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Between June 2011 and 2012, China's Internet population reached 538 million, of which some 194 million had shopped online. Online retail sales in China have soared in recent years and are expected to hit $360 billion by 2015 - up from about $121 billion in 2011 - according to The Boston Consulting Group.
Impressive as the numbers are, there's another set of statistics that's even more striking: Nearly one-third of the online shoppers in China fell prey to fraudulent websites during that period, costing them $4.7 billion, according to the China Electronic Commerce Association.
The tricks deceptive online sellers use to swindle unsuspecting customers are many. But cyber-crime spans many more fraudulent activities than just deceptive sellers. Without safeguards against the peddling of counterfeit goods, bogus websites, stolen payment card data and other tricks of the trade, cyber-crime can erode consumer confidence and stifle legitimate online business. The good news is that both the will and the means to deal with the problem exist.