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Beware scam Facebook account using identity of Kenya’s Wajir county governor

An imposter Facebook account using the name and photo of governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud of Wajir county in northeastern Kenya has posted several ads targeting county residents. About six adverts are active and all suspiciously require users to engage privately.

One of the posts claims that the Wajir county government is giving out free motorbikes, “in partnership with the World Bank”.

The post uses a generic stock photo of a red motorbike. It says 200 motorbikes are being given out “in order to ease transport in our county and also create employment for the youths”. 

The page instructs “those interested to hit my inbox with their phone number, ID number and their home area”. 

The page also advertises free loans. “Youth loans, women funds and men's biashara loans are now available. Those who are interested to hit my inbox for guidance.”

And it offers jobs at nongovernmental organisations, telling users who have done any courses in business, social work, community development or nursing to “hit my inbox urgently”.

Another post requires users who have trouble getting their identification cards to send a query to the account via inbox.

The account also duplicates posts from governor Mohamud’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.

A key red flag is that in all the adverts, the account requires users to privately engage via the inbox. The comments on posts indicate that many have fallen for the offer. The account also deletes posts as soon as they are identified as false.

‘Cheating people in governor’s name’

The page was only set up on 16 November 2020, while the governor has been in office since 2017.

The Wajir county government has warned Facebook users that it is a fake account.

“Fake Facebook profile has been created using the name of Governor and is masquerading as the Governor of Wajir County, HE Amb. Mohamed Abdi Mohamud,” the county’s press office posted on its Facebook page on 26 November 2020. 

“The Governor would like to inform the general public to be aware of the above Fake account created by an impostor who is cheating people on the governor's name.”

The warning also appears on the governor’s Facebook page. 

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


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