MAS Warns Public Against Websites Faking DPM Tharman’s Quotes to Sell Bitcoin

MAS Warns Public Against Websites Faking DPM Tharman’s Quotes to Sell Bitcoin

by September 20, 2018

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a warning about fraudulent websites soliciting bitcoin investments using fudged comments that they’ve attributed to MAS Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Screenshots of the website depict fake articles that are circulated across social media, making false claims about Tharman investing “$1 billion for all Singapore residents” and urging readers to “use HIS method to become rich in just 7 days!”.

The “article” has also stolen logos from BBC World News, Daily Mail, Tech in Asia, CNN and Straits Times to appear more legitimate.

mas dpm tharman investment scam article bitcoin

A screenshot of the website as shared by MAS.

According to a MAS statement:

“The website’s article on bitcoins is highly deceptive and misleading. The statements attributed to DPM Tharman are completely false, apart from his observation that trading volumes in cryptocurrency are low in Singapore.”

MAS further urges readers to avoid signing up for a bitcoin account as suggested by these fradulent websites, and warns the public to “exercise extreme caution” and avoid providing any financial or personal information on the forms linked from the website.

Fintech News Singapore’s attempt to verify the affiliated URLs, and did not link to the screenshot of the article by MAS, but instead lead to a separate and dodgy website, or a connection error, respectively.

There is at least one more instance of a similar misattribution to sell bitcoin from across the Causeway, with a similarly phrased fake article, and article layouts stolen from local websites operating in Malaysia to further confuse readers.

In a bid to work around the limitations on bitcoin-related content set by Google and Facebook, bad players in the market are seemingly resorting to putting words into prominent people’s mouths to drive interest, while conveniently steering clear of the words ‘blockchain’ and ‘bitcoin’ in the titles to avoid suspicion.

Due to cryptocurrency’s unregulated nature, MAS is firm on its stance that putting money into cryptocurrencies is highly risky, issuing an advisory end of last year to warn the public of the risks in similar investments.

MAS concludes that members of the public who suspect that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the Police.

Featured image via MAS