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Singapore

Beware of fake ads from scammers misusing PM Lee's image to sell investment opportunities

Ads misusing PM Lee Hsien Loong's image and pointing to scam sites that impersonate CNA's website have surfaced recently. "If the ad uses my image to sell you a product, asks you to invest in some scheme, or even uses my voice to tell you to send money, it's not me," says PM Lee.

Beware of fake ads from scammers misusing PM Lee's image to sell investment opportunities

A scam site misusing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's image. (Image: Lee Hsien Loong/Facebook)

SINGAPORE: There has been an uptick in online advertisements misusing Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s image to sell investment opportunities. Some ads also point to scam sites that impersonate CNA's website and misuse CNA's logo to add a veneer of legitimacy.

The fraudulent ads also entice people to click through to the scam sites using false claims that suggest Mr Lee is in trouble with the law or that he is "wanted".

Some of these fake ads have appeared on the CNA website due to third-party ad providers.

Members of the public are advised not to respond to these ads or click on their links.

Mr Lee on Saturday (Jul 22) said in a Facebook post that scammers tend to capitalise on his image after a major speech or announcement that generated a lot of media coverage, and such crypto scams and fake ads “have popped up again in the past few days”.

“If the ad uses my image to sell you a product, asks you to invest in some scheme, or even uses my voice to tell you to send money, it’s not me,” he wrote in the post.

In fake ads that CNA has seen, various images of PM Lee have been used to point to scam sites with false headlines such as “SPECIAL REPORT: Lee Hsien Loong’s Latest Investment has the Government and Big Banks Terrified”.  

To get these ads into the public space, scammers use a technique known as "ad cloaking". Essentially, scammers would launch an ad campaign that appears legitimate and harmless to both manual and automated review systems on ad platforms. Once these are approved and published, a mechanism would switch out the ad content to the fake ads.

If you see fake news or scam ads in Singapore, you can report these via the official ScamShield Bot on WhatsApp at https://go.gov.sg/scamshield-bot

Source: CNA/kk

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