New scam involving fake website targets FTX investors hoping to recover losses

The fake site claims to be hosted by the US Department of Justice. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Investors reeling from the losses caused by the recent bankruptcy of cryptocurrency exchange FTX are the target of new scams, said the police.

The police were alerted to a fake website that prompts FTX customers to log in with their FTX username and password to withdraw their funds after paying legal fees.

The site, which claims to be hosted by the United States Department of Justice, is likely to be a phishing website for collecting login credentials, said the police in a statement on Saturday.

The collapse of the world’s second-largest crypto exchange has sent retail investors into a panic as their holdings in FTX have been frozen. Various financial institutions, including Singapore investment firm Temasek, have had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investments in FTX wiped out.

The police also warned of a second scam linked to cryptocurrency investments, where fraudsters promote auto-trading programmes through fake articles.

The bogus articles mimic news outlets like CNA and feature political figures like Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin purportedly endorsing cryptocurrency auto-trading programmes.

“The online articles portrayed the investments as highly lucrative and almost risk-free. This purported endorsement by the (political office holders) is untrue,” said the police.

The online articles are used to lure victims into clicking on a link, which leads them to a separate site offering investments through crypto-trading or other financial products.

The site then requests the victim’s contact details. Those who provide their details will likely receive a call from a “representative”, pressuring them to invest in a fraudulent scheme.

The Straits Times has asked the police if any victims have fallen prey to the two scams.

The police urged the public to be vigilant when trading by asking many questions to fully understand investment opportunities.

“If the company is unable to answer or avoids answering any questions, be wary,” said the police. “Check on the company, its owners, directors and management members to assess if investment opportunities are genuine.”

“Never disclose your personal or account login details to anyone,” they added.

Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000.

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