Singapore PM warns on crypto fraud after his name is used in scam

September 24, 2018
Chris Wheal

Five days after the Monetary Authority of Singapore – the country’s central bank – issued a statement warning about a scam website using the names of senior political figures to solicit bitcoin investments, the country’s prime minister has published his own warning on social media.

Singapore premier Lee Hsien Loong took to his Twitter account on Saturday to warn global investors not to believe the fake news being spread by internet fraudsters disguising their scams as stories from genuine news providers.

Fake news story

One such fake story – seemingly published by the UK Mirror Group – quotes Loong as saying: “Some literally hate me for investing in this!, but they’ll hate me even more for bringing Lee Kuan’s Vision to the people.”

Another, published by Health-E News said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, deupty prime minister, had launched a “digital project for Singaporians” (sic). “This will make you rich in just 7 days,” the posting claimed.


The fake news reports suggesting prime minister and deputy are bitcoin investors

Loong responded on Saturday by Tweeting: “Scammers have used DPM Tharman’s & my name to solicit bitcoin investments. Don’t believe everything you see on the internet!”

Select Committee report

In response to the growth of such fraudulent activity through the spread of fake news, Singapore’s government launched an investigation into the phenomenon through a parliamentary Select Committee.

Its report, published on 19 September, recommended enacting legislation to tackle the problem, and urged technology companies to take proactive steps to tackle fake content on their platforms.

Loong said in a post on his Facebook account: “Countering fake news is not something the Government can do alone. We need the co-operation of many groups – businesses, tech companies, media organisations, public institutions, and most of all, the public – to be aware and to be responsible.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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