloe to make Bordeaux and sell these wines fraudulently on the market.
Following the Phylloxera epidemic, when true wine was scarce, wine fraud rose. Some merchants would take dried raisins grown from other species of grapevines and make wine that they passed off as being from a more prestigious provenance such as the more well known wines from France or Italy. In the early 19th century, several European writers wrote about the risk and prevalence of wine fraud. In 1820, German chemist Friedrich Accum noted that wine was one of the commodities most at risk for being fraudulently manipulated and misrepresented. In 1833, the British wine writer Cyrus Redding echoed the alarm over the unchecked operations of these "wine doctors"; the concern over wine fraud grew enough that provisions against the adulteration and misrepresentation of wine was included in British Parliament's Adulteration of Food and Drink Act 1860. Several European governments enacted legislation defining what constitutes "wine" so as to distinguish authentic winemaking from the workings of these wine counterfeiters.
The French government first defined wine as the product of fermented grape juice in 1889, followed by the German government in 1892 and the Italian government in 1904. Fraud of a different nature occurred during prohibition in the United States, when wine production was illegal, as grape merchants would sell "bricks" of grape concentrate across the United States along with a packet of dried yeast; the bricks would come with a "warning label" cautioning people not to mix the contents of the brick, yeast and sugar in a pot and seal such pot for seven days, or else "an illegal alcoholic beverage will result". The practice of adding grape spirits to wine was once considered manipulative and fraudulent but today is accepted practice for the production of all fortified wines, like Port. Over the years, winemaking techniques have evolved; the first, primitive "natural wine" or "authentic wine" was most the result of crushed grapes being forgotten while stored in a container. The process of allowing wild yeast found on the surface of the grape conduct fermentation in an uncontrolled environment creates a crude style of wine that may not be palatable to many people
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements be present: consideration, a prize; the outcome of the wager is immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or an entire sports season. The term "gaming" in this context refers to instances in which the activity has been permitted by law; the two words are not mutually exclusive. However, this distinction is not universally observed in the English-speaking world. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the regulator of gambling activities is called the Gambling Commission; the word gaming is used more since the rise of computer and video games to describe activities that do not involve wagering online gaming, with the new usage still not having displaced the old usage as the primary definition in common dictionaries.
Gambling is a major international commercial activity, with the legal gambling market totaling an estimated $335 billion in 2009. In other forms, gambling can be conducted with materials which are not real money. For example, players of marbles games might wager marbles, games of Pogs or Magic: The Gathering can be played with the collectible game pieces as stakes, resulting in a meta-game regarding the value of a player's collection of pieces. Gambling dates back before written history. In Mesopotamia the earliest six-sided dice date to about 3000 BC. However, they were based on astragali dating back thousands of years earlier. In China, gambling houses were widespread in the first millennium BC, betting on fighting animals was common. Lotto games and dominoes appeared in China as early as the 10th century. Playing cards appeared in the ninth century in China. Records trace gambling in Japan back at least as far as the 14th century. Poker, the most popular U. S. card game associated with gambling, derives from the Persian game As-Nas, dating back to the 17th century.
The first known casino, the Ridotto, started operating in 1638 in Italy. Many jurisdictions, local as well as national, either ban gambling or control it by licensing the vendors; such regulation leads to gambling tourism and illegal gambling in the areas where it is not allowed. The involvement of governments, through regulation and taxation, has led to a close connection between many governments and gaming organizations, where legal gambling provides significant government revenue, such as in Monaco or Macau, China. There is legislation requiring that the odds in gaming devices be statistically random, to prevent manufacturers from making some high-payoff results impossible. Since these high-payoffs have low probability, a house bias can quite be missed unless the odds are checked carefully. Most jurisdictions that allow gambling require participants to be above a certain age. In some jurisdictions, the gambling age differs depending on the type of gambling. For example, in many American states one must be over 21 to enter a casino, but may buy a lottery ticket after turning 18.
Because contracts of insurance have many features in common with wagers, insurance contracts are distinguished under law as agreements in which either party has an interest in the "bet-upon" outcome beyond the specific financial terms. E.g.: a "bet" with an insurer on whether one's house will burn down is not gambling, but rather insurance – as the homeowner has an obvious interest in the continued existence of his/her home independent of the purely financial aspects of the "bet". Nonetheless, both insurance and gambling contracts are considered aleatory contracts under most legal systems, though they are subject to different types of regulation. Under common law English Law, a gambling contract may not give a casino bona fide purchaser status, permitting the recovery of stolen funds in some situations. In Lipkin Gorman v Karpnale Ltd, where a solicitor used stolen funds to gamble at a casino, the House of Lords overruled the High Court's previous verdict, adjudicating that the casino return the stolen funds less those subject to any change of position defence.
