Beware of scams involving fake news articles promoting bitcoin investment

There are fake news articles on Facebook luring people to invest in an automated bitcoin trading program.

In April 2020 alone, there were at least three such Facebook posts featuring Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat as part of the fake news articles, the police said in a statement on Wednesday (Apr 29).

"The fake news articles are intended to mislead the public that this is an investment with high returns," the statement said.

"They are paid online advertisements designed to entice victims to click on links within.

"By clicking on the link, a person would be brought to a different website offering investments in cryptocurrency and/or financial products.

So far this month, there have been at least three Facebook sponsored posts using my name and image to promote dubious...

Posted by Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday, 29 April 2020

"Those who provide their contact details in the website would usually receive a call promoting the said investments.

"Those who decide to invest would be instructed to transfer money to an overseas bank account or make payments using their credit card."

The police want to remind the public that bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies are not legal tender.

They are not issued by any government and are not backed by any assets or issuer.

As in most jurisdictions, MAS does not regulate cryptocurrencies.

As such, there are no regulatory safeguards for investment in them and investors in cryptocurrencies run the risk of losing all their capital.

Members of the public are strongly advised to remember the following before making any investment:

  • Always verify the authenticity of such articles as they are often designed to appear as real articles published by news or media outlets.

  • Do not commit your money and/or personal information without checking.

  • Investments that promise high returns usually come with high risks. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Anyone with information on fraudulent activities taking place can call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.

To seek scam-related advice, please call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.

Help spread the word and share this advisory with family and friends to prevent them from being the next scam victim.