Crypto Investment Scam Robs Singapore Residents of $78,000 over 3 Months
Scammers using misleading advertisements for a fake crypto brokerage service have managed to swindle members of the Singaporean public out of around $78,000 in the span of three months.
A cryptocurrency scam involving a slew of fake advertisements encouraged Singapore residents to invest in Bitcoin, the result being the theft of around $78,000 from September to November this year.
According to a report by local news outlet The Straits Times, the Singapore police is currently investigating a series of fraud cases that lead back to a suspect crypto investment scheme.
The scam began with online advertisements featuring well-known personalities in Singapore endorsing Bitcoin investment and claiming to have netted huge returns from said investment. The ads mislead the general public into thinking crypto investments are safe, risk-free, and guaranteed to offer massive profits.
Clicking on these ads directs victims to another website, which then offers a variety of cryptocurrency investments. Individuals are required to provide their contact details, after which they receive a call from a “representative” working with the crypto investment scheme.
The Singaporean authorities have categorically stated they believe the fraudulent investment scheme is being operated from overseas, and as such has not been vetted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), The Straits Times said. Furthermore, the MAS does not regulate crypto, and digital currency investors have no safeguards to fall back on should they suffer any losses. Despite its crypto-friendly stance, Singapore currently has no regulatory framework in place for digital assets.
The police went on to add that Singaporean residents are at higher risk of fraud if they invest in schemes which originate outside the country since checking the legitimacy of these projects and filing claims in the event of deceit can be doubly difficult in such a scenario.
Singapore citizens are not the only ones to have been duped with grand promises of crypto profits. A report earlier this year revealed that 700 crypto holders in France lost up to 31 million euro (around $35 million) in Bitcoin in a scam that had been active since the start of 2018.