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Facebook Marketplace, Carousell get lowest anti-scam scores

CNA – Facebook Marketplace and Carousell were rated the lowest among six e-commerce platforms for their “critical” anti-scam measures, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said yesterday.

Facebook Marketplace and Carousell were awarded one tick and two ticks respectively, while Shopee received three ticks. Amazon, Lazada and Qoo10 were rated the full four ticks.

The e-commerce marketplace transaction safety ratings, a government initiative that was launched yesterday, serve to better inform consumers about the platforms’ anti-scam measures and create a safer online environment, Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan told reporters. “Essentially, it is a rating system to inform our consumers on what are the measures they have to look out for in transacting online, and when buying goods online,” he said on Friday.

“And at the same time, we also give them the information about the existing e-commerce platforms, and what are the measures they have in place to secure the transactions online.”

Tan chairs the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams, which rates these platforms based on five measures: Seller identity verification, fraudulent seller behaviour monitoring, secure payment solutions, maintenance of transaction records and user data, as well as reporting and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Consumers can visit this microsite to see how the platforms perform in each measure.

Six major e-commerce platforms used in Singapore have been rated to improve awareness of their anti-scam measures. PHOTO: CNA

Platforms with all the critical anti-scam measures in place will be awarded four ticks, MHA said, adding that the ratings will be reviewed annually.

Facebook Marketplace, for instance, does not offer secure payment solutions or seller identity verification, while Carousell makes these features optional.

The ratings system, first announced during the police’s annual statistics briefing this year, comes as SGD5.8 million was lost to e-commerce scams in 2021.

The 2,707 e-commerce scam cases reported last year made it the third-most prevalent type of scam, behind phishing scams and job scams.

The ratings system was developed together with the six e-commerce platforms, and covers major platforms with a significant local reach or a significant number of e-commerce scams reported, MHA said.

It does not cover businesses that have their own e-commerce platforms, like Courts or IKEA, as these have been assessed to be less susceptible to scams.

Beyond the ticks, consumers can refer to the microsite for general advisories that elaborate on the five safety features. These advisories will be refreshed every year.

The microsite also has platform-specific advisories, accessible by clicking on the platforms’ logos, that provide details on their safety features and the number of scam reports linked to each platform.

These will be updated every six months to allow the platforms to post more frequent updates on their latest safety features.