Don’t fall for scams using images of public figures to sell health products, public told

PETALING JAYA: The public has been urged not to fall for scams over social media which misused images of public figures to sell health products.

The MCA Public Services and Complaints Department said the modus operandi observed was that images featuring members of the Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology (MSO) were used to promote the sale of so-called products to treat eye ailments such as glaucoma and cataract.

“Even more dangerous is that there have been cases of individuals purchasing these products who then stopped taking their prescribed medication causing their conditions to worsen,” said its head Datuk Seri Michael Chong at a press conference on Thursday (Sept 23).

He added that he believed the scammers were based in China while also having accomplices in Malaysia.

Also present at the press conference were MSO president Dr S. Manoharan, vice-president Dr Muiz Mahyudin, committee member Dr Wong Hon Seng and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Cheah Kok Kay.

Dr Manoharan strongly condemned the actions of irresponsible parties who misused official images of the society for this purpose.

“We advise the public not to be duped by such images and they are not endorsed by us.

“The health claims in such products are also callous, misleading and without sound evidence,” he said.

Dr Muiz added that a police report was lodged last year on behalf of the MSO along with complaints to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“We learnt about this from our acquaintances who informed us that our images were being used to promote such products.

“We strongly advise the public against purchasing these products as they are composed of unknown entities and therefore harmful,” he said.

He added that despite these reports, such advertisements continued to pop up across social media.

Chong said in light of such advertisements, the public should report them to the relevant authorities and alert their loved ones to avoid being scammed.

Previously, images of public figures including Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Chong himself were misused to promote health products over social media.

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