Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong targeted by deepfake interview promoting crypto-scam, after deepfake of DPM Wong

Lee Hsien Loong deepfake
Screenshot from the deepfake interview of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Screenshot courtesy: Instagram /leehsienloong

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is the latest high-profile target of scammers misusing the deepfake technology. This follows the deepfake of Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and the fake Instagram account in the name of Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.

In an Instagram post yesterday signed ‘LHL’ — this signature indicates that Lee Hsien Loong himself wrote the post, and not his team — the Singapore prime minister published the deepfake video of him and wrote a warning note headlined: “‘Tis the season for scams!”

The uncanny scam video shows PM Lee — or rather, his deepfake likeness — apparently being interviewed in a programme called Leaders Talk, aired by the China-headquartered channel CGTN. The programme itself is genuine; it exists, and interviewees are heads of state or people of similar stature.

However, this particular video was a deepfake of the TV programme and the interviewee, the deepfake PM Lee, was heard praising “quantum-computing algorithms” that could “analyse market trends” and “make strategic investment decisions and execute trades”. The deepfake added that this was “essentially hands-free crypto-trading with a track record of success”.

Alerting the public to this crypto-scam, yesterday’s Instagram post signed ‘LHL’ said: “Recently, there have been a number of audio deepfake videos of me purporting to promote crypto scams. DPM @lawrencewongst has also been targeted! The scammers use AI technology to mimic our voices and images. They transform real footage of us taken from official events into very convincing but completely bogus videos of us purporting to say things that we have never said.”

He made an urgent appeal: “If you see or receive these scam videos promising guaranteed returns on investments or ‘giveaways’, please do not respond to them! If you come across scams, fake news or ads like the video here, please report them via the official ScamShield Bot on WhatsApp at”

PM Lee also directed Internet users to a trustworthy source of information: “The 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 grow. We must remain vigilant and learn to protect ourselves and our loved ones against such scams. Thanks to alert Singaporeans who took the time to flag this to me. – LHL”