MAS warns of 'highly misleading' website soliciting investments

The website claimed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his National Day message, had revealed a new "wealth loophole". The comments attributed to PM Lee are false, said MAS. PHOTO: MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
The website claimed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his National Day message, had revealed a new "wealth loophole". The comments attributed to PM Lee are false, said MAS. PHOTO: MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has cautioned the public about a website using fabricated comments from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to solicit investments in bitcoin.

Information on the website is "highly deceptive and misleading", MAS said yesterday, adding that comments on the fake website attributed to PM Lee are completely false.

The website is also designed to look like it is linked to Singapore Press Holdings.

MAS said: "The site tries to get readers to provide credit card or bank account information. It also asks for payments into a purported bitcoin trading platform, which would automatically initiate trades on the client's behalf."

The public is advised to exercise "extreme caution" and avoid providing any financial or personal information on the forms linked on the website, it added.

"Anyone who suspects that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the police."

A screenshot provided by MAS showed the website had claimed that PM Lee, in his National Day message, revealed a new "wealth loophole". This is false, MAS said.

 
 

Since September last year, MAS has issued at least four consumer advisories on such fraudulent websites that use the names and photographs of ministers and other prominent people in Singapore to solicit bitcoin investments.

The ministers included Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Public figures whose identities have been used for such websites include local billionaire Peter Lim and TV actor Shaun Chen.

Charmaine Ng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2019, with the headline 'MAS warns of 'highly misleading' website soliciting investments'. Print Edition | Subscribe