Singapore has lost roughly $78,000 to investment scams involving fake online articles promoting fraudulent Bitcoin investments between September to November 2018, domestic news outlet The Straits Times reported December 5.
According to the report, the online articles generally appear as online advertisements featuring notable personalities in Singapore, purportedly promoting the fraudulent Bitcoin investment with a promise of earning outrageous profits. The Bitcoin scheme, as the ads falsely claim, offers an equally secure and lucrative investment opportunity.
Those who are lured into clicking the article links are redirected to another website that peddles cryptocurrency investments and other questionable financial products.
Individuals who are hoodwinked into providing their contact information on the website usually receive a call from someone claiming to be a “representative” of the investment scam, most of which originate overseas and are beyond the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) jurisdiction.
As it stands, cryptocurrencies remain outside the MAS’ supervision, leaving investors with no regulatory protection against illicit crypto schemes.
Furthermore, fraudulent schemes operating across Singapore also pose additional risk to investors, as such illicit operations are usually more difficult to verify, with bad actors proving to be more elusive when pursuing claims against such operators, the police noted.