IN SHORT: Don’t send these fraudsters a KSh700 “offering” in return for prayers by pastor Ezekiel Odero. The imposter Facebook account is the third we’ve uncovered this month.
The Facebook account “Pastor-Evegelist Ezekiel” asks users to contact it privately on WhatsApp for prayers. It then tells them to send an “offering” – money, in other words – in return.
One of its posts, dated 16 January 2023, reads in Kiswahili: “BWANA ASIFIWE MWANANGU WAKATI HUU NAITAJI WATU MIA TATU MILANGO YAO YA BIASHARA ILIYOFUGWA KUFUNGULIWA KWA JINA LA YESU KRISTO.”
It adds: “NITUMIE MAJINA YAKO MAWILI KWA WHATAPP TUFANYE MAOMBI PAMOJA 0755800552.”
This translates as: “Praise the lord my son. I need 300 people to have their failed businesses reopened in the name of Jesus. Send me your two names on the WhatsApp number 0755800552 we pray together.”
In another post, the account offers to pray for – and restore – failed marriages. And it again tells Facebook users to send money, to the M-Pesa number 0755800552, this time as a “marriage offering”. M-Pesa is a mobile money financial service widely used in Kenya.
This is another.
Signs of a fake page
Several clues indicate the account is run by imposters. First, it misspells “evangelist” as “evegelist”.
We sent a message to its WhatsApp number asking for prayers and were told to send KSh700 as a “prophetic sacrifice”.
The channel lists its official phone numbers as +254 723596503, +254 703333363, +254 700873451 and +254 702666222. The number 0755800552 used by the fake account is not among them.
Legit Facebook page
The church’s YouTube channel includes a link to the website newlifeprayercenterandchurch.org.
The website in turn links to the church’s official Facebook page, which has more than 225,000 followers. The page transparency section shows it was created on 5 December 2020. The fake account made its first post on 14 January 2023.
To help protect yourself against online scams, see Africa Check’s guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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