Back to Africa Check

Ignore dodgy social media message offering loans from Kenya’s ‘hustler fund’

IN SHORT: A presidential low-interest loan scheme is attracting a lot of attention in Kenya – including from scammers. Don’t fall for their tricks.

A message doing the rounds on WhatsApp and Facebook provides a link to a website where people can supposedly apply for low interest loans from Kenyan president William Ruto’s new “hustler fund”.

“Hustlers Empowerment Funding Application Form 2022/2023 online registration exercise which is the quickest to apply for is now out for all bonafide citizens only who needs helping hands in their various Business and Education*,” the garbled message reads.

“The *Payments* has began for all applicants,Register To be Part of the Beneficiaries. *Strictly for Students and Business owners* Check Eligibility and Apply here.” 

The hustler fund is a KSh50 billion state-backed scheme to provide cheap loans, including to small businesses, at a yearly interest rate of 8%. It was one of the campaign pledges by Ruto in the run-up to the August 2022 elections – although it was supposed to be interest-free.

To appeal to the majority of young unemployed people in the country, Ruto has long positioned himself as a “hustler”.

Other versions of the message ask people to call or send a WhatsApp message to 0100530899 to “check eligibility and apply”. Another links to a YouTube video.


Phishing scam

The link in the original message leads to a page where the people are asked to enter personal information such as name, phone number, country, region, state and county of residence.

The next page requires more personal information – marital status, date of birth and educational level.

Next are three questions: whether you have a bank account or mobile money, a summary of how you will use the funds, and your age range.

You are then led to a page where you are asked to share the information to 15 friends or five groups on WhatsApp to access the funds.

It reads: “Your Presidential Youth Empowerment Funds will be available immediately if you follow instructions below;. Click the “Invite Friends/Group” button to share this information with 15 friends or 5 groups on WhatsApp so That They Can Also Aware of the Presidential Youth Empowerment PROGRAM!”

On reaching the end, it is clear that this is a phishing scam where unsuspecting people are tricked into sharing their valuable personal information. This can give scammers access to banking and other accounts.

How to really register for the hustler fund

You can access the hustler fund by dialling the *254# on a mobile phone. It’s also available on one of the mobile money apps run by Kenyan telecoms companies.

To join the fund, you have to accept the terms and conditions and enter your mobile money pin.

An SMS is then sent to inform you whether your registration has been successful and, if so, the loan limit offered.

Don’t try to apply for the fund on dodgy websites

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.