Photo credit: CAROUSELL

Carousell enhances security measures to combat phishing scams

The platform taps on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to detect malicious online content faster.

Farhana Subuhan

Published: 7 February 2023, 10:47 AM

In response to the spate of phishing scams in Singapore, home-grown classifieds platform Carousell will soon require its users who do not do meet-ups to make payments and delivery only via its platform.

The platform said in a press release on Monday (Feb 6) that it aims to reduce the risk for casual sellers and buyers and that this requirement will come into effect within the next few months.

The enhanced measures mean that payments will only be released to sellers when buyers are satisfied with the products that they have received.

This is one of several processes the platform has recently implemented to bolster platform safety.

Since December 2022, Carousell users are required to verify their mobile number before they initiate a chat or make an offer. This is on top of the existing requirements since 2019 for users to be mobile verified before their first listing is published.

Carousell also increased both its automated ability and dedicated moderator team to swiftly detect and suspend scammers from the marketplace.

The platform taps on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to spot patterns and detect malicious content with more accuracy, suspending users who send fraudulent QR codes.

Additionally, it warns users of suspicious and suspended accounts through its in-chat banners to allow a potential seller or buyer to reconsider the deal.

A similar warning will appear if a user they have previously chatted with has been suspended.

Carousell has also enhanced the Carousell’s Help Centre with updated resources to aid users in understanding and identifying potential scams, including the latest phishing scams that are a common occurrence on Carousell. It also limits access to app versions with the latest security measures.

In November and December 2022, Carousell suspended more accounts for phishing attempts than it did across the rest of 2022 combined.

It advises users to be extra vigilant by not disclosing internet banking details or clicking on suspicious links provided in emails or text messages.

Su Lin Tan, senior vice president of operations at Carousell, said that it has been piloting various Sell to Carousell programmes to allow sellers to sell their luxury bags, mobile phones and cars directly to Carousell for an instant cash-out.

The platform then authenticates and certifies those items before selling it to buyers for a worry-free purchase.

“We know buying high-priced secondhand items may be risky so we are systematically introducing features to mitigate those risks and making the experience similar to that of buying new items,” she said.

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