U. S. Law precedents are somewhat similar. For case law on recovery of gambling losses where the loser had stolen the funds see "Rights of owner of stolen money as against one who won it in gambling transaction from thief". An interesting wrinkle to these fact pattern is to ask what happens when the person trying to make recovery is the gambler's spouse, the money or property lost was either the spouse's, or was community property; this was a minor plot point in a Perry Mason novel, The Case of the Singing Skirt, it cites an actual case Novo v. Hotel Del Rio. Ancient Hindu poems like the Gambler's Lament and the Mahabharata testify to the popularity of gambling among ancient Indians. However, the text Arthashastra recommends control of gambling. Ancient Jewish authorities frowned on gambling disqualifying professional gamblers from testifying in court; the Catholic Church holds the position that there is no moral impediment to gambling, so long as it is fair, all bettors have a reasonable chance of winni
Electoral fraud, sometimes referred to as election fraud, election manipulation or vote rigging, is illegal interference with the process of an election, either by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. What constitutes electoral fraud varies from country to country. Many kinds of election fraud are outlawed in electoral legislations, but others are in violation of general laws, such as those banning assault, harassment or libel. Although technically the term'electoral fraud' covers only those acts which are illegal, the term is sometimes used to describe acts which are legal, but considered morally unacceptable, outside the spirit of an election or in violation of the principles of democracy. Show elections, containing only one candidate, are sometimes classified as electoral fraud, although they may comply with the law and are presented more as referendums. In national elections, successful electoral fraud can have the effect of a coup d'état or corruption of democracy.
In a narrow election, a small amount of fraud may be enough to change the result. If the outcome is not affected, the revelation of fraud can have a damaging effect, if not punished, as it can reduce voters' confidence in democracy. A list of threats to voting systems, or electoral fraud methods considered as sabotage are kept by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Electoral fraud can occur in advance of voting; the legality of this type of manipulation varies across jurisdictions. Deliberate manipulation of election outcomes is considered a violation of the principles of democracy. In many cases, it is possible for authorities to artificially control the composition of an electorate in order to produce a foregone result. One way of doing this is to move a large number of voters into the electorate prior to an election, for example by temporarily assigning them land or lodging them in flophouses. Many countries prevent this with rules stipulating that a voter must have lived in an electoral district for a minimum period in order to be eligible to vote there.
However, such laws can be used for demographic manipulation as they tend to disenfranchise those with no fixed address, such as the homeless, Roma and some casual workers. Another strategy is to permanently move people into an electoral district through public housing. If people eligible for public housing are to vote for a particular party they can either be concentrated into one area, thus making their votes count for less, or moved into marginal electorates, where they may tip the balance towards their preferred party. One notable example of this occurred in the City of Westminster in England under Shirley Porter. Immigration law may be used to manipulate electoral demography. For instance, Malaysia gave citizenship to immigrants from the neighboring Philippines and Indonesia, together with suffrage, in order for a political party to "dominate" the state of Sabah. A method of manipulating primary contests and other elections of party leaders are related to this. People who support one party may temporarily join another party in order to elect a weak candidate for that party's leadership.
The goal is to defeat the weak candidate in the general election by the leader of the party that the voter supports. There were claims that this method was being utilised in the UK Labour Party leadership election in 2015, where Conservative-leaning Toby Young encouraged Conservatives to join Labour and vote for Jeremy Corbyn in order to "consign Labour to electoral oblivion". Shortly after, #ToriesForCorbyn trended on Twitter; the composition of an electorate may be altered by disenfranchising some classes of people, rendering them unable to vote. In some cases, states have passed provisions that raised general barriers to voter registration, such as poll taxes and comprehension tests, record-keeping requirements, which in practice were applied against minority populations to discriminatory effect. From the turn of the century into the late 1960s, most African Americans in the southern states of the former Confederacy were disenfranchised by such measures. Corrupt election officials may misuse voting regulations such as a literacy test or requirement for proof of identity or address in such a way as to make it difficult or impossible for their targets to cast a vote.
