MHA: Facebook Marketplace rated lowest compared to Shopee, Amazon for anti-scam measures – Vulcan Post

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Facebook Marketplace was rated the lowest of six e-commerce platforms for its anti-scam measures to ensure the security of online transactions, accounting for 46.5 per cent of e-commerce scams in 2023.

e-commerce scams and safety ratings
E-commerce Scams by Platforms in 2023 and Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR) for 2024 / Image Credit: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) published a press release on Wednesday (Apr 10) announcing the findings, which the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams (IMCS) shared in the 2024 e-commerce marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR).

The Meta-owned e-commerce marketplace was awarded one tick for 2024, following their rating two years ago.

On the other hand, its competitor – Carousell, was awarded two ticks, and Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10, and Shopee received the highest rating of four ticks.

The press release stated that e-commerce marketplaces will be awarded four ticks if they implement all critical anti-scam measures and have a low number of scam reports.

The TSR was first unveiled in May 2022, and it serves to provide consumers with information on the anti-scam measures implemented by major e-commerce platforms.

The overall safety rating assigned to each platform indicates the extent to which it has taken measures to protect users against scams.

Here is a breakdown of the four categories MHA considers when giving a rating:

  1. User Authenticity – Whether the seller is verified by the platform.
  2. Transaction Safety – Having secure payment options
  3. Availability of loss remediation channels for consumers – Does a platform enable consumers to report disputes? Are there resolution mechanisms implemented?
  4. Effectiveness of anti-scam measures – Measured by the number of scam reports made

MHA has also cautioned consumers who continue to shop on platforms that have a lower rating.

The number of e-commerce scams has doubled from 2022

E-commerce scams remain one of the top scam types in Singapore, with 9,783 reported cases last year – double from 4,762 in 2022.

“These scams generally involve the sale of goods and services online, which are not delivered after payment has been made,” it said.

The press release also noted that the number of cases on Facebook increased almost fourfold from 2022 to 2023, growing from almost 1,140 to 4,550 cases last year.

This was not the first time that Facebook and its parent company, Meta, received public scrutiny for failing to protect their users, as Singapore’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Sun Xueling, had some choice words for the tech giant.

In a parliament sitting in February this year, Minister Sun criticised the platform’s continuous lack of cooperation and pushback against MHA’s recommendations to safeguard its users from e-commerce scams.

A Meta spokesperson subsequently responded to CNA’s media queries, expressing the company’s “dismay” over what was shared in parliament.

According to Meta, the company had been engaging in “close consultations” with MHA and was “reviewing their suggestions seriously” at the time of the report.

Currently, Facebook and Carousell are the only platforms in the TSR that have not implemented all the safety features.

In comparison, Shopee received four ticks in 2024, up from three ticks in last year.

The platform only made up to 1.1 per cent of e-commerce scams in 2023, with a reduction of the number of reported scam cases by 65 per cent. has “implemented all the safety features deemed to be critical by MHA”, with their

Similar to other marketplaces which were awarded the full four ticks (i.e., Amazon, Lazada and Qoo10), Shopee has implemented all the safety features deemed to be critical by MHA. In particular, Shopee has fully implemented user verification against Government-issued documentation for all sellers. 

MHA in a press release

The board has also shared that The Singapore Police Force has been working with the platforms to co-locate their staff with the police at the Anti-Scam Command (ASCom).

“As of Jan 30 and Mar 20, Carousell and Shopee have started to physically co-locate their staff at the ASCom,” said MHA.

Minister Sun, who is also Chairman of IMCS, expressed her appreciation for IMCS’s partners in the e-commerce industry for collaborating on the TSR.

In the fight against scams, partners are essential. The Government cannot do this alone.

I urge all e-commerce marketplaces to implement the critical safety features, specifically user verification against government-issued documentation and secure payment options, to protect their online users from e-commerce scams.

Minister Sun Xueling, Singapore Minister of State for Home Affairs and Chairman of IMCS

Featured Image Credit: Meta screenshots/Vulcan Post

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