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Beware of fake Facebook account impersonating popular Kenyan TV news presenter

IN SHORT: Scammers are posing as Citizen TV news anchor Rashid Abdalla, promising gifts – but only if you pay an “unlocking” fee. Steer clear.

The Facebook account Rashid Abdallah Gifts has been posting promotions in a Facebook group in Kenya with more than 83,000 members.

The account’s profile picture is of Kenyan news anchor Rashid Abdalla.

Abdalla is a journalist with Kenya’s Citizen TV, a privately owned station that currently has the largest audience in the country.

One of the posts on the account, dated 2 April 2023, reads: “RAYVANNY; HARMONIZE; DIAMOND; JAY MELODY; taja mkali wako upate ksh 35,000 tunaitaji; watu 155 pekee.”

This loosely translates as “Rayvanny; Harmonize; Diamond; Jay Melody; Mention your best and get KSh35,000; We need 155 people only.” The four names refer to popular musicians in Tanzania.

This account has posted the same message here and here.

But is this Facebook account really Abdalla’s? We checked.


Facebook account run by scam artists

We checked the timeline of the Facebook account and found suspicious activity. Some of the profile pictures and cover updates showed other people, not Abdalla.

We found group posts promising Kenyans varying amounts of money for answering simple quiz questions.

Abdalla’s verified Instagram account has 699,000 followers and he makes no mention of any promotions there.

With such a large number of followers, it is unlikely that Abdalla would have this Facebook account but not post the same promotions on Instagram.

The account replied to a comment on one of the posts, asking the user to WhatsApp a phone number. We texted the number and were asked for personal details, including our full name, M-Pesa mobile money service number and age.

We were then asked to send an “unlocking fee” of KSh486 to another number.

This was followed by what appeared to be testimonials from previous winners and a message that read: “Immediately after paying you will receive your reward on your MPESA account after 3 minutes.”

This is a clear indication that this is a scam account.

The account in Abdalla’s name and its promotions are fake.

To protect yourself against scams, see our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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