If such practices discriminate against a religious or ethnic group, they may so distort the political process that the political order becomes grossly unrepresentative, as in the post-Reconstruction or Jim Crow era until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Felons have been disenfranchised in many states as a strategy to prevent African Americans from voting. Groups may be disenfranchised by rules which make it impractical or impossible for them to cast a vote. For example, requiring people to vote within their electorate may disenfranchise serving military personnel, prison inmates, hospital patients or anyone else who cannot return to their homes. Polling can be set for inconvenient days, such as midweek or on holy days of religious groups: for example on the Sabbath or other holy days of a religious group whose teachings determine that voting is a prohibited on such a day. Communities may be disenfranchised if polling places are situated in areas perceived by voters as unsafe, or are not provided within reasonable proximity.
In some cases, voters may be invalidly disenfranchised, true electoral fraud. For example, a legitimate vo
Quackery synonymous with health fraud, is the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices. A quack is a "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill" or "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, qualification or credentials they do not possess; the term quack is a clipped form of the archaic term quacksalver, from Dutch: kwakzalver a "hawker of salve". In the Middle Ages the term quack meant "shouting"; the quacksalvers sold their wares on the market shouting in a loud voice. Common elements of general quackery include questionable diagnoses using questionable diagnostic tests, as well as untested or refuted treatments for serious diseases such as cancer. Quackery is described as "health fraud" with the salient characteristic of aggressive promotion. Since it is difficult to distinguish between those who knowingly promote unproven medical therapies and those who are mistaken as to their effectiveness, United States courts have ruled in defamation cases that accusing someone of quackery or calling a practitioner a quack is not equivalent to accusing that person of committing medical fraud.
To be both quackery and fraud, the quack must know they are misrepresenting the benefits and risks of the medical services offered. In addition to the ethical problems of promising benefits that can not reasonably be expected to occur, quackery includes the risk that patients may choose to forego treatments that are more to help them, in favor of ineffective treatments given by the "quack". Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch defines quackery "as the promotion of unsubstantiated methods that lack a scientifically plausible rationale" and more broadly as: "anything involving overpromotion in the field of health." This definition would include questionable ideas as well as questionable products and services, regardless of the sincerity of their promoters. In line with this definition, the word "fraud" would be reserved only for situations in which deliberate deception is involved. Paul Offit has proposed four ways in which alternative medicine "becomes quackery": "...by recommending against conventional therapies that are helpful."
"...by promoting harmful therapies without adequate warning." "...by draining patients' bank accounts..." "...by promoting magical thinking..." Unproven ineffective, sometimes dangerous medicines and treatments have been peddled throughout human history. Theatrical performances were sometimes given to enhance the credibility of purported medicines. Grandiose claims were made for what could be humble materials indeed: for example, in the mid-19th century revalenta arabica was advertised as having extraordinary restorative virtues as an empirical diet for invalids. Where no fraud was intended, quack remedies contained no effective ingredients whatsoever; some remedies contained substances such as opium and honey, which would have given symptomatic relief but had no curative properties. Some would have addictive qualities to entice the buyer to return; the few effective remedies sold by quacks included emetics and diuretics. Some ingredients did have medicinal effects: mercury and arsenic compounds may have helped some infections and infestations.
However, knowledge of appropriate uses and dosages was limited. The science-based medicine community has criticized the infiltration of alternative medicine into mainstream academic medicine and publications, accusing institutions of "diverting research time and other resources from more fruitful lines of investigation in order to pursue a theory that has no basis in biology." R. W. Donnell coined the phrase "quackademic medicine" to describe this attention given to alternative medicine by academia. Referring to the Flexner Report, he said that medical education "needs a good Flexnerian housecleaning."For example, David Gorski criticized Brian M. Berman, founder of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine, for writing that "There evidence that both real acupuncture and sham acupuncture more effective than no treatment and that acupuncture can be a useful supplement to other forms of conventional therapy for low back pain." He castigated editors and peer reviewers at the New England Journal of Medicine for allowing it to be published, since it recommended deliberately misleading patients in order to achieve a known placebo effect.
