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E-commerce scams surge twofold in Singapore in 2023: report

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Azunta Gaviola

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1 month ago

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Singapore – A total of 9, 783 cases of e-commerce scams have been reported in Singapore in 2023, a twofold increase from the reported 4, 762 cases in 2022. This is according to the latest eCommerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings 2024 by the country’s Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams. 

In this report, it was found that the said scams generally involve the sale of goods and services online, which are not delivered after payment has been made. 

For instance, a significant figure close to 50% in 2023 was reported to be perpetrated on Facebook, where the number of cases surged to 4,550 from 1,138 in 2022. 

The report also revealed the overall safety of each marketplace, indicating the extent to which they have implemented measures that are critical to guarding against scams. 

Among the four categories the rating is based on are user authenticity, transaction safety, the availability of loss remediation channels for consumers, and the effectiveness of their anti-scam measures. The aforementioned ratings range from one to four ticks, with four ticks being the highest rating. 

Findings further indicated that Shopee’s 2024 rating improved from three ticks to a full four ticks, aligning it with other marketplaces like Amazon, Lazada, and Qoo10. 

Specifically, it was highlighted that Shopee’s implementation of user verification using government-issued documentation for all sellers contributed to a 65% decrease in reported e-commerce scams on their platform, reducing from 311 cases in 2022 to 109 cases in 2023.

Talking about the findings, Sun Xueling, chairman of IMCS and Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, stated, “In the fight against scams, partners are essential. The government cannot do this alone. On behalf of the IMCS, we would like to thank our partners from the e-commerce industry for working with us on the E-commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR) 2024.” 

“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,” added Sueling.

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