Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has issued a stark warning to his social media followers about the rising threat of deepfake videos leveraging his voice and image to promote fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes.
On December 28, Loong took to his social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and Facebook, to caution his supporters against falling victim to scammers who employ artificial intelligence (AI) technology to generate deepfakes that falsely attribute promises of “investment returns” and cryptocurrency giveaways to him.
Recently, there have been a number of audio deepfake videos that use AI technology to mimic my voice to promote crypto scams. If you see or receive these scams promising guaranteed returns on investments or ‘giveaways’, please do not respond to them! – LHL https://t.co/pv1Vl6euAc pic.twitter.com/ogPlEeYWzw
— leehsienloong (@leehsienloong) December 29, 2023
He even shared an example of a deceptive video featuring himself being interviewed, which was manipulated by fraudsters to promote a bogus form of “hands-free crypto trading.”
Loong emphasized the growing danger posed by deepfake technology in spreading misinformation. He stressed the importance of remaining vigilant and educating oneself and loved ones on how to defend against such scams.
Notably, Prime Minister Loong has long been a target for scammers, predating the proliferation of AI-based tools in this arena.
In 2021, he issued a cautionary message to Singaporeans, urging them to exercise caution when dealing with cryptocurrency platforms.
At that time, individuals had created fraudulent profiles on platforms like BitClout, using fake social media accounts to sell tokens, raising concerns about identity theft and fraud.
Furthermore, both Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong faced inquiries from lawmakers in the wake of the FTX exchange’s collapse in 2022, underscoring the government’s commitment to safeguarding its citizens from cryptocurrency-related risks.
The cryptocurrency landscape has been rife with scams since its inception. Scammers have employed a variety of tactics to dupe users into parting with their fiat currency or digital tokens.
In 2020, high-profile Twitter accounts, including former United States President Barack Obama and President-elect Joe Biden, were compromised by hackers who used them to promote a fraudulent Bitcoin scheme.
These incidents illustrate the ongoing challenge of combating cryptocurrency scams and the importance of public figures like Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong raising awareness to protect the community from financial fraud in the digital age.