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Generous loans from Kenyan governor Mike Sonko? No, this scam will cost you

A Facebook user with the name “Gedion Mbuvi“ regularly posts generous (and all-caps) loan offers to people in Kenya, in the name of Nairobi city county governor Mike Sonko.

“SONKO MPESA SOFT LOANS IS NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL M PESA USERS IN THE 47 COUNTIES, INBOX ME THE WORD ‘LOAN’ THEN REQUEST LOAN FROM 10,000 TO 1 MILLION,” one of the posts reads.

M-Pesa is a mobile money transfer system widely used across Kenya’s 47 counties.

Other posts on the page offer to pay for boda bodas – bike taxis – as well as for school fees, medical expenses, cars and more.

Sonko is known for his generosity. But are these offers legit? We checked.



‘You’re a dog’


In the comments on one of the posts, a user shared a screenshot of an instant message conversation he had with “Gedion Mbuvi”.

In the conversation, the user is told to pay a “fee” to get a “free” motorbike.

“You only need to pay for the logbook transfer fee to your name,” the person identified as Mbuvi says. “Its [sic] ksh 3700 only” – about US$35 – “and the motorbike is permanently yours.”

Unconvinced, the Facebook user replies: “I can’t pay [for] something I can’t see.” He then asks for Mbuvi’s office location. “I come there myself?”

Mbuvi’s response is: “Umbwa wewe.” That’s Kiswahili for: “You’re a dog.”

“Gedion Mbuvi” probably doesn’t exist, and the page is a scam.

Mike Sonko responds


Con artists have used Sonko’s name in their scams before.

On 31 August 2020, Sonko took to his verified Facebook page to warn people to “beware of impersonators, conmen and fraudsters who are operating various fake Facebook pages bearing my names”.

Some of them pretend to be my PAs or Sonko Rescue Team managers and they normally call or inbox unsuspecting members of the public to sweet talk them to MPesa some facilitation fees either for loan, house rent, logbook or transfer of motorbikes/vehicles processing,” he said.

Find out more about cons like this in our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them. Grace Gichuhi




 

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