Singapore Warns Against Bitcoin Scammers Using Premier's Name

Singagpore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks at the plenary session of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN at the Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kham

By Andrea Tan

Bitcoin fraudsters are misusing the names of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his deputy Tharman Shanmugaratnam to tout investments, prompting a warning from the premier.

“Scammers have used DPM Tharman’s and my name to solicit Bitcoin investments,” Lee said in a tweet on Saturday evening. “Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet!”

Lee in a Facebook post used the crypto example to highlight how the city state is attempting to tackle the issue of “fake news.” A parliamentary committee last week called for new rules including giving the government greater powers to curb the spread of online falsehoods and getting tech companies to comply.

Two fraudulent websites trumpeting get-rich-quick Bitcoin schemes used fabricated comments attributed to Shanmugaratnam, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said last week. Shanmugaratnam, who’s also chairman of the city’s central bank and financial regulator, had in February warned that Singaporeans could “lose their shirts when they invest in cryptocurrencies.”