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Beware of Facebook page ‘Online education’ advertising non-existent free online courses at Kenya’s Kenyatta University

IN SHORT: A Facebook page claims that Kenyatta University in Kenya is offering free online courses. It also claims that students will receive a certificate, notebooks and a laptop. This is a bogus opportunity.

The Facebook page Online education claims that Kenyatta University, a public university in Kenya, is offering free online courses.

The post reads: “Starting from March 29 2024, Kenyatta University will provide free online college courses … ” It adds that in addition to a certificate and notebooks, learners will be given a laptop. The post has over 3,000 likes and 600 comments.

According to the page, the courses are open to applicants between the ages of 20 and 80. But can this opportunity be trusted? We checked.

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Fake online courses advert

The link provided by the page is “https://bitly.ws/3gq4F”. It is a shortened URL using Bitly, a popular URL shortening service and link management platform. 

To determine if this is a phishing link, we used a tool from EasyDMARC. EasyDMARC is a cybersecurity firm whose phishing link checker ensures that you don’t accidentally click on malicious links that could lead to identity theft or financial loss.

We used the tool to analyse the link. The results showed that although the link was “clean” of phishing attempts, it did not redirect to the Kenyatta University website.

Another telltale sign of an illegitimate opportunity is when the offer seems too good to be true. The post says that students will be provided with a laptop, which is impractical for a public university in Kenya. 

Furthermore, Kenyatta University’s main business is providing in-person college courses, so offering these courses for free and online is suspicious.

Kenyatta University posted a screenshot of the post with the word “fake” printed it in red. 

“Kindly Beware of this Online Education Sponsored Fake Advert on Social media Platforms,” reads the post on the institution’s official Facebook page.

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