Fake news: hoax Post article claims to reveal Stephen Chow’s moneymaking secret, in second mimic incident in two weeks

Fake news: hoax Post article claims to reveal Stephen Chow’s moneymaking secret, in second mimic incident in two weeks

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For at least the second time in two weeks, a fictitious article with the appearance of a South China Morning Post news story has circulated on social media, aiming to promote an online financial trading tool.

The fake article, hosted on a website not associated with the Post, features excerpts of a fictitious interview with renowned Hong Kong filmmaker and actor Stephen Chow Sing-chi by state broadcaster CCTV.

The article is almost identical in form to a previous scam article debunked by the Post two weeks ago, where Hong Kong movie star Donnie Yen promoted financial investment apps in an interview with the US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

Using the Post’s logo, design and a real business reporter’s byline, the latest fake article claims that Chow referred to the online trading app during a live CCTV broadcast where he “accidentally revealed his secret” to making a fortune.

A fake article debunked by the Post two weeks ago used a similar approach, but with actor Donnie Yen as the subject. Photo: SCMP

In both cases, the SCMP published no such story, and the reports are categorically fake, the Post said.

The images embedded in the Chow article are screenshots of a real interview between Chow and CCTV’s Zhu Dan, which took place in June 2022 ahead of Hong Kong’s 25th anniversary of its Handover from the UK to mainland China.

In the real interview, Chow called on a young generation of filmmakers to leverage the advantages of the Greater Bay Area to facilitate cultural exchange between China and foreign countries. The interview did not touch upon any financial topics.

The fake article claims the live broadcast was interrupted when Chow accidentally revealed his “secret”, and that the interview was later deleted. However, the Post has confirmed that the real interview video is still available on various CCTV platforms, including its official website, YouTube, and X, formerly Twitter.

Users who click any links on the fake article are directed to a website that asks them to sign up for a trading platform. That site also claims the platform has endorsements from two Hong Kong actors/singers, Louis Koo and Kelly Chen.

A similar incident occurred in 2022 when scammers created a fake news report claiming Tesla boss Elon Musk had launched an investment scheme specifically for Hong Kong people.

That report also used the Post’s logo, design and reporter byline, and cited support from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Hang Seng Bank for the “digital platform”.

Hong Kong saw financial investment scams surge more than 55 per cent in the first quarter of the year, resulting in losses of more than HK$900 million, according to the city’s police force.

Scammers usually lured victims by depositing a small sum of money into their accounts, to trick them into thinking it was genuine profit, Commissioner of Police Raymond Siu warned residents against falling for illicit high-return, low-risk schemes promoted on social media.

He urged residents to download the anti-fraud app Scameter, which could help users identify dubious websites and suspicious phone numbers.

In another recent incident, scammers tried to lure Hongkongers into paying fake fees via WhatsApp messages that purported to be issued by the HKMA.



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