DPM Heng Swee Keat raises alert on fake online reports using his name

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a Facebook post on May 17 that he had noticed "many fraudulent reports with misleading comments" attributed to him.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a Facebook post on May 17 that he had noticed "many fraudulent reports with misleading comments" attributed to him.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has warned the public against false reports that have been circulating online using his name.

Mr Heng said in a Facebook post on Friday (May 17) that he had noticed "many fraudulent reports with misleading comments" attributed to him.

"One even claimed that I invested in a new company," said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister. "These are untrue."

His Facebook post was accompanied by a photo of a news article purportedly from CNN, with the headline: "Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat invested 6 million dollars in a new company that can make you rich."

This incident comes just two days after Manpower Minister Josephine Teo raised a similar alert on her Facebook page.

Mrs Teo said that her name was used by a fraudulent website to solicit personal or financial information from users.

She added that the website had even mixed some facts about the updated Employment Act to trick readers into signing up for an online platform.

 

In his post, Mr Heng urged Singaporeans to exercise caution when reading information online, so that they do not fall victim to scams.

"Do check the source of information, especially before providing personal and financial details such as credit card numbers and passwords," he added.

Mr Heng and Mrs Teo are not the first politicians to have their names used wrongfully online.

In March, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam advised the public to be vigilant in the wake of fake Instagram and Facebook accounts impersonating him. 

He added: “Some of my parliamentary colleagues have also had similar issues.”

Last September, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned about a website using his name to solicit bitcoin investments. 

The website used a picture of him and some quotes attributed to him about how profitable bitcoin investments can be.

“Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet!,” Mr Lee warned.

That same month, two sites had also been flagged by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for falsely attributing comments to then DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam for a similar purpose.

In one site, Mr Tharman, who is now Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, was called a “venture capitalist” who announced that Singapore is stepping into the bitcoin cryptocurrency market.