Don’t click! Bitcoin phishing scam makes its way to Singapore

“You have (1) BitCoin in your account. Confirm your account here … Current market value 18505.26 SGD.”

If you received an SMS with the message above, do not click on the link that comes with it as it is likely to be a phishing scam.

At least two people in Singapore told Channel NewsAsia they received messages on Wednesday (Jan 17) claiming that they had a Bitcoin worth more than S$18,500 in their “account”.

Mr Raymond Lee got the message at 12.22pm. “I ignored it because I know it is a scam,” he said.

Another Channel NewsAsia reader, Mr Pang Choon Hock, said he also knew it was a scam immediately: “Nobody will give you money for nothing.”

A quick check online and on social media shows that people in other parts of the world have been receiving similar messages as far back as October last year, although there appear to have been no reports of the scam reaching Singapore until now.

On question-and-answer network Stack Exchange, a user reported receiving a similar message on Oct 30 last year. “When I follow the link, there’s nothing relevant,” said the person who posted the comment.

“Mine lead(s) back to, a domain registered by Christopher Boyd. A security researcher, think someone is trying to frame him,” another user posted about a week later.

Online Investigations, an Australia-based private investigation agency, warned in a post on their website on Dec 5 last year that Australians and New Zealanders were receiving the text message.

“By clicking the link, receivers of this message are inadvertently giving scammers permission to use their phone as a tool to mine Bitcoin for profit through an effective crowd sharing operation. Personal information may also be put at risk,” it said.

The scam comes on the back of soaring Bitcoin prices in the past year. The world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency hit US$19,000(S$25,000) on one trading platform in December last year. Its value has been volatile, however, sharply tumbling to as low as US$10,567 on Wednesday.

This story came from a reader tip-off. If you would like to send in photos or videos of something newsworthy, WhatsApp our Mediacorp news hotline at +65 8218 8281 or message us on Facebook.

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