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