PETALING JAYA: Former national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei has been the latest target by fraud syndicates using his likeness for deepfake videos promoting investment scams.

According to a report by the New Straits Times, Lee, who is taking part in the fight against scammers, revealed this in light of national badminton player Lai Pei Jing falling victim to an investment scam, losing her life savings.

He cautioned Malaysians to check his official social media accounts if they see his face used to promote products or investments, asserting that if there are no posts on his accounts about a particular product or investment then it is a fake advertisement.

The three-time Olympic silver medalist also told Malaysians to exercise vigilance at all times, reminding them if investment plans or products appear too good to be true, it is most probably a scam.

Lee also confirmed that he is working together with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) in an initiative to fight against the crime.

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In September 2022, it was reported that he was appointed as one of the 104 key opinion leaders (KOLs) as ambassadors for the Crime Investigation Department’s (CCID) anti-scam campaign, the New Straits Times reported.

“I have more than 2,000 friends and relatives on my contact list.

“I can’t possibly be (texting) everyone all the time to educate them on these scammers and their tactics; even I don’t know everything.

“The problem with these syndicates is that when you shut 50 down, 100 new ones will come up the following day. So how do we stop them?” he said.

He also recounted an incident where his wife, Datin Wong Mew Choo, almost became a victim of the Macau scam syndicate while at home with him.

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Lee quickly grabbed his wife’s phone and called out the scammer on their tactics but the individual quickly hung up after he “challenged” the fraudster impersonating a police officer to “charge him,” as quoted.

He called for the authorities to tighten their SOPs (standard operating procedure) and improve their intelligence to arrest the masterminds behind these syndicates.

However, this is not the 42-year-old retired shuttler’s first time seeing his image misused by scammers as previous reports shown that fraudsters have used his image to promote a health product, as reported by The Star in 2022 while a report back in 2023 by China Press stated his feature in a fake advertisement promoting electronic gadgets.

Previously, the Dewan Negara was reportedly informed that online scam cases amounting to 34,497 cases involved losses of RM1.218 billion nationwide.

The 2023 statistics showed telecommunication scam cases comprising of SMS contest scams, online impersonation scams, and phone call scams being the highest recorded at 10, 348 cases with losses totalling RM352.9 million.