Carousell launching new review system and technology to tackle fraudsters

Carousell will also launch a feedback system allowing buyers to review sellers.
Carousell will also launch a feedback system allowing buyers to review sellers.PHOTO: CAROUSELL

SINGAPORE - To counter the rise in e-commerce scams, Carousell plans to use new technology to identify and block fraudsters from creating new accounts.

The online selling platform will also launch a feedback system allowing buyers to review sellers, so customers can have a better idea of vendors' behaviour, the company said on Tuesday (Feb 19).

E-commerce scams spiked last year to 2,125 cases last year, up by 11 per cent on 2017.

About 70 per cent of them took place on the Carousell platform, police said in their annual crime briefing on Wednesday.

However, according to Carousell's calculations , its fraud rate has fallen by 44 per cent from the first quarter of last year.

In the last three months of last year only about three in 10,000 transactions were fraudulent, according to Carousell's vice president of operations, Ms Tan Su Lin, who added that the company has taken measures to prevent fraud over the past year.

Last June it introduced Caroupay, a payment system which holds a buyer's payment and is only released to the sellers when both parties are satisfied with the transaction.

The company also introduced fraud detection technology last year that can automatically detect and take down malicious online content.

 
 

The company's team of content moderators - who review user reports and take down bad accounts or listings - has also been doubled to cover more content faster.

"Taking heart from the fact that our efforts have produced really good results, we're pushing at it and we're doing more," said Ms Tan.

 

Carousell will soon roll out new digital fingerprinting technology to prevent repeat fraudsters from creating new accounts to cheat users.

It identifies a fraudster's "digital persona", picking out a set of digital signals that fraudsters leave behind on the Internet, singling them out when they try to create a new account.

"You close one door, and they (fraudsters ) open another window somewhere else, so we do prioritise doing things that stop them from coming back," said Ms Tan.

The company will also launch a new user feedback and star rating system on its app, where buyers rate the sellers on specific details of the transactions, such as the quality of goods, or on their meet-ups.

Potential buyers would thus have a better idea of which sellers to trust, said Ms Tan.

However, she acknowledged that scams could still happen on the platform but added that the company will continue to have zero tolerance towards scams.

"As with crimes all over the world, I think no city can boast of zero scams, so our target is to drive it(the number of scams) as close to zero as we can."