Parties hit by fake pages, messages
Facebook pages masquerading as political parties make posts that misrepresent them, messages go out claiming to be from WP
At least three political parties have fallen victim to bad actors pretending to be them online in the lead-up to the general election on July 10. This could be to spread fake news, or possibly, to steal money and information.
Checks by The Straits Times found that bad actors have set up fake Facebook pages masquerading as Red Dot United (RDU) and Peoples Voice (PV).
RDU chairman Michelle Lee told ST yesterday it has lodged a police report against a Facebook page pretending to be the party, and making posts that are misrepresenting it. The page has been removed.
"Any page that masquerades as Red Dot United would have as its intention the hijacking of the identity and messaging of our party. We are grateful for the quick response by Facebook to take the fake page down," she said.
Ms Lee said the public should look out for the blue tick on its Facebook page, indicating it is a verified page.
The party had published a post on Facebook warning about the fake page, which was called Red Dot United Party and featured its logo together with fabricated posts that tried to "attribute harmful and divisive sentiments to RDU".
While the fake RDU page has been removed, a fake page pretending to be PV was still up yesterday evening.
Party chief Lim Tean said he and the party are aware of the fake page, which is called People's Voice Party.
He added he has posted a warning about fake PV accounts on his own Facebook page, which is where the party makes its announcements, and said he is considering making a police report as well.
"These fake pages are dangerous because you do not know what is on the minds of people who create them," said Mr Lim.
Besides fake Facebook pages, bad actors have also sent individual text messages pretending to be a political party.
On Saturday, the Workers' Party said on Facebook that some people had received fake messages from users who pretend to be from the party.
"The Workers' Party issues all official messages, statements and releases via our official social channels instead of individual text messages (that some of you have shared with us)," it said.
In an advisory yesterday, the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCert) warned that reports of malicious cyber activities increased during elections in other countries and this could happen when Singapore goes to the polls on July 10 too.
As political parties will be relying heavily on online platforms to reach voters given the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be more opportunities for bad actors to launch attacks online, added SingCert, a unit of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore. This can come in the form election-themed phishing baits.
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