IN SHORT: Imposter Facebook accounts using the names of public figures are generally set up to scam people. That’s probably the case with an account that uses the name and photos of Kenyan governor Paul Otuoma.
The Facebook account “Governor Paul Nyongesa Otuoma” would have you believe it’s run by governor Paul Otuoma, the governor of Busia county in western Kenya.
The account offers Facebook users an opportunity to advertise “company products” on their WhatsApp statuses with a promise of a huge financial reward.
The account uses the name and photos of the politician. It has posted on several Facebook groups with huge followings.
One of its posts, dated 15 February 2023, reads: “Confirmed, 93,700ksh zimeingia za Leo,,kazi ni kuadvertise company products Kwa Whatsapp status then unalipwa according to the number of viewers 1 view n 100bob,30 views ni 3000,malipo ni after every 24 hrs,kujeni tutafute school fee,Type Add nkuconnect.”
This mix of English and Kiswahili translates as:
Confirmed, KSh93,700 for today has been received. The task is to advertise company products in your WhatsApp status then you get paid according to the number of viewers.”
For one view, the pay is KSh100. For 30 views, the pay is KSh3,000. The payments are made after every 24 hours. Come look for school fees. Type “Add” and I will connect you.
The account includes in its posts screenshots of replies by people it claims have earned money from it. The posts also appear here and here.
But is the offer – and the account – legit?
Signs of fake Facebook account
Africa Check noted that the posts are deleted after 24 hours and reposted afresh in the same Facebook groups. This is a sign the account is fake.
In each of its posts, the account advises those who type “add” in the comment section to contact the number 0785566710 on WhatsApp.
We reached out to the number and were asked to pay a registration fee of KSh300 to the M-Pesa number 0724642854 before proceeding. We were promised an instant KSh5,000 reward if we paid the registration fee.
We sought to know why we were required to pay the KSh300 registration fee yet it could as well be deducted beforehand from the KSh5,000 we were promised after registering. We received no response.
This is a clear example of a scam.
The number 0724642854 is registered to “Jecinta Okelo” – not the governor.
We searched and found the original Facebook and Twitter accounts for the governor. The official Facebook page “Dr. Paul Otuoma” has 24,000 followers while the Twitter account “H.E Dr Paul Otuoma” has 68,000 followers.
All show the governor’s daily activities and have similar and consistent posts. No such adverts have been posted there.
To help protect yourself against online fraudsters, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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