Categories: CryptocurrencyFinance

Fmr Singapore Prime Minister unwittingly tied to Bitcoin investment scam

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a warning about a new Bitcoin scam website that is fraudulently claiming endorsement by the country’s former Prime Minister.

The website strongly implies that Goh Chok Tong, who served as the country’s Prime Minister from 1990 to 2004, uses and endorses its Bitcoin investment scheme.

Using stolen branding to imply association with a legitimate news service, the website declares “Goh Chok Tong Takes Strong Actions To Help Singaporeans In Need. Use His Method To Become Rich In 7 Days!”

According to the warning on the MAS website, the quotes attributed to Tong “are either false or have been taken out of context and used in a misleading way.”

The scam website even goes so far as to imply that Tong – who is well known as a proponent of digitalization – has direct involvement in the platform, saying “That is why he has introduced revolutionary digital innovation.”

Anatomy of a Bitcoin scam

Like most HYIP (high yield investment program) scams, this particular Bitcoin scam works by convincing people to make an initial minimum investment of SGD$250 (AUD$265) on a platform called Bitcoin Loophole, which will supposedly then make trades on the investor’s behalf.

The platform itself promises would-be investors that they will earn $13,000 in twenty-four hours “guaranteed” and boasts that members of its “exclusive” investment group are “living it up in exotic locations in every corner of the globe.”

MAS notes that the platform asks users to provide credit card or bank account details and advises extreme caution, warning people not to provide any personal or financial information.

The rise of celebrity ‘endorsed’ scams

A number of cryptocurrency scams have emerged over the past year that use the images and identities of celebrities, politicians, and other public figures – coupled with the promise of massive rewards – to lure in victims.

Early last month, a Bitcoin scam used Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, in their promotion, claiming that the movie star had quit acting to invest in Bitcoin.

The criminal scheme pushed potential windfalls as they noted, “Hugh has announced that he is expecting to double the value of his investment in just half a year.”

Facebook has been used to publish fake ads promoting such scams, with one ad campaign featuring Today Show host Karl Stefanovic.

Another Facebook ad used former Australian Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou to promote a similar scam, while yet another featured “Big Brother” creator John de Mol, who ultimately sued Facebook over the ads.

Sir John Key, the former prime minister of New Zealand, was also used to promote another crypto scam boasting that the politician had invested AUD$500,000 in a crypto operation that would “earn thousands of dollars daily.”

Even the Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency, is being used in a scam that purportedly sells Libra tokens to users in exchange for Bitcoin or Ethereum – although Libra has NOT been released yet and will not be until at least early next year.

Whether in traditional finance or cryptocurrency sectors, one crucial piece of advice given to investors is to use extreme caution when investing. Do your due diligence and watch out for get-rich-quick schemes – particularly those that promise large returns in a short period of time.

Jeff Francis

Jeff has taken a roundabout way to becoming a cryptocurrency writer. He has always had a huge interest in history, which led to him receiving a degree in medieval history. He once thought of becoming a teacher but eventually joined some friends in opening a hobby shop. Jeff eventually took over sole proprietorship of the business and ran it for over 10 years. He then moved on to online selling and then into gaming journalism. He has spent the last 10 years writing professionally for various websites as well as creating content for many businesses. A few years back, he began hearing about Bitcoin and the rise of other cryptocurrencies. A proponent of allowing people to take economic power into their own hands, Jeff has enthusiastically supported cryptocurrencies, not to mention the many benefits of blockchain technology. This interest propelled him to becoming a writer for, and later editor of, several cryptocurrency-focused websites. Jeff is a lifelong geek and gamer. He tries to keep up with the slew of TV shows and movies that fall into the fantasy/sci-fi/superhero genres, and he still plays pen-and-paper role-playing games on the weekends. He lives in Florida, USA, as he cannot stand cold weather.

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Jeff Francis

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