Facebook Marketplace, Carousell get lowest anti-scam scores in new government e-commerce rating system

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SINGAPORE: Facebook Marketplace and Carousell were rated the lowest among six e-commerce platforms for their "critical" anti-scam measures, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Saturday (May 14).

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 on Saturday, 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."

Mr 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. 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 S$5.8 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.

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