Online marketplace Carousell blames fake advertising on inadvertent actions by ‘third party ad platforms’

A user on Carousell was exposed to a fake ad on the pre-owned goods marketplace. The ad was fashioned to appear like an article from The Straits Times and ran with the headline “Peter Lim’s latest investment has experts in awe and big banks terrified”. Lim is a Singapore-based billionaire. The ad was reportedly part of a cryptocurrency-linked scam, inviting readers to submit their credit card details.

The Carousell user who alerted The Straits Times claimed she could not tell if the ad was real or fake. She was quoted as saying “”It said ‘Straits Times’ and had a logo, which made it seem even more real.”

In its response to media queries, Carousell issued a statement which said: “We have been proactively blocking such ads, and maintain our own set of blacklisted URLs.

“We have investigated and found that the ads featuring Peter Lim on the Carousell marketplace were a result of one of our third-party ad platforms inadvertently surfacing it. The advertiser has been coming up with different domains and ways to circumvent our detection.

“However, with the continued presence of such ads, we have since stopped all activity from this platform with immediate effect and are following up with them to ensure all ads comply with laws and regulations.

“Trust and safety is a top priority for us, and we are committed to delivering a safe and secure marketplace for all our users. Advertisers are also required to comply with our policies.

“We also encourage users to report any suspicious ads on our platform, so we can investigate and take action as quickly as possible.”

Peter Lim has apparently been the subject of fake advertising even before this incident and has, on numerous occasions, filed police reports alerting the public against falling for get rich quick schemes.


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