Online ad showing Pritam Singh’s image links to article endorsing trading platform
An advertisement that uses the name and image of Leader of the Opposition and Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh has been seen online.
It links to an article that is similar to a previously identified scam involving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The ad, which was spotted at the top of a news website’s main page, features a photo of Mr Singh. The banner says “Ads by Google” when an icon on the top right-hand corner of the ad is selected.
Clicking on the ad brings the user to an article titled “SPECIAL REPORT: Pritam Singh’s Latest Investment Has The Government And Big Banks Terrified”. His photo was also used in the article.
The page appears to mimic local news website CNA by using its logo, but its web address does not correspond to that of CNA’s. Links on the page labelled CNA Insider, CNA Lifestyle and CNA938 Live all lead to a trading platform.
The Straits Times has contacted Mr Singh and the Workers’ Party for comment.
In response to queries from ST, a Google spokesman said it has “taken action on the ad”, without elaborating.
He added: “Google has strict policies that govern the kind of ads we allow on our platform and ads that intend to mislead or deceive users are a violation of those policies.
“When we find ads that violate our policies, we investigate and will take swift action.”
Both automated systems and people evaluate if ads comply with Google’s policy, the spokesman said, and more than 5.2 billion ads were removed from its platforms in 2022. Users can also report ads.
In July, scammers used PM Lee’s name and image in a similar page. Then, the fake CNA report was titled “SPECIAL REPORT: Lee Hsien Loong’s Latest Investment Has The Government And Big Banks Terrified”.
In a Facebook post then, PM Lee urged the public not to respond to scams, fake news or ads similar to the screenshot he shared of the article, and to report them via the official ScamShield Bot on WhatsApp.
Those who have been scammed can lodge an online police report, he added.
In June 2022, the police warned the public against fake online articles that purportedly show PM Lee endorsing cryptocurrency auto-trading programmes.