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Don’t be conned by Facebook page impersonating Kenyan president William Ruto and offering loans

IN SHORT: A Facebook page trying to profit off the Kenyan president’s reputation as a “hustler” claims to offer loans through a government scheme that  gives grants to the underprivileged. It’s a scam.

The Facebook page Husler Williams claims to offer loans to Kenyans on Facebook through the Inua Jamii programme.

Inua Jamii – Kiswahili for “uplift the community” – is a Kenyan government programme that aims to improve the lives of underprivileged and vulnerable Kenyans through regular cash transfers. These include elderly people, people with severe disabilities, orphans and vulnerable children.

One of the posts on the page, dated 13 April 2023, congratulates those it claims have already received a loan from the scheme and asks other users to try their luck. 

The page says it gives loans from KSh75,000 and asks Facebook users to send the word “promotion” to a particular phone number. It says the loans are for business, personal use, school fees and emergencies.

Perhaps to sound convincing, the page uses the name Husler Williams. Kenyan president William Ruto repeatedly used “hustlers” and “hustler nation” in his political campaign for election, to appeal to young people in menial and informal jobs. He is still identified as “hustler-in-chief”.

The page also uses photos of Ruto and his wife Rachel Ruto.

But the misspelling of the word “hustler” is only the first clue that the Facebook page and its promotions aren’t legit. We took a closer look.


Fake Facebook page

There are several clues the Facebook page and its offers are fake.

Facebook allows public figures such as Ruto to verify their pages on the platform. These pages then carry the “blue tick” verification badge.

While Ruto’s official Facebook page, William Samoei Ruto, is verified, the page offering the Inua Jamii loans is not. 

Facebook's “page transparency” section shows Ruto’s page was created on 20 July 2011. The fake page was created on 4 February 2022. It is unlikely that the president would operate two Facebook accounts and dedicate one to loans.

The Inua Jamii programme has clarified that it does not issue loans but rather gives out cash grants to the poor and vulnerable. No loan offers are posted on the programme’s official Facebook page.

The fake page asks users to engage privately, over direct messaging or WhatsApp, which is likely an attempt to scam people.

All signs point to a fake Facebook page with scam offers.

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