$78k lost to bitcoin investment scams in last 3 months

About $78,000 was lost to scams involving online articles that use false information to promote bitcoin investments between September and last month.

These investment scams, which are advertised online, are designed to target Singapore residents, the police said yesterday.

The online articles are usually paid advertisements that feature well-known personalities in Singapore who supposedly endorse bitcoin investments and have earned massive profits from them.

In these online advertisements, bitcoin investments are portrayed as safe, secure and highly lucrative.

People who click on links within the article are taken to a different website, which offers investments involving cryptocurrencies and other financial products.

Those who provide their contact details on these websites would usually receive a call from a "representative" from the investment scheme.

The authorities said such investment schemes operate from foreign countries and are not regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The MAS does not regulate cryptocurrencies and there are no regulatory safeguards for cryptocurrency investments.

The authorities also said individuals are exposed to additional risk of fraud when investing in schemes that operate outside of Singapore, as it is difficult to verify their authenticity.

Investors may also have issues when pursuing claims against the operators of such schemes, the police said.

Members of the public with information on fraudulent activities taking place through unregulated online trading platforms can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit feedback at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

Those seeking scam-related advice can also call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2018, with the headline $78k lost to bitcoin investment scams in last 3 months. Subscribe