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E-commerce rating system launched to help combat scams; Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon get top marks

SINGAPORE — To help combat the rising number of scams, the authorities have launched a new rating system for e-commerce platforms based on the anti-scam measures they have in place.

E-commerce rating system launched to help combat scams; Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon get top marks
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  • A system to rate e-commerce platforms based on their anti-scam measures was launched by the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams
  • In the initial ratings, Lazada, Qoo10 and Amazon got the maximum four ticks
  • Shopee got three and Carousell two
  • Facebook Marketplace, owned by Meta, got just one tick

SINGAPORE — To help combat the rising number of scams, the authorities have launched a new rating system for e-commerce platforms based on the anti-scam measures they have in place.

Rolled out on Saturday (May 14), the initial overall rankings gave the maximum four ticks to Lazada, Qoo10 and Amazon, while Facebook Marketplace received just one tick. Shopee got three ticks and Carousell got two ticks.

The rating system was launched by the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams (IMCS).

This was announced in a joint statement issued on Saturday by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Singapore Standards Council.

The ratings indicate the extent to which these platforms have implemented anti-scam measures that ensure user authenticity, transaction safety, availability of loss remediation channels for consumers, and the effectiveness of these anti-scam measures. 

The IMCS launched the E-Commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings as well as revisions to its Technical Reference 76 (TR 76) on guidelines for e-commerce transactions.

TR 76’s guidelines serve as a practical reference for e-retailers and online intermediaries such as e-marketplaces. The guidelines cover pre-purchase activities of browsing and selection to the buying and payment procedures, as well as post-sale activities that include delivery, tracking of products, refunds and exchange.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Desmond Tan, chairman of the IMCS and Minister of State for Home Affairs, said: "Scams are something that we are watching closely and they are a concern for us.

"Just on e-commerce scams, we see a trend – last year, we saw over 2,700 scams from e-commerce platforms, and that equated to a loss of nearly S$6 million." 

Ms Choy Sauw Kook, director-general of quality and excellence at trade agency Enterprise Singapore, said: "The guidelines cover the end-to-end process of e-commerce transactions, and we hope they will help e-retailers and e-marketplaces improve their transaction traceability and transaction security for consumers. We look forward to working with our partners to promote wider adoption of this standard in the industry.”

Representatives of the different e-commerce platform partners were also present.

Miss Clara Koh, Meta's head of public policy for Singapore and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), said: "The (new ratings system) is an important effort to educate consumers, but we note that it applies a uniform rating to platforms that have differing features and therefore have different ways of protecting their users.

"We are committed to ensuring a positive and safe experience for those using Facebook Marketplace and will continue to collaborate with the Government and our community partners on public education initiatives." 

RATINGS

  • Developed in partnership with Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Carousell and Facebook Marketplace
  • The ratings will be refreshed yearly, while marketplace-specific consumer advisories will be updated every six months
  • Consumers may visit the microsite for the ratings system to check out advisories on safety features and for specific features provided by the different partners
  • The microsite aims to promote consumer awareness on anti-scam measures available and to encourage the use of such features

GUIDELINES

The TR 76, which is the national standard for e-commerce transactions, was revised to include more anti-scam measures for e-retailers and e-commerce marketplaces.

  • The guidelines cover different areas of transactions such as before, during and post-purchase activities, customer support and merchant verification
  • This serves to better enable merchant authenticity, improve transaction security and aid enforcement against scams on e-commerce platforms 
  • Pre-purchase recommendations: Put in place appropriate policies and procedures to ensure that customers' reviews are authentic
  • During purchase recommendations: Implement commonly accepted modes of electronic payment or post-purchase payment protection mechanisms that allow consumers to avoid losses if orders cannot be fulfilled
  • Post-purchase: Without measures to verify the authorised recipient, parties involved should reconsider the transaction

For more information on the ratings system, head to its microsite.

Related topics

Scam e-commerce retail online shopping customer safety ratings

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