Website using fake comments attributed to DPM Tharman to solicit bitcoin investments: MAS

Website using fake comments attributed to DPM Tharman to solicit bitcoin investments: MAS

Tharman fake website
A screenshot of the fraudulent website. (Photo: Monetary Authority of Singapore)

SINGAPORE: A fraudulent website is using fabricated comments attributed to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam to solicit investments in bitcoins, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) warned on Tuesday (Sep 18).

A screenshot of the website, released by MAS late on Tuesday, shows an article with the headline “Tharman Shanmugaratnam Invests $1 Billion for All Singapore Resident. USE HIS Method To Become Rich in Just 7 Days!”.

The article, which was accompanied by a photo of Mr Tharman, describes the MAS chairman as a "venture capitalist" who announced Singapore’s entry into the bitcoin cryptocurrency market.

The site then asks readers to sign up for a bitcoin account and requests for credit card or bank account details.

"The website’s article on bitcoins is highly deceptive and misleading," MAS said. "The statements attributed to DPM Tharman are completely false, apart from his observation that trading volumes in cryptocurrency are low in Singapore."

On Wednesday, MAS added that a second fraudulent website similarly soliciting investments in bitcoins also used fabricated comments attributed to Mr Tharman.

The website shows an article with the headline "Tharman Shanmugaratnam Launches Hi-Tech Digital Project for Singaporians (sic). THIS Will Make You Rich In Just 7 Days!"

fake tharman bitcoin
A second fraudulent website has been similarly soliciting investments in bitcoins, using fabricated comments attributed to Mr Tharman. (Image: Monetary Authority of Singapore )

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

"Putting money in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins is highly risky," warned MAS. "MAS had issued an advisory on 19 December 2017 to warn the public of the risks of cryptocurrency investments.

"DPM Tharman had in fact stated in a reply to a Parliamentary Question on 5 February 2018 that Singaporeans 'could lose their shirts when they invest money in cryptocurrencies'."

MAS added that members of the public who suspect that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the Police.

Source: CNA/ec/aj

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