Local news outlets in Singapore report that several fake articles linked to a Bitcoin-related scam have been circulating on Facebook.
Several local news outlets in Singapore report that a series of fake news articles linked to a cryptocurrency scam have been making the rounds on Facebook for months. The scam uses the identity of Temasek Holdings Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and spouse of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Ho Ching, to promote the scam which speaks of a cryptocurrency called ‘Bitcoin Pro.’
Bitcoin Scams Galore in Singapore
In addition to using the identity of prominent individuals, the scam also pretends to have been covered by major news outlets, including The Straits Times. Using ‘highly deceptive, misleading information,’ the scam lures potential investors into providing credit card and bank account information, as well as personal details.
Early Tuesday, Ching responded to the incident, vehemently warning citizens to stay from the scam and report them on whatever channels they may appear,
“Just to alert everyone that there have been some more fat frogs jumping in the streets! [The articles are] masquerading as breathless news…[using] my name and making up fake breathtaking quotes from me and others.”
The scam has previously used the identity of Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, as well as Deputy Prime Minister, Heng Swee Keat, and billionaire Peter Lim.
Singapore’s financial authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has urged the public to avoid falling for such scams, which have gone to great lengths to appear authentic by assuming connections to prominent figures and entities.
Facebook Used as a Platform to Swindle Uninformed Investors
Facebook has responded to the Singaporean Bitcoin scam, saying that it has disabled the accounts linked to the posts and removed the ads. Despite this, the ads continue to resurface — a net negative for the cryptocurrency industry as it attempts to legitimize itself as an asset class in the eyes of the wider public.
Perhaps most telling of all is the fact that Facebook’s own Libra has itself been at the center of a scam on Facebook. Following the announcement of the token, several pages had been created on Facebook purporting to sell the token and trade it for Bitcoin, despite Libra not having been launched yet.
Images courtesy of The Straits Times, Shutterstock.
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