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MAS issues warning on fraudulent website soliciting Bitcoin investments

[SINGAPORE] The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday issued a statement that a fraudulent website has been soliciting investments in Bitcoins using fabricated comments attributed to MAS Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

According to the MAS, the website’s article on Bitcoins is highly deceptive and misleading. It said the statements attributed to DPM Tharman are completely false, apart from his observation that trading volumes in cryptocurrency are low in Singapore.

The site asks readers to sign up for a Bitcoin account and requests for credit card or bank account details. Members of the public should exercise extreme caution and avoid providing any financial or personal information on the forms linked from the website.

Putting money in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins is highly risky. MAS had issued an advisory on Dec 19, 2017 to warn the public of the risks of cryptocurrency investments. DPM Tharman had in fact stated in a reply to a Parliamentary Question on 5 February 2018 that Singaporeans “could lose their shirts when they invest money in cryptocurrencies”.

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Members of the public who suspect that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the Police.

For more information on cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency investments, please refer to MoneySENSE’s consumer alerts.