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Generous loans for Kenyans on Facebook? No, ignore Facebook account ‘Michael Loans’ run by known scammer

IN SHORT: This Facebook account claims to offer quick loans to Kenyans. But it is run by a known scammer using the same phone number with a different name.

The Facebook account Michael Loans claims to offer Kenyan Facebook users different kinds of loans, such as for starting a business, paying rent, settling personal bills and emergencies.

The account claims it can deposit up to KSh450,000 (US$3,000) in loans to users’ M-Pesa accounts “in 3 minutes”. All users are asked to do is reach out to the account through a WhatsApp number and say how big a loan they need.

M-Pesa is a mobile financial service by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecoms company. 

The posts include photos of wads of cash, both Kenyan shillings and US dollars. Some of its ads congratulate those it claims have already received the loans.

The account’s posts have featured prominently on different Facebook groups with thousands of members.

Offers, some attracting hundreds of enquiries, have been posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the account and the offers legit? We checked.

MichaelLoans_Scam

Offers by known fraudster

We noted that the account has no posts on its timeline. This is suspicious for an account that claims to offer financial services. The genuine accounts of legitimate businesses usually run promotions on their own timelines and not on different Facebook groups.

The account also doesn’t link to any website, which is another red flag since legitimate financial services providers usually have websites or apps where customers can get more information about their services and make transactions.

Furthermore, the account’s supposed business is not branded. It is missing crucial elements, such as a logo and colours, that usually identify a legit business. Its ads contain grammatical errors and use the same photos over and over, with some appearing blurry.

The account does list a phone number for users to make their loan applications on WhatsApp.

But we discovered that the phone number given was used by a separate Facebook account to offer fake loans that required users to pay registration fees to access the loans. We paid the registration fee but did not receive any loan. Africa Check debunked the account and its offers.

The account in question is probably run by the same person and its offers are fake.

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