Hand holding phone with Shopee logo on screen.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) revealed on Wednesday, April 10, that Shopee has made significant strides in combating e-commerce scams.

In the latest update on e-commerce safety, Shopee scored the top tier in Singapore’s anti-scam safety rating, joining established platforms like Amazon, Lazada, and Qoo10.

MHA said the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams revealed the findings of this year’s E-commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR).

The report highlighted Shopee’s strides in implementing crucial safety features over the past year, marking a notable improvement in its position compared to previous assessments.

MHA commended Shopee for its comprehensive implementation of crucial safety features over the past year, which resulted in a 65% decrease in reported scams, from 311 cases in 2022 to 109 cases in 2023.

Notably, Shopee’s rating escalated from three to four ticks, denoting the highest level of protection against scams.

Conversely, Carousell and Facebook Marketplace maintained their positions at the bottom two tiers of the safety ratings, with two ticks and one tick, respectively.

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Channel News Asia reports that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, was criticized by Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling during a parliamentary debate in February for its reluctance to cooperate with the ministry’s recommendations to combat scams.

The safety ratings, updated annually, aim to equip consumers with insights into the anti-scam measures adopted by e-commerce platforms.

These measures include user authentication, transaction security, availability of consumer remediation channels, and the efficacy of anti-scam initiatives. 

MHA underscored the significance of user verification against government-issued documentation and secure payment options in thwarting scams, urging all e-commerce platforms to integrate these critical features.

According to MHA, “Consumers should look out for seller accounts that have their identities verified against government-issued documentation by the platforms.

Scammers are more likely to use unverified accounts to list their products and services.”

“These safety features have proven to be effective in combating scams. E-commerce marketplaces that have put in place these safety features have seen significant reduction in e-commerce scams,” they added.

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According to MHA’s annual scams and cybercrime report, E-commerce scams have surged in Singapore, with reported cases doubling from 4,762 in 2022 to 9,783 in 2023.

Nearly half of these scams occurred on Facebook, highlighting the platform’s vulnerability to fraudulent activities.

To boost collaborative efforts, the police have partnered with e-commerce platforms, co-locating their staff with the Anti-Scam Command unit.

Carousell and Shopee have already commenced this collaboration, with MHA encouraging other platforms to follow suit. In the fight against scams, partners are essential. The Government cannot do this alone,” emphasised Minister Sun.

While the government plays a pivotal role, she urged 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.”

For more information on this year’s E-commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR), check here. /TISG

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