According to the police, Facebook Marketplace is responsible for 14% of reported scams on online shopping platforms. Scammers on the platform typically pose as interested buyers, engaging with victims who have listed items for sale. After agreeing on a price, the scammers then send phishing links or QR codes to victims, tricking them into providing their banking credentials.
Responding to inquiries from The Straits Times, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) acknowledged that scams are a longstanding issue that can occur on any platform. The company claims to employ a combination of manual reviews and automated technologies like machine learning to combat scams. Meta also states its commitment to working with authorities to address this issue.
This data highlights Meta’s poor track record in protecting its platforms from scams. Facebook Marketplace consistently ranks last among the top six e-commerce platforms in the annual e-commerce marketplace transaction safety ratings. The rating system, established in 2022, evaluates platforms based on user authenticity, transaction safety, availability of consumer remedial channels, and the effectiveness of anti-scam measures. In this ranking, Facebook Marketplace falls below Carousell and Shopee, with Amazon, Lazada, and Qoo10 leading the pack.
The police have specifically criticized Facebook Marketplace for not implementing recommended safeguards such as user verification measures. Moreover, the platform has had a significant number of e-commerce scams reported against it. As a result, authorities advise consumers to engage with marketplaces that have better ratings to protect themselves from scams.
Following a series of phishing attacks in early 2022, Singaporean authorities introduced several anti-scam measures. One of these measures is the rating system for e-commerce platforms. In addition, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed lower default transfer limits on local banks to mitigate the risk of fraudulent transfers. MAS has also mandated banks to provide a “kill switch” feature that allows users to freeze their accounts if they suspect they are being scammed. These efforts reflect a proactive approach to combating scams in light of the growing threat of malware scams, which grant fraudsters full control over victims’ devices.
– Scammers: Individuals who engage in deceitful activities to defraud others.
– Phishing: A fraudulent practice in which scammers pose as legitimate entities to obtain sensitive information from victims.
– QR code: A barcode that can be scanned with a smartphone to access encoded information.
– The Straits Times: [No URL provided]
– Ministry of Home Affairs: [No URL provided]
– Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS): [No URL provided]
– OCBC Bank: [No URL provided]