Billionaire Peter Lim makes police report over bitcoin scam ads claiming he endorses 'wealth loophole'
Billionaire makes police report after ad claims he endorses 'wealth loophole' to rake in millions from cryptocurrency investments
Local tycoon Peter Lim has made a fresh police report after an advertisement of him allegedly promoting bitcoin investments resurfaced online recently.
The advertisement, presented as a news report purportedly published by "Straits Times", claims that Singaporeans are "raking in millions of dollars from home" using Mr Lim's "wealth loophole".
Running for several pages and featuring photographs of Mr Lim and "Singaporeans" who made a killing investing in bitcoin using his "loophole", it also claims the report has been carried by other publications such as The New Paper, The Business Times, Today and Singapore Business Review.
The fake report encourages the public to invest in a software that uses artificial intelligence algorithms to predict bitcoin fluctuations and automatically buys and sells the cryptocurrency.
Users of the software are required to submit their name, e-mail address and credit card details to allow earnings to be deposited into their bank account every few days.
A spokesman for Mr Lim's office told TNP on Saturday: "Of late, we have been alerted to many online scams over social media - stealing the identity of and impersonating Mr Lim, trying to trick the public of their hard-earned money.
"We have reported the matter to our local police and hope that the public does not fall prey to such scams. There is no such thing as 'get rich quick schemes'."
Mr Lim's name was previously used to promote online scams. In 2016, he made a police report against online claims that he had endorsed certain investment methods.
The following year, the billionaire filed two police reports after his name and images were used again in online scams, including one that claimed he had endorsed investments in a cryptocurrency.
Local entrepreneur Adam Khoo was also featured in a similar bitcoin scam advertisement recently. His office did not respond to TNP's queries by press time.
Mr Caleb Yap, the co-founder of interest group Singapore Bitcoin Club, told TNP yesterday that giving out seemingly benign information such as one's name and e-mail address is dangerous.
"This information can be sold to hackers who will then use it to invest in foreign exchange or binary options, causing victims to lose money without knowing why," he said.
Mr Yap said those who are not well versed in cryptocurrency should refrain from using autobot software online to make money as some sites may use their e-mail addresses and passwords to access and compromise their e-mail accounts.
When approached for comment on the latest scam advertisements, the Monetary Authority of Singapore referred TNP to advisories it had sent out previously.
It had warned the public that there is no regulation for cryptocurrency transactions in Singapore and that investing in cryptocurrencies is risky.
It also advised anyone who suspects an investment offer could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities to report such cases to the police.
Lawyer Fong Wei Li said the fake advertisements are unlikely to come under the newly passed Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, which targets online falsehoods affecting public interest.
He told TNP the contents of such advertisements are unlikely to be related to public interest, as defined by the Act.
But victims of such advertisements can take legal action on their own, Mr Fong said.
"If someone relies on the contents of the ad and decides to do something that causes them to lose money, they can try to sue those responsible for the ad."