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Beware of fake Facebook accounts exploiting Kenyan actor Yasmeen Saiedi's fame with false promises of cash rewards

IN SHORT: The names of these Facebook accounts all capitalise on the popularity of Kenyan actor Yasmeen Saiedi and promise cash rewards. They also have something else in common – they are all fake.

The Facebook accounts Yasmin Maria Gift, Maria Yasmin Citizen and Yasmin Maria are running promotions in Facebook groups and offering generous giveaways.

The promos feature simple quizzes that require little to no effort to complete but promise cash rewards.

For example, one of the accounts congratulates users for answering a quiz the day before. It then invites them to answer another question and have money sent directly to their M-Pesa account.

M-Pesa is a mobile money transfer, payment and microfinance service launched in 2007 by mobile network operators Vodafone and Safaricom.

The Facebook accounts appear to be capitalising on the popularity of Yasmeen Saiedi, an actor who starred in the Citizen TV show Maria, which was also her stage name. Citizen TV is Kenya’s most-watched television station.

These accounts have posted promotions here, here and here.

But can the accounts and the offers be trusted? We checked.


Ignore fake Facebook accounts

We looked carefully at these posts and found that they were similar to dozens of other social media posts we've previously exposed as scams.

For example, they lure users with the promise of thousands of Kenyan shillings for answering simple questions. It is unlikely that anyone would give money to hundreds of strangers on Facebook just to answer simple questions.

We looked at the timelines of the Facebook accounts and there was very little activity on them. But suspiciously, they had posted the promotions in Facebook groups with thousands of members. This is a clear indication that the accounts were created just to post these offers and are not legit.

We checked Saiedi’s social media accounts but found no mention of such promotions.

For more details on how to spot scams on Facebook, read our guide.

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