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Exposing two Facebook pages ‘Instant mpesa loans payout’ and ‘LOANS Kes HELA MPESA’ with bogus loan offers and likely run by the same person

IN SHORT: These Facebook pages promise users instant loans deposited into their M-Pesa accounts. But with no website or brand identity and a registration fee to access the loan, they are not to be trusted.

The Facebook pages Instant mpesa loans payout and LOANS Kes HELA MPESA hope to convince Kenyan users that they are run by reliable financial institutions.

The pages offer instant loans paid directly into M-Pesa accounts. M-Pesa is a mobile financial service by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecoms company. 

A typical post on one of the pages reads: “How much #LOAN do you want? 10,000/=, 15,000/=, 20,000/=, 25,000/=,30,000/=. Message directly on Facebook and Whatsapp.”

The two pages have similarly worded ads, suggesting they may be run by the same person. The posts have been published here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But are the loan offers legit? We checked.


Registration fee scam

The two pages give no details of any website or app where customers could transact. Instead, they ask users to apply for the loans “on Facebook and WhatsApp”. This is suspicious for pages that claim to offer financial services.

We noticed that each of the pages rely on the same single unbranded graphic to advertise the loans on different dates. Genuine financial institutions tend to have professionally designed graphics that use the company’s logo and colours. This helps to identify them as legitimate businesses but this is not the case here.

To test our suspicion that the Facebook pages and their offers are inauthentic, we texted each of the pages, as instructed in their ads. We immediately received an automated reply offering us a KSh10,000 loan. But there was a catch. We needed to pay a KSh150 “fee” to access the loans. This is usually a ploy to scam users out of money.

A reputable lender will not ask you to pay any money before giving you a loan. Most will build the cost of lending into the total amount to be repaid. They also do not offer customers loans for an unprompted amount, without the customer specifying how big a loan they wish to apply for.

The pages are fake and their loan offers are a scam. Read our guide on how to spot Facebook scams here.

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