SINGAPORE – Ride-hailing firm Grab has made a police report about false advertisements and articles linked to its co-founder and chief executive Anthony Tan.
One such ad, which has been circulating on Facebook, claims that Mr Tan “has revealed an investment platform that is helping regular people to get wealthy”. It links readers to a website that is not affiliated with Grab.
The fake ad was brought to The Straits Times’ attention last month by a reader.
It is the latest in a series of sham ads promoting cryptocurrencies. Other personalities, such as billionaire Peter Lim and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, have been misrepresented in similar ads as well.
In response to queries, a Grab spokesman said: “Recent ads and articles have been circulating online, claiming that Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan endorses cryptocurrency ventures and get-rich-quick schemes. They are not true.”
Grab said it made a police report, and urged people to refer to its official channels and website for its news.
Mr Aloysius Cheang, Asia-Pacific executive vice-president of the Centre for Strategic Cyberspace + Security Science, had previously told ST that the creators of fraudulent websites often set up pages that they think the man on the street will trust.
People can protect themselves from these websites by checking businesses’ official websites to see if they have indeed engaged the celebrities and personalities in question, said Mr Cheang.
“Actual endorsements will usually be shown on the website and include a press release,” he added.
Alternatively, they can visit the prominent figures’ personal website or social media channels to verify if they are ambassadors for the product, he added.
• Not sure if something is fake news? Readers can send an e-mail with their questions and a link to the suspect article to email@example.com
• Reports published can be found on the ST website under a special “fake news debunked” section at http://str.sg/fake-news