Singapore—On July 31, Wednesday, the Monetary Authority (MAS) issued a warning concerning statements on a website accredited to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong encouraging people to deposit money into Bitcoin Loophole, since ESM Goh never made those statements at all.
According to MAS this is part of an ongoing cryptocurrency scheme. Moreover, this is not the first time that falsehoods concerning Singaporean leaders were used in marketing a particular product.
In the case of ESM Goh, his name is being used on the website in order to lure people into depositing S$250 into Bitcoin Loophole, purportedly a trading platform is able to begin trading for individuals who wish to do so, in exchange for the user’s bank account or credit card details.
Mr Goh is at present Senior Advisor to MAS.
The MAS advisory reads, “The website’s article on Bitcoins references statements purportedly made by ESM Goh which are either false or have been taken out of context and used in a misleading way. The site asks readers to make a minimum initial deposit of S$250 into a purported trading platform, Bitcoin Loophole, which would automatically initiate trades on one’s behalf. It also requests for credit card or bank account details.”
The statement encouraged the public to be careful of such schemes, and to withhold their private and banking information lest individuals be victimized in such scams. MAS also asked those who suspect such schemes to report them to the Police.
“Members of the public are advised to exercise extreme caution and avoid providing any financial or personal information on the forms linked from the website. Anyone who suspects that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the Police.”
The Authority also provided a screenshot of the website, which is under the heading Health-E News, and contains alleged testimonials from individuals in Singapore and Hong Kong who say they have gotten back big returns from their initial deposit of $250 in Bitcoin Loophole.
Last September, a similar scheme was set up with another Bitcoin website, this time using then Deputy Prime Minister and MAS Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s name and fabricated comments, which is ironic, since Mr Tharman actually warned the public about the dangers of cryptocurrencies.
In May, Singapore’s Manpower Minister Josephine Teo took to social media to warn the public of a website that falsely attributes comments to her for the purpose of getting people to disclose their financial details.
Ms Teo wrote on her Facebook account, “There is a fraudulent website attributing comments to me in order to solicit users to sign up for an online platform, provide their credit card or bank details and to make a deposit.
The website is highly deceptive and misleading. It mixes some facts about the updated Employment Act to trick readers into believing the whole post. Please be warned that the statements attributed to me about launching the online platform are completely false.
The problem of deliberate falsehoods is serious. In this case, someone could have suffered financial losses for trusting the wrong information. Anyone who suspects that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the Police.” -/TISG