Facebook rated least safe e-commerce option in government rankings

Singapore's safety scheme measures scam-combatting capability


A newly implemented e-commerce rating system in the city-state of Singapore has rated Facebook's Marketplace as the least trustworthy e-commerce platform, behind Amazon and its Alibaba-owned Asian analogue Lazada.

The ratings system, known as the E-commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR) [PDF], was launched on May 14th by the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams (IMCS).

The four-tier rating scheme rates e-commerce players on guarantees of user authenticity, transaction safety, dispute resolution, and ability to act effectively to protect customers.

Amazon, Lazada and another Southeast Asia e-commerce platform Qoo10 were deemed to meet all four requirements. Facebook Marketplace met only one - perhaps a reflection of its peer-to-peer sales status meaning it does not ned some of the protections of rival platforms. The ratings will be updated yearly.

Singaporean authorities plan six-monthly updates to help consumers better understand which e-commerce platforms are safe. Those updates will offer additional data such as whether platforms adequately maintain transaction records and user data.

The IMCS initiatives don’t stop there: the Committee also updated Singapore's Guidelines for Electronic Commerce Transaction known as Technical Reference 76 (TR76) which are designed to help e-retailers and e-marketplaces provide more secure transactions.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Singapore Standards advocated the use of TR76 as a guideline for platforms to score higher on the TSR.

The ratings scheme and revised regulations come months after Singapore experienced a wave of phishing and tech support scams.

In the first half of May 2022, at least 15 victims lost more than $8,600 to scammers posing on consumer-to-consumer e-commerce site Carousell, which was awarded a rating of two, just above Facebook Marketplace in the TSR.

Last Saturday, Singapore Police announced an investigation of over 306 people for involvement in 941 scam cases totalling $4.6 million. The scams included business e-mail impersonations, fake mails from individuals falsely claiming to be government officials, fake friend calls, romance scams, and attempts and spruiking false investments, jobs, loans and tech support.

And in February 2022, the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) bank experienced a phishing scam that resulted in the theft of over $10 million. Singapore’s presumptive prime minister, Lawrence Wong said customers and banks would have a shared responsibility for any losses in the future in order to prevent a "weaken[ed] incentive to be vigilant" on the part of the customer.

OCBC, under pressure from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to adopt more stringent anti-scam measures, eventually offered goodwill paybacks to all the victims.

MAS said it is working on a framework to define and divide responsibility in future scams. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Singapore promises 'brutal and unrelentingly hard' action on dodgy crypto players
    But welcomes fast cross-border payments in central bank digital currencies

    In the same week that it welcomed the launch of a local center of excellence focused on crypto-inspired central bank digital currencies, Singapore's Monetary Authority (MAS) has warned crypto cowboys they face a rough ride in the island nation.

    The center of excellence (COE) was established by the Mojaloop Foundation – an open source effort to create payment platforms to make digital financial services accessible to those without access to banks. The COE aims to "accelerate financial inclusion in emerging markets" through hackathons, workshops and pilot projects while examining expanded CBDCs payment capabilities."

    Singapore's sovereign wealth fund has invested in Mojaloop, and MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty serves as a board advisor and the authority provides representatives to the Foundation's working group, alongside folks from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and more.

    Continue reading
  • Europol arrests nine suspected of stealing 'several million' euros via phishing
    Victims lured into handing over online banking logins, police say

    Europol cops have arrested nine suspected members of a cybercrime ring involved in phishing, internet scams, and money laundering.

    The alleged crooks are believed to have stolen "several million euros" from at least "dozens of Belgian victims," according to that nation's police, which, along with the Dutch, supported the cross-border operation.

    On Tuesday, after searching 24 houses in the Netherlands, officers cuffed eight men between the ages of 25 and 36 from Amsterdam, Almere, Rotterdam, and Spijkenisse, and a 25-year-old woman from Deventer. We're told the cops seized, among other things, a firearm, designer clothing, expensive watches, and tens of thousands of euros.

    Continue reading
  • Meta: We need 5x more GPUs to combat TikTok, stat
    And 30% fewer new engineers this year

    Comment Facebook parent Meta has reportedly said it needs to increase its fleet of datacenter GPUs fivefold to help it compete against short-form video app and perennial security concern TikTok.

    The oft-controversial tech giant needs these hardware accelerators in its servers by the end of the year to power its so-called discovery engine that will become the center of future social media efforts, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters that was written by Meta Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.

    Separately, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Meta staff on Thursday in a weekly Q&A the biz had planned to hire 10,000 engineers this year, and this has now been cut to between 6,000 and 7,000 in the shadow of an economic downturn. He also said some open positions would be removed, and pressure will be placed on the performance of those staying at the corporation.

    Continue reading
  • Carnival Cruises torpedoed by US states, agrees to pay $6m after wave of cyberattacks
    Now those are some phishing boats

    Carnival Cruise Lines will cough up more than $6 million to end two separate lawsuits filed by 46 states in the US after sensitive, personal information on customers and employees was accessed in a string of cyberattacks.

    A couple of years ago, as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold, the Miami-based biz revealed intruders had not only encrypted some of its data but also downloaded a collection of names and addresses; Social Security info, driver's license, and passport numbers; and health and payment information of thousands of people in almost every American state.

    It all started to go wrong more than a year prior, as the cruise line became aware of suspicious activity in May 2019. This apparently wasn't disclosed until 10 months later, in March 2020.

    Continue reading
  • Meta agrees to tweak ad system after US govt brands it discriminatory
    And pay the tiniest of fines, too

    Facebook parent Meta has settled a complaint brought by the US government, which alleged the internet giant's machine-learning algorithms broke the law by blocking certain users from seeing online real-estate adverts based on their nationality, race, religion, sex, and marital status.

    Specifically, Meta violated America's Fair Housing Act, which protects people looking to buy or rent properties from discrimination, it was claimed; it is illegal for homeowners to refuse to sell or rent their houses or advertise homes to specific demographics, and to evict tenants based on their demographics.

    This week, prosecutors sued Meta in New York City, alleging the mega-corp's algorithms discriminated against users on Facebook by unfairly targeting people with housing ads based on their "race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin."

    Continue reading
  • Zscaler bulks up AI, cloud, IoT in its zero-trust systems
    Focus emerges on workload security during its Zenith 2022 shindig

    Zscaler is growing the machine-learning capabilities of its zero-trust platform and expanding it into the public cloud and network edge, CEO Jay Chaudhry told devotees at a conference in Las Vegas today.

    Along with the AI advancements, Zscaler at its Zenith 2022 show in Sin City also announced greater integration of its technologies with Amazon Web Services, and a security management offering designed to enable infosec teams and developers to better detect risks in cloud-native applications.

    In addition, the biz also is putting a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) control systems as it addresses the security side of the network edge. Zscaler, for those not aware, makes products that securely connect devices, networks, and backend systems together, and provides the monitoring, controls, and cloud services an organization might need to manage all that.

    Continue reading
  • Metaverse progress update: Some VR headset prototypes nowhere near shipping
    But when it does work, bet you'll fall over yourselves to blow ten large on designer clobber for your avy

    Facebook owner Meta's pivot to the metaverse is drawing significant amounts of resources: not just billions in case, but time. The tech giant has demonstrated some prototype virtual-reality headsets that aren't close to shipping and highlight some of the challenges that must be overcome.

    The metaverse is CEO Mark Zuckerberg's grand idea of connected virtual worlds in which people can interact, play, shop, and work. For instance, inhabitants will be able to create avatars to represent themselves, wearing clothes bought using actual money – with designer gear going for five figures.

    Apropos of nothing, Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg is leaving the biz.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022