Dr Balakrishnan’s fellow MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Mr Chia, was among those who were targeted by the “distressing letters”.

“Inside was a distasteful photo where my face was digitally manipulated onto one of the figures, accompanied by an extortion demand,” he wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

He said that while it is not uncommon for public figures to face extortion scams, the rise of “deepfakes” makes it “harder to discern reality from fiction”.

“With readily available tools, anyone can create deepfake content within minutes,” he added.

“This can pose a significant threat to our social fabric. Unchecked, this can affect our public standing and those we love. We must unite as a community to combat these fraudulent acts.”

In a Facebook video on Saturday, Dr Tan, an MP for Jurong GRC, said he also received a letter with “fake photos and threats”.

He said that he does not want to speculate on the identity of the ringleaders or their location, whether in Singapore or overseas.

“I’d rather not speculate on why this is happening now, at a very important time in Singapore’s history. But let me say this: We are not afraid. And we will not let anyone intimidate us or deter us from doing our duty,” he added.

The police advised members of the public to ignore any instructions to initiate contact or make transfers if they received such letters.

They are also asked to report the matter to the police immediately and put the letter in a separate storage bag to hand over to the police.

Investigations are ongoing.


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