DPM Tharman Erroneously Called A “Venture Capitalist” Who Brought Bitcoin To Singapore

So Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shanmugaratnam endorses bitcoin now and has a sure-win formula to make you rich in just 7 days!

NOT.

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently called out a ridiculous article which featured DPM Tharman as a “venture capitalist” who brought cryptocurrency to Singapore.

The cover picture even featured DPM Tharman’s image and false comments that he did not make.

All with the intention to phish for readers’ bank and credit card details through the creation of a bitcoin account.

Let’s break down the ‘sponsored post’ shall we?

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1. Dodgy URL

The first giveaway is an extremely dodgy sounding URL, “positivebathhour.com”.

We’re not sure if the site’s encouraging you to have 1-hour long ‘positive baths’, or to give you content to make your bath hour positive.

But we’re certain it’s hard to trust a site with a URL like this to dispense sound financial advice.

2. Article is categorised under “Health e-News”

Complete with a sun icon, the “HEALTH-E NEWS” logo emblazoned on the article is another dead giveaway for #fakenews.

Or maybe it’s a clever pun for health-y news?

3. We are “Singaporians”

Although ‘Singaporeans’ are mostly spelled correctly in other instances, the headline is embarrassing to say the least.

Then again, this spelling is probably true to how most Singaporians say it in daily life.

4. Legit news outlet endorsements

The article includes a striking banner that boasts of the content being featured on 5 other legit news outlets like:

  • BBC World News
  • Daily Mail
  • Channel NewsAsia
  • CNN International
  • Straits Times

Given that CNA and ST’s logos are missing the names of the news outlets, we’re honestly not buying it.

5. Random ‘BREAKING NEWS’ anchor

To add to the ‘legitimacy’ of their report, a random picture of a female news anchor in a bright red dress was badly photoshopped into the composite cover picture.

The only thing breaking here is our brains at how people could fall for this.

6. Pic of Tharman looking serious

A 2013 picture belonging to Reuters was used to depict DPM Tharman looking serious about his method to “make you rich in 7 days”.

The Google image search function turned up the picture within the first 30 results.

Here it is in its natural habitat.

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7. ‘Virtual Singapore’ is a thing?

In the writer’s own words,

Virtual Singapore, the digital map of the country rendered in virtual reality and based on real-time dynamic data is a brand new technology made by Singaporeans best developers.

Singapore’s best developers apparently created a VR reality for us, without telling a soul.

Shame on them.

Intention to mislead

MAS added that the article was intentionally written to mislead & deceive readers.

In the rest of the article, statements credited to DPM Tharman were “completely false”, except for his comments on “trading volumes in cryptocurrency” being “low in Singapore”.

Readers are reminded not to provide any information – both personal and financial – to such websites, and to “exercise extreme caution”.

Call the cops if you see this

Cryptocurrency investments remain a highly risky venture, especially after the volatile bitcoin boom earlier this year.

As for DPM Tharman, we know you’ll always have our backs when it comes to sound investment advice.

If you do spot similar fraudulent articles online, however, do report them immediately to the Police.

Featured image from Factually and Monetary Authority of Singapore featured on Channel NewsAsia.