If there’s anything spreading faster than COVID-19, it’s fake news.
First, it was Jay Chou in a quarantine box. Then, it was Lin Chiling’s abortion clinic ad. Now, it’s Taiwanese host Chang Hsiao Yen’s turn to fall victim to a fake “health” ad concocted by a conniving business.
It all started when the 71-year-old was having dinner with Taiwanese singer Stella Chang last month. A fellow diner then approached her for a picture and being the friendly person she is, Hsiao Yen-jie, as she's affectionately called, obliged the fan's request.
However, the innocent photo was later revealed to be misused by multiple Facebook accounts to “endorse” illegal health products, which fraudulently claimed she “uses and recommends”.
Despite many warnings to take down the fake ad, it continued to circulate on social media.
Last Friday (April 3), Hsiao Yen, or rather her team, took to Facebook to expose the people behind the scam.
“Hsiao Yen does not know the person she took the picture with, has never heard of the product before, and definitely has neither used nor recommended the product. Please withdraw your fake post and please stop using photos of Hsiao Yen to promote your products. Hsiao Yen’s management, Grand Pan Communication Co., will take legal action," read the statement.
The post then warned fans to “open [their] eyes” and “not to trust this kind of false information”. They also pointed out that the host has not endorsed any brand for the past 20 years and only fronts public service campaigns.
Hsiao Yen herself has also spoken up about the scandal. "As long as a fan asks for a photo, I am happy to do so. But I have never used this product, and I never shoot commercials. The other person who took this photo with me, did [the ad]. I am very angry. This is fraud. This kind of behavior is unethical. It also deceives consumers, so I am stepping up to stop it."