Ravi Menon’s photo used by scammers in fake ad | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

SINGAPORE: A photo of Mr Ravi Menon, the longtime and now outgoing managing director of Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, appears to have been used by scammers in fraudulent advertising.

A screenshot of the advertisement was sent to The Independent Singapore (TISG) on Thursday (Oct 12) from macrobusiness.com.au, a website called “Australia’s leading business and investment blog.” We have superimposed a warning to clarify that it was used for deceptive purposes.

The ad appeared on the site on Oct 12 in an article by David Llewellyn-Smith, a regular blogger, titled “Australian dollar tumbles as US inflation surges.” It shows a photo of Mr Menon being used for what appears to be a conference or symposium and is linked to a piece with the heading “Singapore major controversy.”

Mr Menon, 59, who has been in public service for 36 years, is set to step down from MAS and will have his last day on Dec 31, 2023, the Public Service Division (PSD) said last month. The announcement of his retirement came as somewhat of a surprise since it came only seven months after he had been reappointed for two more years.

He has been at the helm of MAS since 2011, making him its longest-serving head. Mr Menon will be replaced by one of his former deputies, Mr Chia Der Jiun, 52.

Mr Menon is hardly the first high government official whose image has been used by scammers or for false advertisement. In July, scammers used Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s image to promote cryptocurrency scams.

In April of last year, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung posted a warning after members of the public alerted him and the Health Ministry that a doctored photo of him was used to endorse what purported to be a health product.

“These are all fake,” he said in posts on Instagram and Facebook. “As a practice, MOH officials and political appointees do not endorse any medical products,” Mr Ong said. Last month, he also warned about a new scam spreading via text message claiming to offer people the opportunity to register for a HealthierSG Health Plan consultation.

In 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that he filed a police report over his photo being used to spread fake news. DPM Heng put up on his Facebook account a sponsored post from an entity called ‘Well Vacation,’ which supposedly links to an article with the title, “The Nation Says Goodbye To Finance…”

TISG has requested comment on the matter from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Macro Business. We will update this piece as soon as we hear from them.

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