Singapore’s MAS warns of bitcoin scam using fake comments attributed to PM Lee

The statements the article attributed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong are completely false, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said. — TODAY pic
The statements the article attributed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong are completely false, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, Aug 16 — The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) warned the public today of a new website soliciting bitcoin investments by using fabricated comments attributed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The site attempts to impersonate a news page from a local media organisation, and carries the headline “BREAKING NEWS: Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Message Leaves All Banks Terrified”.

In the fake news story, it claims that Lee, in his National Day message, had revealed a “wealth loophole” that can “transform anyone into a millionaire within 3-4 months”.

The statements the article attributed to Lee are completely false, the MAS said.

“The information on the website is highly deceptive and misleading,” it added, as it pointed out that the site tries to get readers to provide credit card or bank account details.

It also asks for payments into a purported bitcoin trading platform, which would automatically initiate cryptocurrency trades on the clients’ behalf, the financial regulatory authority said.

“Members of the public are advised to exercise extreme caution and avoid providing any financial or personal information on the forms linked from the website,” said the MAS.

Those who suspect that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the police, it added.

This is not the first time a website had fraudulently used the names and photographs of Lee and other ministers and public personalities to solicit bitcoin investments. They had started emerging in the past year, the MAS noted.

Last September, Lee himself warned the public of a similar ploy, which used his name and photo as well. “Don’t believe everything you see on the internet!” he then said in a Facebook post.

Most recently, on July 31, the MAS warned of a site that used fabricated comments attributed to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong to solicit bitcoin investments. That site also told readers to place a deposit on a purported bitcoin trading platform. — TODAY