Victims cheated of $78,000 in bitcoin investment scams between September and November

About $78,000 was lost to investment scams involving online articles using false information to promote investment in bitcoin between September and November this year.
About $78,000 was lost to investment scams involving online articles using false information to promote investment in bitcoin between September and November this year.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - About $78,000 was lost to investment scams involving online articles using false information to promote investment in bitcoin between September and November this year.

These investment scams, which are advertised online, are designed to target Singapore residents, the police said on Wednesday (Dec 5).

The online articles are usually paid online ads which feature well-known personalities in Singapore who supposedly endorse bitcoin investment and have earned massive profits from their investment.

In these ads, 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 cryptocurrency and other financial products.

Individuals 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).

In addition, MAS does not regulate cryptocurrencies and there are no regulatory safeguards for cryptocurrency investment.

They also said that individuals are exposed to additional risk of fraud when investing in schemes which operate outside of Singapore, as it is difficult to verify the authenticity of such schemes. Investors may also have issues when pursuing claims against the operators of such schemes, the police added.

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

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