With little understanding of the causes and mechanisms of illnesses marketed "cures" referred to as patent medicines, first came to prominence during the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain and the British colonies, including those in North America. Daffy's Elixir and Turlington's Balsam were among the first products that used branding and mass marketing to create and maintain markets. A similar process occurred in other countries of Europe around the same time, for example with the marketing of Eau de Cologne as a cure-all medicine by Johann Maria Farina and his imitators. Patent medicines contained alcohol or opium, while not curing the diseases for which they were sold as a remedy, did make the imbibers feel better and confusedly appreciative of the product; the number of internationally marketed quack medicines
False billing is a fraudulent act of invoicing or otherwise requesting funds from an individual or firm without showing obligation to pay. Such notices are for example sent to owners of domain names, purporting to be legitimate renewal notices, although not originating from the owner's own registrar
Tax evasion is the illegal evasion of taxes by individuals and trusts. Tax evasion entails taxpayers deliberately misrepresenting the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits or gains than the amounts earned, or overstating deductions. Tax evasion is an activity associated with the informal economy. One measure of the extent of tax evasion is the amount of unreported income, the difference between the amount of income that should be reported to the tax authorities and the actual amount reported. In contrast, tax avoidance is the legal use of tax laws to reduce one's tax burden. Both tax evasion and avoidance can be viewed as forms of tax noncompliance, as they describe a range of activities that intend to subvert a state's tax system, although such classification of tax avoidance is not indisputable, given that avoidance is lawful, within self-creating systems. In 1968, Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker first theorized the economics of crime, on the basis of which authors M.
G. Allingham and A. Sandmo produced, in 1972, an economic model of tax evasion; this model deals with the evasion of income tax, the main source of tax revenue in developed countries. According to the authors, the level of evasion of income tax depends on the detection probability and the level of punishment provided by law; the literature's theoretical models are elegant in their effort to identify the variables to affect non-compliance. Alternative specifications, yield conflicting results concerning both the signs and magnitudes of variables believed to affect tax evasion. Empirical work is required to resolve the theoretical ambiguities. Income tax evasion appears to be positively influenced by the tax rate, the unemployment rate, the level of income and dissatisfaction with government; the U. S. Tax Reform Act of 1986 appears to have reduced tax evasion in the United States. In a 2017 study Alstadsæter et al. concluded based on random stratified audits and leaked data that occurrence of tax evasion rises as amount of wealth rises and that the richest are about 10 times more than average people to engage in tax avoidance.
Customs duties are an important source of revenue in developing countries. Importers purport to evade customs duty by under-invoicing and misdeclaration of quantity and product-description; when there is ad valorem import duty, the tax base can be reduced through underinvoicing. Misdeclaration of quantity is more relevant for products with specific duty. Production description is changed to match a H. S. Code commensurate with a lower rate of duty. Smuggling is exportation of foreign products by illegal means. Smuggling is resorted to for total evasion of customs duties, as well as for the importation of contraband. A smuggler does not have to pay any customs duty since smuggled products are not routed through customs-tax compliant customs ports, are therefore not subjected to declaration and, by extension, to the payment of duties and taxes. During the second half of the 20th century, value-added tax emerged as a modern form of consumption tax throughout the world, with the notable exception of the United States.
Producers who collect VAT from consumers may evade tax by under-reporting the amount of sales. The US has no broad-based consumption tax at the federal level, no state collects VAT. Canada uses both a VAT at sales taxes at the provincial level. In addition, most jurisdictions which levy a VAT or sales tax legally require their residents to report and pay the tax on items purchased in another jurisdiction; this means that consumers who purchase something in a lower-taxed or untaxed jurisdiction with the intention of avoiding VAT or sales tax in their home jurisdiction are technically breaking the law in most cases. This is prevalent in federal countries like the US and Canada where sub-national jurisdictions charge varying rates of VAT or sales tax. In liberal democracies, a fundamental problem with inhibiting evasion of local sales taxes is that liberal democracies, by their nature, have few border controls between their internal jurisdictions. Therefore, it is not cost-effective to enforce tax collection on low-value goods carried in private vehicles from one jurisdiction to another with a different tax rate.
However, sub-national governments will seek to collect sales tax on high-value items such as cars. Dennis Kozlowski is a notable figure for his alleged evasion of sales tax. What started as an investigation into Kozlowski's failure to declare art purchases for the purpose of evading New York state sales taxes led to Kozlowski's conviction and incarceration on more serious charges related to the misappropriation of funds during his tenure as CEO of Tyco International; the level of evasion depends on a number of factors, including the amount of money a person or a corporation possesses. Efforts to evade income tax decline when the amounts involved are lower; the level of evasion depends on the efficiency of the tax administration. Corruption by tax officials make it difficult to control evasion. Tax administrations use various means to reduce evasion and increase the level of enforcement: for example, privatization of tax enforcement or tax farming. In 2011 HMRC, the UK tax collection agency, stated that it would continue to crack down on tax evasion, with the goal of collecting £18 billion in revenue before 2015.
In 2010, HMRC began a voluntary amnesty program that targeted middle-