Singapore. With more people falling victim to scams in Singapore, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) introduced the transaction Safety Ratings (TSR) to safeguard consumers when they transact online. The six e-commerce platforms received the ratings, having Facebook Marketplace and Carousell with the lowest scores.
In the rating released on May 14, Facebook Marketplace was awarded one tick, and Carousell with two ticks.
Meanwhile, Shopee received three ticks, while Qoo10, Lazada, and Amazon were rated full four ticks. The rating does not cover other e-commerce platforms such as Courts and IKEA since these were less prone to scams.
The TSR was announced at the Police’s Annual Statistics Briefing in 2022. It was driven by more than S$5.8 million being lost due to e-commerce scams in 2021. Last year, about 2,700 reported e-commerce scams, making it the third most common type of scam, behind job scams and phishing scams.
The platforms were rated based on five aspects namely, seller identity verification, fraudulent seller behaviour monitoring, secure payment solutions, maintenance of transaction records and user data, reporting, and dispute resolution mechanisms. To see a more in-depth assessment of each platform, consumers can check this page. According to the MHA, the ratings will be reviewed annually.
Moreover, the MHA microsite also contains platform-specific advisories which can be accessed simply by clicking the logos. This feature will be updated every six months.
According to Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan, the government’s initiative to launch e-commerce marketplace transaction safety ratings aims to inform consumers about different platforms’ anti-scam efforts to create a better online shopping environment.
“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 stated, adding that the office also gives people information about existing e-commerce platforms, as well as measures they have to secure online transactions.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also issued a Consumer Advisory to help consumers on what features they need to look out for and to safeguard themselves when transacting online.
Among the five features that they need to look out for are:
- Verification of seller identity
- Monitoring for fraudulent seller behaviour
- Availability of secure payment solutions
- Maintenance of transaction records and user data
- Reporting and dispute resolution mechanism
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