Shopee tops latest e-commerce safety ratings; Facebook, Carousell at bottom


The number of e-commerce scams reported on Shopee fell by 65 per cent, from 311 cases in 2022 to 109 cases in 2023. - ST FILE

SINGAPORE: Shopee has achieved a full four ticks in the latest round of the E-commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR), putting it in the same bracket as Amazon, Lazada and Qoo10.

But Facebook remains at the bottom with one tick, with close to half of e-commerce scams reported in 2023 perpetrated on the platform. Carousell remained at two ticks.

The Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams published the 2024 edition of the TSR on April 10, rating six major e-commerce marketplaces based on the latest anti-scam features, such as user verification, that they have in place.

The committee was formed in April 2020 to combat scams, and brings together government agencies such as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Communications and Information, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It launched the ratings in May 2022.

In a release on April 10, MHA said Shopee’s rating had improved from three ticks to four after implementing all critical safety features, including fully implementing user verification against government-issued documentation for all sellers.

Aside from user verification, the marketplaces are also assessed based on transaction safety, the loss remediation experience for consumers and the effectiveness of its anti-scam efforts.

The number of e-commerce scams reported on Shopee fell by 65 per cent, from 311 cases in 2022 to 109 cases in 2023.

But on Facebook, the number of scams reported quadrupled from 1,138 cases in 2022 to 4,550 in 2023.

This made up 46.5 per cent of the 9,783 reported e-commerce scam cases in 2023, which is double the 4,762 cases in 2022.

Victims lost more than $13.9 million to e-commerce scams in 2023.

MHA said these scams generally involved the sale of goods and services online, which were not delivered after payment had been made.

It added that the police have been working with the platforms to co-locate their staff at the Anti-Scam Command, with Carousell and Shopee co-locating their staff there since January and March respectively.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling, who is also chairman of the committee, thanked the e-commerce platforms that had partnered with them on the TSR.

She said on April 10: “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.”

In February, Sun had called out Meta, which owns Facebook, for not working with MHA to fight e-commerce scams on its platforms.

She had told Parliament that Meta had consistently pushed back against MHA’s recommendations, and urged it to step up and do right by its users.

In response, Meta said it was dismayed by her comments, and that it was reviewing MHA’s suggestions seriously and had taken action against 1.3 billion fake accounts in the final quarter of 2022. - The Straits Times/ANN

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