Singapore authorities recent report that residents have lost about $78,000 to fraudulent online platforms in three months.
Online Cryptocurrency Scam Using Fake Personalities
The Straits Times reports that Singapore residents have fallen victim to some online Bitcoin scams in a couple of months, losing up to $78,000 between September and November 2018. The police claimed that unsuspecting Singaporeans were the target of these investment scams.
The authorities stated that these scams came in the form on paid online ads and had pictures of famous Singaporean celebrities/personalities. These personalities are portrayed as endorsing the use of virtual currency such as Bitcoin and how they have profited by investing in cryptocurrency.
Unsuspecting Singapore investors who can’t see right through the faux go ahead to click on the suspicious links and further directed to another website. The new website would then show investments in digital currency. The scam sites always have a “representative” who contacts victims that provide personal details on their websites.
According to the police, these online cryptocurrency scam sites are foreign and do not have permission from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Victims and their investments at risk and fraudulent sites cannot be traced or verified. Investors would also have a hard time laying a complaint against such fraudulent schemes.
Authorities further stated that there was no regulatory framework for virtual currency and as such, no protection exists for investor funds. However, the police gave out its hotline and website for Singapore residents to contact, if they suspect online platforms of scam.
Cryptocurrency Scammers Use Online Platforms to Swindle Investors
Online cryptocurrency scammers using images of prominent personalities and celebrities, is nothing new. Most of these fraudulent websites and online platforms use these images, going as far as claiming that these personalities are cashing out big on Bitcoin investment. The investor who can’t tell its all fake, end up as victims.
The Singapore authorities back in September warned its citizens against two fake virtual currency websites showcasing the Prime Minister and his deputy. The internet scammers used both government officials to get Bitcoin investments from unsuspecting victims.
Also, Twitter has become a den for digital currency fraudsters who hack into accounts of personalities and announce elaborate giveaways. Well-known Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, is a victim of impersonation by cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter.
Recently, a group of hackers breached Twitter accounts of two British outlets and changed the profile picture and name to Elon Musk. The scammers further stated via tweets that “Elon Musk” was giving away 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC).
Furthermore, fraudsters hacked Twitter accounts belonging to Target and Google’s G Suite. For Target’s, scammers announced a 5,000 BTC while G Suite hackers tweeted a 10,000 BTC giveaway to all community.
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