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Beware of scam Facebook account impersonating Kenyan TV presenter Rashid Abdalla and running promotions

IN SHORT: Ignore scammers claiming to be Citizen TV news presenter Rashid Abdalla, promising money and gifts – but only if you pay an “unlocking” fee.

The Facebook account Rasshid Habdalla has been posting promotions in a Facebook group in Kenya with more than 46,900 members.

News anchors Rashid Abdalla and Lulu Hassan, who are also husband and wife, are featured in the profile pictures of the account.

They are journalists at Kenya's Citizen TV. The station is privately owned and has the largest reach in the country.

One of the account’s posts, dated 15 July 2023, reads: "BREAKFAST PROMOTION Sasa HIVi KSH75,000 FOR YOU.Find the missing numbers. 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,13,14,15. Usipitwe.

This loosely translates to: "BREAKFAST PROMOTION Right now KSh75,000 for you. Find the missing numbers. 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,13,14,15. Don't miss out."

The account has posted other promotional messages here, here and here.

Africa Check has exposed fake promotions in the name of Abdalla and Hassan in the past.

So is this account and its offers to be trusted? We checked.

Abdalla_Scam

It’s a scam

Signs that the Facebook account might be fraudulent include the misspelt name of the news anchor. The correct spelling of his name is Rashid Abdalla, and not “Rasshid Habdalla”.

Another sign is that all the posts are promotional messages, promising Kenyans varying amounts of money.

Abdalla's verified Instagram account has 711,000 followers and does not post any promotions.

It is unlikely that Abdalla would have this Facebook account and not post the same promotions on Instagram, which has such a large number of followers.

The fake account responded to a comment on one of the posts by asking the user to send a WhatsApp message to the provided phone number. We texted the number and were asked for personal information. This included our full name, M-Pesa mobile money service number and age.

We were then asked to send an “unlock fee” of KSh286 to another phone number via a paybill.

Part of the message reads: "PAY THE UNLOCKING FEE WITHIN 5 MINUTES TO CLAIM AND RECEIVE IT IN YOUR MPESA ACCOUNT NOW."

This is a clear indication that the Facebook account in question is a fraudulent one.

The account in the name of Abdalla and the promotions it offers are fake. To help protect yourself against online fraudsters, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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