Published: 04 May 2023
1. The Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams (IMCS) published the E-commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR) 2023 today. This is an annual update to the ratings assigned to major e-commerce marketplaces, based on the latest anti-scam features they have in place to secure e-commerce transactions.
2. E-commerce scams are one of the top scam types in Singapore. In 2022, there were 4,762 reported e-commerce scam cases, an increase of 74.5% compared to 2,729 cases in 2021. The majority of e-commerce scams reported in 2022 – about 62% – were perpetuated on Carousell and Facebook. These scams generally involve the sale of goods and services online, where said goods and services are not delivered after payment has been made. (See Annex A for a breakdown of e-commerce scam cases across internet platforms.)
3. In May 2022, the IMCS launched the inaugural TSR to provide consumers with information on the anti-scam measures major e-commerce marketplaces have in place. The TSR covers e-commerce marketplaces that facilitate online transactions from multiple sellers to multiple buyers, with a significant local reach or a significant number of e-commerce scams reported. The TSR microsite can be found at the following link: https://www.mha.gov.sg/e-commerce-marketplace-transaction-safety-ratings.
4. The IMCS has reviewed the e-commerce scams situation and refreshed the TSR in partnership with the following major e-commerce marketplaces. The overall ratings for 2023, which are unchanged from last year, are as follows:
Table 1: E-Commerce Marketplace TSR 2023
|✔✔✔✔||Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10|
5. The overall safety rating assigned to each marketplace indicates the extent to which they have implemented measures that are critical to safeguard against e-commerce scams, namely: (a) user authenticity, (b) transaction safety, (c) availability of loss remediation channels for consumers, as well as (d) the effectiveness of their anti-scam measures. The ratings range from one to four ticks, with four ticks being the highest rating. E-commerce marketplaces with all the critical anti-scam measures in place, and which as a result see a negligible number of scams on their platforms, will be awarded the full four-ticks. Consumers should exercise greater caution when transacting on marketplaces without the above measures in place.
6. For more details on E-Commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings, see Annex B.
Advisories to “Check” before Transacting on E-Commerce Marketplaces
7. In January 2023, MHA launched the national anti-scam campaign with the tagline “I can ACT against scams”, which encourages members of the public to take three key actions – “Add, Check, and Tell” – to protect themselves against scams. Under “Check”, consumers are encouraged to check the TSR for platform ratings and availability of critical safety features when transacting online. For more details on the campaign, see Annex C.
8. In addition to overall ratings, the TSR also provides two types of advisories, so that consumers can “Check” before performing e-commerce transactions:
(a) General consumer advisory on how consumers can safeguard themselves when transacting on e-commerce marketplaces; and
(b) Marketplace-specific advisory on safety features that each e-commerce marketplace has put in place.
9. General consumer advisory. Based on the modus operandi of e-commerce scams, the following safety features are deemed critical to safeguard against e-commerce scams:
(a) User authentication. Consumers should look out for seller accounts that have their identities verified against Government-issued documentation by the platforms when transacting online. Scammers are more likely to use unverified accounts to list their products and services.
(b) Secured payment options. Consumers should make use of secured payment options, such as escrow payment systems, to make payment for online purchases. In the absence of secured payment options, scammers are more likely to succeed in directing buyers to make payments through other channels (e.g., PayNow / bank transfers).
10. Marketplace-specific advisory. IMCS has been working with the major e-commerce marketplaces to further improve the safety of online transactions. We are encouraged that marketplaces have stepped up their anti-scam safety features:
(a) Shopee started to mandate verification of identities of sellers based on Government-issued documentation since December 2022, before allowing them to list their products on Shopee.1 Starting March 2023, registered businesses will be able to verify their identities via Myinfo.
(b) Carousell launched the “Certified” programme for second-hand luxury bags, mobile phones, and cars that have been checked for quality and authenticity before they are sold by Carousell Official Stores or authorised Carousell Certified Partners. All Certified luxury bags and mobile phone listings have money-back guarantee for buyers who are not satisfied with their purchase.
(c) Lazada launched a buyer confirmation feature in December 2022, which holds payment to the seller for a Confirmation Period. Payment is only released when the buyer has confirmed receipt and is satisfied with the order, or after the Confirmation Period.
11. Ms Sun Xueling, Chairman of the IMCS and Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Social and Family Development, said: “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) 2023. This is an important initiative that will better secure e-commerce transactions and protect our consumers from e-commerce scams. We strongly encourage all e-commerce marketplaces to implement safety features, such as user verification and secured payment options.”
12. The IMCS will continue to review the TSR annually, to take into account the latest safety features implemented.
 Verification of identity via Government issued documentation was previously only applicable to selected sellers (i.e., those listed as “Preferred” or “Mall” sellers on Shopee).
1. Annex A - E-commerce Scams by Internet Platforms, 2022 (PDF, 36 KB)
2. Annex B - Factsheet on the E-Commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (PDF, 260 KB)
3. Annex C - Factsheet on the “I can ACT against scams” National Anti-scam Campaign (PDF, 108 KB)