IN SHORT: This Facebook page promises users instant loans with flexible repayment terms. The offers seem enticing, but if you think you’ll get a loan you’re wrong.
The mix of English and Kiswahili translates to: “Hello. This is Bimass Loan. We are giving out loans from KSh3,500 to KSh50,000 (US$23 to $333). You will be required to pay KSh1,300 ($8) monthly. I only need serious people.”
The page uses various photos as its cover and profile pictures, including of well known Kenyan journalist Alex Chamwada. Chamwada is the founder and chief executive of Chams Media Limited, a communication consultancy firm offering TV content production services.
The page has posted the loan offers on its timeline as well as on different Facebook groups.
But are the loan offers legit? We checked.
Registration fee scam
There are a number of red flags. For example, the page attempted to link these supposed loan offers to Chamwada by using his profile picture. But none of the offers were posted on the journalist’s verified Facebook page Alex Chamwada OGW, MBS, where he has over 380,000 followers.
This is a sign that the page posting ads can’t be trusted. If they were legitimate, Chamwada would post them on his page where they would be seen by many more people.
The ads are poorly punctuated, don’t have any illustrations or graphics, are not linked to any website and casually mix Kiswahili and English. This is uncharacteristic of both a professionally run financial institution and a journalist in the public eye.
The page wants those interested to reach out via Facebook inbox or WhatsApp to access the loans. We sent a message to request a loan and were told that each loan amount has a registration fee.
This is a common trick used by scammers. They offer a nonexistent loan and when users express interest, they ask them to pay “registration”, “unlocking” or “activation” fees. The scammers take the money from the users but don’t issue any loans.
All signs point to the loan offers being fake and the account should be ignored.
To further protect yourself from Facebook scams, read our guide on how to spot them.
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