SINGAPORE - Online forums and social media sites have been abuzz with rumours that slimming specialist Mary Chia fired its ambassador Chen Li Ping after the actress reportedly credited slimming pills for her astounding weight loss, not the beauty and wellness company.
Mary Chia has stepped forward to strongly refute this claim, and has called for Singaporeans not to be taken in by the online scam.
"Dear all, please be aware and beware of this online scam that has been spreading. Chen Liping has not consumed any slimming pills and she is Mary Chia's official brand ambassador. We are currently in consultation with our lawyers as well as Ms Chen's lawyers to discuss the next course of action. We will be releasing an official statement on this matter soon. Please be careful and do not be taken in by this online scam syndicate," Mary Chia said on its Facebook page.
It also requested that Facebook users help notify their social media contacts by sharing the post.
In a second post, Mary Chia further clarified that Ms Chen Liping has "never consumed any slimming pills from any source in the course of her weight loss journey."
"She achieved her weight loss through the weight management programme which the Company customised for her, as well as through adopting a healthy diet. Please do not be deceived by these fraudulent sponsored posts by unknown web merchants."
The brand further warned consumers that "the consumption of unknown pills and substances from shady sources may contain ingredients that may prove harmful."
The rumour is believed to have originated from an article uploaded onto a website that appears to be masquerading as the official website of health and fitness magazine Women's Health.
It bears the same masthead, but the link differs from the official Women's Health website.
The article claims Chen attributed her weight loss to a slimming product called garcinia cambogia.
In 2013, Women's Health posted a warning on its website that it is aware that several websites are unlawfully using the Women's Health logo to sell diet supplements and pills, and it does not endorse these products.
"We are pursuing all of our legal rights in order to attempt to stop this type of unlawful use of the Women's Health brand logo, etc. In the meantime, and as a warning to all of our loyal customers, we recommend that you not purchase from the companies. Several sources are reporting that, if you provide your credit card information to the companies selling these pills and supplements, your credit card will be charged indefinitely, and you will not be able to cancel," the warning said.