Singapore’s Financial regulatory, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published a media release on January 29. MAS alerts citizens not to be lured by fraudulent websites that request investments in cryptocurrencies using fabricated information associated with the Singapore Government.
— MAS (@MAS_sg) January 29, 2019
As per the media release, MAS stated –
“These websites falsely claim that Singapore is adopting a cryptocurrency as its official coin. They also claim that a firm has been appointed exclusively to market this cryptocurrency. The sites ask readers to provide their personal and financial details to purchase the cryptocurrency.”
MAS cited it as a scam and warned the public to avoid providing any economic or personal details on the forms linked from these false websites.
MAS also shared a screenshot of the fake news –
Investing money in cryptocurrencies or digital tokens is highly unsafe. MAS and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) published several advisories in December 2017, September 2018, and more recently in December 2018 to alert the public of the risks involved in such investment offers.
Singapore citizens who come across any suspicious investment offers like fraudulent or other illegal activities should report such cases directly to the Police.
In December 2018, the Singapore Police Force had published a report on Scam Advisory on Investment Scams Promoting Bitcoin Trading. The report further mentioned that the police have got many reports of investment scams between September and November 2018. Most of the online articles used fake information to promote investment in Bitcoin. A total sum of about $78,000 was lost to the scammers.
The investment scams which are advertised online are intended to target Singapore citizens. The advertisements by these false companies feature well-known celebrities from Singapore, purportedly backing investment in Bitcoin, and insist that it has produced massive profits for them.
Recently, fraudsters allegedly published the news of former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key for supporting a crypto related scam.
These lucrative fake investment schemes work from outside of Singapore and are not controlled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Citizens of Singapore are strongly advised to be careful about investing in such schemes.
As per the Singapore Police report, citizens are reminded that Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies are not legal tenders. They are not adopted by any government and are not backed by any assets or issuer.
There is an increase in crypto related crimes in many countries. It’s becoming tough to deal with crimes related to cryptocurrency, as the criminals operate remotely and are hard to locate.
Investors may encounter problems when wanting to withdraw their profits and initial investment amount, and also face challenges while claiming against these operators who are based abroad.
With MAS alerting its citizens help to address the problem, or should it introduce strict regulations? Share your thoughts in the comments below.