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Police warn of fake website claiming to help FTX investors withdraw crypto funds

Police warn of fake website claiming to help FTX investors withdraw crypto funds

Screengrabs of a fake website supposedly hosted by the US Department of Justice prompting users to log in with their FTX account details. (Photo: SPF)

SINGAPORE: The police on Saturday (Nov 19) warned against false online information on cryptocurrency, including a fake website targeting investors of the now-bankrupt FTX.

The fake website purportedly helps FTX's customers recover their investment losses, which comes after the collapse of one of the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges.

The company filed for bankruptcy on Nov 11 and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried resigned as chief executive.

This left an estimated 1 million customers and other investors facing billions of dollars in losses. Among FTX's major backers were Singapore state investment firm Temasek, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and venture capital firm Sequoia, all of whom have written down hundreds of millions of dollars in investments.

According to the police, the fake website is supposedly hosted by the US Department of Justice and prompts FTX customers to log in to the website with their account details.

It would then claim that customers "would be able to withdraw their funds after paying legal fees".

"The site is likely a phishing website for collecting login credentials," said the police.

Screengrabs of fake articles featuring Singapore political office holders promoting cryptocurrency auto-trading programs. (Photo: SPF)

FAKE ONLINE ARTICLES ON CRYPTOCURRENCY

The police also warned against fake online articles that promote cryptocurrency auto-trading programs.

Such articles tend to feature Singapore politicians such as Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-jin, the police said.

In these articles, claims would be made that both politicians "endorse algorithmic cryptocurrency auto-trading programs, such as Immediate Edge, claiming that such programs generate massive profits".

These endorsements are untrue, the police added.

"The online articles portrayed the investments as highly lucrative and almost risk-free," said the police, adding that the articles are usually paid online advertisements that act as clickbait.

When someone clicks on a link within the article, they will eventually be taken to a different website, offering investments through the trading of cryptocurrency or other financial products.

Those who provided their contact details on the website would usually receive a call from someone from the scheme, who would pressure the victims to invest.

Members of the public were advised to follow crime prevention measures such as asking questions to understand investment opportunities and confirm the credentials of the company and its representatives.

In June, the police issued a similar advisory on fake online articles claiming that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong purportedly endorsed cryptocurrency auto-trading programs.

More information on scams is available on the Scam Alert website or via the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688.

Those with information on such scams may call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online.

Source: CNA/rc(ac)
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