Halimah Yacob raises alert on Facebook scam

Halimah Yacob speaking at the book launch of 50 Defining Moments for Malay/Muslim Community at the Malay Heritage Centre.
Halimah Yacob speaking at the book launch of 50 Defining Moments for Malay/Muslim Community at the Malay Heritage Centre. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

Police report made on fake account with her name asking her contacts for money

A police report has been made about a fake Facebook account using Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob's name.

Madam Halimah said she has alerted Facebook to take down the account.

The fake account, which bears her name and her photo, surfaced last Wednesday, she said.

The scammer said Madam Halimah was in trouble and needed money, and asked for her contacts to transfer money to her.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a community event yesterday, Madam Halimah said she was alerted to the scam by her husband's friend.

"That's of great concern to me because people may be thinking that I am raising those funds, that's why I have decided to make it public, to tell everyone that I have only two Facebook accounts, the others are not real," said the MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

She said she hopes no one has been duped and that police will look into the matter.

"(It's) not just me. If others are affected, scamming, using false accounts, it can be serious, (these are) downsides of technology that we have to be careful of."

Madam Halimah is the second MP reported to have fallen prey to such a scam.

Last December, a fake Facebook account bearing MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Zainal Sapari's name was set up to ask for money.

With the widespread use of the Internet and social media, Madam Halimah said she is worried that such fake profile pages would become a trap for people who do not know better.

Meanwhile, Madam Halimah, who was speaking on the sidelines of a bursary distribution event at Fuchun Community Club, said she was looking forward to Parliament sitting again next month.

After the General Election in September and Singapore undergoing an economic slowdown, Madam Halimah said she expects a lively debate.

"New MPs too, a lot are raring to go in terms of raising issues and making maiden speeches, I am sure many are preparing to make those... Parliament is a very important institution where people's voices are heard through their MPs, so it is important and I look forward to presiding (over) those debates," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2015, with the headline 'Halimah Yacob raises alert on Facebook scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe