Singapore PM warns residents about deepfakes using likeness for crypto scams

Singapore Prime Minister with Scam text ang warning in the background. Crypto

Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore, warned his followers on social media to be aware of deepfake videos using his voice and image to promote crypto scams.

In Dec. 28 posts on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn and Facebook, Loong urged his followers not to respond to scammers using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to create deepfakes, claiming the Singapore PM promised “returns on investments” and crypto giveaways. The PM shared a video of himself being interviewed, created by scammers to promote a fake type of “hands-free crypto trading.”

“The use of deepfake technology to spread disinformation will continue to grow,” said Loong. “We must remain vigilant and learn to protect ourselves and our loved ones against such scams.”

Screenshot of Lee Hsien Loong's Facebook account post warning about deepfake videos promoting crypto scams.
Source: Facebook

Loong has been a target for scammers before the advent of certain AI tools. In 2021, he warned Singaporeans “to remain vigilant when dealing with cryptocurrency platforms,” claiming someone set up a profile on BitClout to sell tokens using fake social media accounts. He and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong faced questions from lawmakers following the collapse of FTX in 2022.

Since the creation of cryptocurrency, scammers have utilized various methods to attempt to con users into sending fiat or tokens. Hackers cracked accounts of high-profile Twitter users in 2020, including U.S. President Barack Obama and then soon-to-be President Joe Biden, to promote a Bitcoin scam.