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Beware of fake Facebook accounts ‘Maria Yasmin Gift’ and ‘Maria Yasmin Gifts’ using Kenyan actor Yasmeen Saiedi's name to run bogus promotions

IN SHORT: These two Facebook accounts use the stage name of actor Yasmeen Saiedi to run promotions and offer generous giveaways. But beware, they are run by scammers and are out to defraud users.

The Facebook accounts Maria Yasmin Gift and Maria Yasmin Gifts are running promotions and promising huge cash rewards to Kenyans on Facebook.

The accounts appear to ride on the popularity of Yasmeen Saiedi, the actor who played the lead character in the Kenyan TV show Maria on Citizen TV. They use her stage name and her photos as their profile pictures.

The promotions often include simple quizzes that require little to no effort to complete, but the accounts promise users up to KSh35,000 (about US$266).

For instance, on 10 May 2024, one of the accounts asked users to mention a girl’s name that starts with the letter “D” in order to win cash.

The account's posts also appear here and here.

But are these offers to be trusted? We checked.

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Signs of a scam

Africa Check noticed that the accounts had little activity on their timelines. But they were actively posting promotions in public Facebook groups with thousands of members. This is a clear sign that the accounts are being run by fraudsters.

We also noted that they both have less than 3,000 friends. It is unlikely that such a popular Kenyan actor would have such a low number of followers on social media. It is also uncharacteristic of celebrities to give out so much money to strangers on Facebook.

We checked Saiedi’s verified Instagram account, which has over 826,000 followers, and found no such offers. It's unlikely that the actor would run the promotions on less popular Facebook accounts rather than on her Instagram account, where she has a huge following.

The accounts and their offers are fraudulent.

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

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