Manpower Minister Josephine Teo took to her Facebook on Wednesday (15 May) to warn the public of a fraudulent website that wrongly attributed comments to her in an attempt to mislead readers to sign up for an online platform.
The article, titled “Josephine Teo on driving innovation and financial freedom for Singapore”, also urges people to give their credit card or bank details and to make a deposit.
“There is a fraudulent website attributing comments to me in order to solicit users to sign up for an online platform, provide their credit card or bank details and to make a deposit,” she wrote.
The fake article included an image of Mrs Teo, and it seemed like it was from a Channel NewsAsia’s programme.
Looking at this fake website, the Minister said that it is “highly deceptive and misleading”.
“It mixes some facts about the updated Employment Act to trick readers into believing the while post. Please be warned that the statement attributed to me about launching the online are completely false,” she explained.
As such, Mrs Teo urges the public to “exercise extreme caution” and do not divulge any financial or personal information to the website, which could be operating outside of the country.
She added, “The problem of deliberate falsehoods is serious. In this case, someone could have suffered financial losses for trusting the wrong information. Anyone who suspects that an investment could be fraudulent or misused for other unlawful activities should report such cases to the Police”.
After reading her post, many netizens question the coincidence of this case emerging after the passing of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA) in Parliament recently. They wrote their comments in the Facebook pages of CNA and TODAY.
However, some of them pointed out that they would not believe such a scam website and take things with a pinch of salt as most scams won’t make sense. They also added that the public is smarter than what the Minister thinks, and “common sense” will tell them to not sign up for such sites.