IN SHORT: We’ve once again found a Facebook account in the name of a prominent Kenyan actor, promising quick cash giveaways. But, again, it’s a scam account, impersonating a celebrity.
The Facebook account Maria Inua Jamii has been running promotions on a Facebook group in Kenya with over 242,000 members.
The account uses the name and a photo of actor Yasmeen Saiedi, who played the main character in Kenya’s popular TV drama series Maria. The show aired on Citizen TV.
The “Inua Jamii” in the name of the account is Kiswahili for “uplift the community”. It is the name of a Kenyan government programme that gives cash grants to poor and vulnerable people.
One of the account’s posts, dated 4 April 2023, reads: “SUPER TUESDAY OFFER. Taja mwanahabari unayempenda katika runinga yetu ya citizen ujishishidie promotion yetu ya ksh 65,000 sasa Ivo (Kwa wale hakupata Jana).”
The mix of English and Kiswahili translates as: “Super Tuesday offer. Name one journalist you love at Citizen TV and win yourself KSh65,000 instantly from our promotion. (This is for those who were not lucky yesterday).
The account has posted many different offers here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
But is this Facebook account really run by the actor? We checked.
Fake Facebook account
The account’s careless mix of English and Kiswahili with random capitalisation, misspellings and odd punctuation in its posts is the first sign that it’s trying to scam people.
We also noted that there was very little activity on its timeline. It is unlikely that the actor would create a Facebook account for the main purpose of posting suspicious promotions on Facebook groups.
We checked Saiedi’s verified Instagram account, which has over 763,000 followers, and found no offers like the ones on Facebook.
Besides, the legit Inua Jamii programme does not give away cash on social media.
All signs point to a fake Facebook account with scam offers.
For more details on how to spot scams on Facebook, read our guide.
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