IN SHORT: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This Facebook page posing as an asset finance company offering easy credit for motorbikes should be avoided.
The Facebook page M-kopa Loan Motorbikes offers motorbikes on credit to Kenyans.
The page uses the name of M-Kopa, an asset finance company operating in Kenya. Its profile picture and cover photo show motorbikes parked outside M-Kopa’s offices.
A typical post on the page, dated 20 January 2024, reads: “CONGRATULATIONS TO THOSE WHO RECEIVED THEIR MOTORBIKES ... YOU CAN ALSO EMPOWER YOURSELF BY POSSESSING A BRAND NEW MOTORBIKE LOAN WITH A DEPOSIT OF Ksh 6,500-8,500 WHEREBY DELIVERY IS FREE COUNTRY WIDE ... CALL 0106090609 OR WHATSAPP OUR OFFICE NUMBER ... 0775122851.”
The page tells users that they will receive the bikes “within 24 hours” of ordering. It also asks for the applicant's identity card, Kenya Revenue Authority details and the name of a person who will act as a guarantor.
The motorbike taxi industry provides an income for many young people in Kenya.
But is the Facebook page – and its offers – legit? We checked.
Signs of an imposter
The poor writing in the ad is the first sign that it’s a scam. A company like M-Kopa, which has been in business for over 10 years, wouldn't send out an ad with random capitalisation, misspellings and odd punctuation.
Even though the page uses photos with the M-Kopa name visible, it doesn’t link to the company’s website. In fact, it is not linked to any website. This is a red flag, as reputable institutions usually have an official website where applicants can find information and engage further.
The Facebook “page transparency” section of this page shows that it was created on 9 November 2022 as “Lipa mdogo mdogo motorbikes”. It changed its name on 1 September 2023, which is suspicious.
M-Kopa’s official Facebook page has over 289,000 followers and links to the company’s website, m-kopa.com. The website lists its official contacts for Kenya as +254 799 136 761 and +254 707 333 222. The numbers provided by the suspicious Facebook page – “0106090609” and “0775122851” – do not appear on the M-Kopa’s website.
The company is aware of these scams and has warned its customers not to reach out to random numbers on Facebook.
“Keep in mind that M-KOPA will only contact you via SMS either from the M-KOPA sender ID or 22313. Stay safe with M-KOPA,” reads part of its post.
It has also warned its customers not to send money or give their personal details to “unlicensed or unregistered companies and individuals claiming to provide loans” on its behalf.
Read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them here.
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