Technological solutions assist consumers only in reducing the risk of what might be termed systems deception. Systems deception refers generally to techniques, such as data harvesting and intrusion techniques, that are intended to evade computer security measures rather than to direct false or deceptive information at human beings. Such techniques, if used by fraudulent schemes, would be employed to obtain valuable personal data, especially access devices such as credit card numbers, without the knowledge or consent of the consumer to whom those numbers are assigned. In general, personal deception - that is, the presentation of deceptive or fraudulent information to consumers, in conjunction with various influence techniques to secure their trust - is far less amenable to technological remedies. Indeed, in certain circumstances, criminals could combine techniques of systems deception, such as the use of "frame-spoofing" or "Trojan horses," with personal deception to carry out fraudulent or deceptive practices in e-commerce.
Offline merchants in a local community who alienate their customer bases will not obtain repeat customers, and will go out of business, losing their investment in the process. The global reach of the Internet, however, can encourage a dishonest business person, if he is interested only in maximizing short-term profits, to abandon any concern with "good will" or repeat business when millions of potential customers can be contacted with a few keystrokes. In addition, the cost of creating a superficially impressive Web site for that purpose, or abandoning that site after sufficient funds have been obtained from many victims, is extremely low, and therefore poses no real deterence to the dishonest Web site operator's activities.