Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has become the latest high-profile target of fraudsters exploiting deepfake technology. This follows a deepfake of Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and a fake Instagram account in the name of Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.
Signing an Instagram post yesterday with “LHL” – the signature indicates that Lee Hsien Loong wrote the post himself, not Lee Hsien Loong’s team – the Prime Minister of Singapore He published a deepfake video and wrote a warning with the following headline: It’s a scam! ”
This creepy scam video shows a deepfake portrait of Prime Minister Lee being interviewed on a program called “Leaders Talk” broadcast by China-based channel CGTN. The program itself is real. It exists and the interviewees are heads of state or people of similar stature.
However, this particular video is a deepfake of a TV show, and the deepfake Prime Minister Lee interviewed is said to be able to “analyze market trends” and “make strategic investment decisions and make trades.” He was heard praising “quantum computing algorithms” that can “do things.” Deepfake added that this is “essentially a hands-free cryptocurrency transaction with a track record of success.”
An Instagram post from yesterday warning the public about this cryptocurrency scam and signed “LHL” read: “Recently, a number of my audio deepfake videos have been posted purporting to facilitate cryptocurrency fraud. DPM @lawrencewongst has also been targeted. Scammers are using AI technology to copy our audio and images. Copycat. They take real footage of us taken at official events and turn it into a very convincing but completely bogus video that purports to say things we never said. Convert.”
He made an urgent appeal. “If you see or receive a scam video that promises a guaranteed return on investment or a ‘gift’, do not respond. If you come across any scams, fake news, or ads like the one in the video here, please report it via the official ScamShield bot on WhatsApp (https://go.gov.sg/scamshield-bot). ”
Prime Minister Lee also directed internet users to reliable sources of information. “Official PMO videos can be found on the PMO YouTube channel (click on the link in my profile).
“The use of deepfake technology to spread disinformation will continue to increase. We must remain vigilant and learn how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from such scams. Thank you to the Singaporean who took the time to report this issue to me. – LHL”