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Fake news: Safaricom’s Fuliza loan servers not hacked to clear M-Pesa debt in Kenya

Bonyeza hapa ili kusoma ripoti hii kwa Kiswahili.

A viral Facebook post falsely claims Safaricom’s servers have been hacked, clearing the debt of Kenyans who had loaned M-Pesa funds on the mobile Fuliza platform.

On 6 May 2019, a Facebook user posted an image that seemed to be a screenshot of a Citizen TV Kenya tweet saying "a man named Ken Vaite" had hacked Safaricom's Fuliza servers and cleared "all loan records".

The images’ caption read: “Watu wa fuliza, kadeni kamelipwa [colloquial Kiswahili for ‘People on Fuliza, the debt has been paid’] ...God bless this computer experts.”

The image has attracted at least 53 reactions and 17 comments. A similar claim appeared on a Facebook page with some 5,000 followers, prompting more than 800 reactions and 100 comments.


No record of ‘hacking’ tweet


But the screenshot is a photoshopped fake.

Africa Check could not find the tweet or a similar post on Citizen TV Kenya’s social media accounts. And the media house hasn’t produced any story like it.

The TV channel has cautioned the public about fake imposter content using its logo.

Our attention has been drawn to a series of fake and misleading social media posts made by accounts purporting to belong to Citizen TV,” read its public notice posted on Twitter. “Ignore them and note that all our social media accounts are verified.”

‘Claim is false’


Africa Check asked Dennis Mbuvi of Safaricom’s public relations and corporate communication department about the image.

He said the “screenshot” was faked, as was the report of hacking.

“The screenshot shared is not genuine as much as it purports to be from Citizen TV. The claim is false.” – Dancan Bwire




Seva za Safaricom za mkopo za Fuliza za hazikufunguliwa ili kufuta deni la M-Pesa nchini Kenya


Chapisho ya Facebook ya watu wengi inadai kwa uwongo kuwa seva za Safaricom zimeshambulizwa na utapeli, ikifuta deni la Wakenya ambao walikopeshwa pesa za M-Pesa kwenye njia ya rununu la Fuliza.

Mnamo Mei 6, 2019, mtumiaji mmoja wa Facebook alichapisha picha ambayo ilionekana kama picha ya skrini ya Citizen TV Kenya akisema “mtu anayeitwa Ken Vaite” alikuwa ameingia seva za Fuliza ya Safaricom na kufuta “kumbukumbu zote za mkopo”.

Maelezo ya picha yalisomeka: “Watu wa fuliza, kadenikamelipwa [lugha Kiswahili ni ‘Watu wa Fuliza, deni imelipwa’] ... Mungu abariki wataalam hawa wa kompyuta.”

Picha hiyo imevutia angalau majibu 53 na maoni 17. Madai kama hayo yalionekana kwenye ukurasa wa Facebook na wafuasi wapatao 5,000, na kusababisha majibu zaidi ya 800 na maoni 100.



Hakuna rekodi ya tweet ya ‘kutapeli’


Lakini picha ya skrini ni bandia iliyosailiwa.Africa Check haikuweza kupata tweet hiyo au chapisho kama hilo kwenye akaunti za kijamii za Citizen TV Kenya. Na nyumba ya media haijatoa hadithi yoyote kama hiyo.

Kituo cha Televisheni kimeonya umma juu ya bidhaa bandia mbaya kwa kutumia nembo yake.

“Umakini wetu umevutiwa na safu ya habari bandia na potofu za kijamii zilizotolewa na akaunti zinazodai kuwa ya Citizen TV,” ilisoma taarifa yake ya umma iliyowekwa kwenye Twitter.

“Wapuuzie na kumbuka kuwa akaunti zetu zote za mitandao ya kijamii zimethibitishwa.”

Madai ni ya uwongo


Africa Check ilimuuliza Dennis Mbuvi wa mahusiano ya umma ya Safaricom na idara ya mawasiliano ya kampuni kuhusu picha hiyo.

Alisema “picha ya skrini” hiyo ilikuwa ya bandia, na ripoti ya utapeli.”

“Picha ya skrini iliyoshirikiwa sio ya kweli kama inavyokusudia kutoka kwa Citizen TV. Madai ni ya uwongo.” – Dancan Bwire


For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading

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