IN SHORT: Tanzanian musician Zuhura Othman, also known as Zuchu, is one of East Africa’s most popular celebrities. However, her fame has led to fraudsters using her stage name to try to scam her fans.
The Facebook page Zuchu support is offering gifts to Facebook users for simply engaging with its posts.
The page uses the name and photos of the famous Tanzanian musician Zuhura Othman, popularly known as Zuchu.
The page also posts photos of gravely ill people and asks users to send them get-well messages to the WhatsApp number provided, claiming it belongs to Zuchu.
Some of the posts have attracted thousands of comments and likes, with many Facebook users keen to try their luck.
But does the page belong to Othman? We checked.
Facebook page run by imposter
The page transparency section of the suspicious Facebook page shows that it was created on 1 October 2022 under the name “Nandy fans”. Nandy is the stage name of another popular Tanzanian musician Faustina Charles Mfinanga.
On 11 February 2023, it changed its name to “ASLAM Entertainment” before finally renaming itself “Zuchu support” less than a month later. These frequent name changes indicate that the page is not to be trusted.
When we sent a message to the WhatsApp number listed in the posts, we were told that Zuchu helps her fans improve their financial wellbeing. But there was a catch. We were required to send TSh15,000 (about US$5) in order to receive TSh120,000 (about $47).
We were also told to send the money to another number belonging to her secretary. This led us to believe that the page was trying to scam us.
Facebook allows public figures such as Zuchu to verify their pages on the platform. These pages then carry the “blue tick” verification badge.
The musician’s official Facebook page Zuchu is verified and has over 1.6 million followers. It features her photos and details of upcoming performances. Unlike the page in question, Zuchu’s verified page doesn’t feature any promotions like the suspicious ones.
Zuchu has also not listed her mobile phone number on her verified Facebook page or changed her name multiple times.
All signs point to an imposter page with scam offers.
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