Police Reports on Rising Cryptocurrency Investment Crime, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Police reports of crimes related to cryptocurrency investments have skyrocketed since 2018.
In response to questions from the Straits Times, police said 393 reports of cheating, fraud or other crimes related to cryptocurrency investments were reported last year.
That number was more than three times that of 2019, when 125 reports were written, and a massive jump from the 15 reports in 2018.
About $ 29 million was lost in such cases between 2018 and 2020.
The director of the nonprofit Center for Strategic Cyberspace and International Studies, Mr Anthony Lim, told ST that cryptocurrencies are popular for use in illicit practices as they are mostly unregulated by Governments.
He said: “These scammers and perpetrators are playing on a potential victim’s greed or need for money or the inability to resist making a quick buck, even if it sounds too good to be true. , and on the impatience to win the goodies.
“Many of those who are victimized are not vigilant and do not do due diligence before … We are talking here about thousands of dollars of his hard earned money; vigilance and due diligence is the least they can do before. to dive. “
He added that the due diligence would include understanding how cryptocurrencies work, knowing the person or company offering the deal, and verifying the seller’s legitimacy with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Earlier this month, Senior Minister and Minister for Social Policy Coordination Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in a written response to Parliament that MAS has repeatedly warned that investing in cryptocurrencies is risky and not not suitable for retail investors.
“Those who choose to trade cryptocurrencies should therefore understand the significant risks they are taking and verify the credentials of the entities involved before dealing with them,” he said in response to questions from the MP. by Tanjong Pagar GRC, Joan Pereira, on measures to be limited. the exposure of retail investors to these high-risk products and how the government will work with individuals and families to detect signs of distress in victims and assist them.
The national financial education program MoneySense launched a campaign last month to raise awareness of the risks of investment scams involving cryptocurrencies and online trading.
Consumers are taught to spot red flags such as the promise of quick and substantial profits, and are reminded to follow the steps to verify the legitimacy of the entity marketing the product before making any investment.
These steps consist of asking as many questions as the buyer needs to understand the investment opportunity and being wary if the business is unable or avoids answering questions; audit the company, its owners, directors and members of management; and confirm company and representative credentials using available resources.
These resources include the Directory of financial institutions, which is a list of financial institutions regulated by MAS and the regulated activities they are authorized to provide; the Register of Representatives – a list of persons who carry out activities regulated by the MAS on his website; and the investor alert list – a list of people not regulated by the MAS who may have been wrongly perceived as holding a license or authorization from the authority.