SINGAPORE: In a recent incident that has alarmed the arts community and the general public, individuals have organized art competitions under the false pretence of being affiliated with the official Singapore International Arts Festival (SIFA). These perpetrators have even gone to the extent of creating fake websites to deceive participants into registering and making payments.

The genuine festival organizers have taken swift action to disassociate themselves from these fraudulent activities and have reported the matter to the authorities.

Arts House, SIFA’s organizer, as well as the Arts Association of Singapore (AAS), the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), and the School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) issued a joint statement to clarify the situation.

The statement revealed that the fraudulent activities came to light when various online platforms, including WeChat, WhatsApp, and Little Red Book, started circulating posters bearing the SIFA title. These posters promoted art competitions and invited the public to sign up for art events, all falsely linked to the festival.

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Additionally, one of the culprits created a fake website that sought to lure unsuspecting participants into registering for these sham competitions and making payments. This blatant misrepresentation of the renowned festival’s name raised concerns among the legitimate organizers and partners.

The joint statement emphasized that the genuine festival organizers, along with their partner institutions, immediately issued official notices on their website to inform the public about the deceptive practices. Simultaneously, they reported the matter to several government bodies, including the National Arts Council, the festival director, and the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth. The police and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore were also alerted to address this issue promptly.

The festival organizers and their partners have urged the public to verify the authenticity of any event claiming to be associated with the SIFA and to refer to the official festival website for accurate information. They have assured the public that every effort is being made to address this unfortunate situation and maintain the festival’s high standards.