Singapore

Scammers impersonate MPs in fake Facebook scam

At least 13 MPs from the People's Action Party (PAP), including Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing, have had fake Facebook accounts created in their name.

Most appeared between Thursday night and yesterday. They were deleted shortly after the MPs were alerted by grassroots leaders and residents.

The PAP communications team had also been told of the spate of fake accounts, "about two to three daily", MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Alex Yam, the PAP's executive director, said in a Facebook post yesterday.

The fake accounts mirrored those of the MPs, added friends, then tried to phish for information through Facebook's messaging service.

BLUE TICK

Mr Yam urged users to look for a blue tick - Facebook's symbol of verification - on MPs' profiles and alert the MPs if they come across suspicious accounts.

Ms Tin Pei Ling, the MP for MacPherson, who was also a victim of the deception, gave her residents a lesson on Facebook yesterday on how to spot fakes.

Besides the absence of a blue tick, the impersonator had asked her Facebook friends to go into what seems to be a scam site, she wrote.

A screenshot shows the impersonator telling one of Ms Tin's contacts: "I really appreciate everyone and will continue to serve you in taking this great singapore (sic) to the greatest place we ever desire."

The impostor then asked if the contact had heard of the "FB reward bonus", and if he wanted the link to claim it.

Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng, who was hit, said the MPs may take collective action: "We'll see whether we can work with Facebook to see if the fake accounts are coming from the same IP address, and make a move from there."

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