Singapore’s national police have alerted the public over a new scam circulating on the internet posing to help FTX victims recover their deposits. The police say it is a ruse to gain sensitive information from victims in a bid to defraud them.
The scammers are allegedly using a website falsely claiming to be working with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) “to return funds to the victims of the bankruptcy of FTX International.” Victims of the scam are encouraged to log into their FTX account and fill out a form on the website to expedite the return of their funds.
According to the website, the victims will only be charged a commission on their deposits which will be used to pay legal fees. The police warning notes that the site is one big phishing scam designed to obtain customers’ login details to wreak more havoc.
The scheme’s primary targets are local Singaporean investors, widely considered one of the hardest hit in FTX’s collapse. Recent data shows that Singapore accounted for 241,675 monthly average users on FTX or five percent of total traffic on the exchange. FTX made significant incursions in the city-state following an aggressive marketing campaign in the Southeast Asian country.
The police advisory goes on to warn residents of fake online articles on digital assets that promote automatic trading programs. Scammers use prominent Singaporean politicians in the reports to give credence to the scam, suggesting they “endorse algorithmic cryptocurrency auto-trading programs.”
“The online articles portrayed the investments as highly lucrative and almost risk-free,” read the statement from the national police.
FTX ruins the party for Singapore’s digital assets ecosystem
FTX’s implosion left millions of customers holding empty bags, with thousands of Singaporean investors affected by the catastrophe. Aside from the retail side of things, the collapse could have dire implications for the broader digital asset ecosystem in the country.
Institutional investors like Temasek, owner of Singapore Airlines, and Singtel lost $275 million in their FTX investment, but the real trouble lies in the stance regulators will take after the incident. Singapore’s virtual currency ecosystem has been reeling since Terra collapsed, grappling with its contagion effect that led to the fall of Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Celsius, Zipmex, and other prominent entities.
Pundits believe that FTX put the final nail in the coffin amid the widespread belief that the country will pursue a tighter digital asset regulatory regime. Under the new regime, it is expected that the speculative use of virtual currencies would face tighter controls while advertisements about the asset class could be almost non-existent.
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