SINGAPORE: Scammers have been using fake news articles featuring Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to lure people into investing in an automated Bitcoin trading programme.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a news release on Wednesday (Apr 29) that at least three such articles were posted on Facebook in April.
The paid online advertisements are designed to entice victims to click on links within, and mislead people into believing the scam to be "an investment with high returns", it added.
The links lead to a different website, offering investments in cryptocurrency or other financial products.
Those who provide their contact details in the website would usually receive a call promoting the said investments.
Victims who take the bait would be instructed to transfer money to an overseas bank account or make credit card payments.
Police advised the public that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not legal tender. They are neither issued by any government nor backed by any assets.
With no regulatory safeguard by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as in most jurisdictions, crypto investors "run the risk of losing all their capital", said SPF.
It also urged the public to verify the authenticity of such articles which often masquerade as real articles published by news outlets.
"Investments that promise high returns usually come with high risks. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," added SPF.