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

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.

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.

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The ratings also classify the platforms on whether they are business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C).

B2C refers to the selling of products and services between a business and consumers. The sellers on B2C platforms are often screened, and thus these transactions tend to be highly controlled, the microsite said.

C2C refers to the buying and selling of products and services between individuals, where the seller may not be a business entity. Compared to B2C marketplaces, there are a lot more variables to consider and to safeguard against, the microsite added.

The platforms that did not get the full four ticks – Shopee, Carousell and Facebook Marketplace – have C2C elements, where convenience of transaction, especially for second-hand products, might be prioritised.

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