Mr. Tan chairs the Interdepartmental Committee on Scams, which evaluates these platforms on the basis of five measures: verification of the identity of the seller, monitoring of the behavior of the fraudulent seller, secure payment solutions, retention of transaction records and data. users, as well as reporting and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Consumers can visit this microsite to see how the platforms perform in each metric. Platforms with all critical anti-scam measures in place will receive four ticks, MHA said, adding that the ratings will be reviewed annually.
Facebook Marketplace, for example, does not offer secure payment solutions or seller identity verification, while Carousell makes these features optional.
The scoring system, first announced at the annual police statistics briefing this year, comes as 5.8 million Singapore dollars were lost to e-commerce scams in 2021.
The 2,707 e-commerce scam cases reported last year made it the third most common type of scam, behind phishing scams and employment scams.
The rating system was developed with all six e-commerce platforms and covers major platforms with significant local reach or a significant number of reported e-commerce scams, MHA said.
It does not cover companies that have their own e-commerce platforms, such as Courts or IKEA, as they have been assessed as less susceptible to scams.
Beyond the ticks, consumers can refer to the microsite for general advisories that detail the five safety features. These notices will be renewed each year.
The microsite also contains platform-specific notices, accessible by clicking on the platforms’ logos, which provide details about their security features and the number of scam reports linked to each platform. These will be updated every six months to allow the platforms to release more frequent updates on their latest security features.
B2C VS C2C
The ratings also classify platforms according to whether they are business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C).
B2C refers to the sale of products and services between a business and consumers. Sellers on B2C platforms are often screened and therefore these transactions tend to be highly scrutinized, according to the microsite.
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 many more variables to consider and avoid, the microsite added.
Platforms that didn’t get the full four ticks – Shopee, Carousell, and Facebook Marketplace – have C2C elements, where transaction convenience, especially for second-hand goods, might take priority.