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Kenyans, beware! Facebook account ‘Maria Wa Kitaa Citizen’ is posting fake promotions, promising quick cash prizes

IN SHORT: A Facebook account in the name of Kenyan actor Yasmeen Saiedi is promising quick cash prizes. But this is yet another account that is trying to scam users.

The Facebook account Maria Wa Kitaa Citizen regularly posts promotions on a Facebook group in Kenya with 40,500 members.

The account capitalises on the popularity of Yasmeen Saiedi, who played the main character in the TV show Maria. The show aired on Kenya’s Citizen TV. The account uses her photos and character’s name.

In one of its posts, dated 30 August 2023, it asks users to mention one English word with three letters and stand a chance to win KSh65,000.

The post reads: "Back to school PROMOTION Taja neno moja lenye herufi TATU English only & check your inbox #GIFT ksh.65,000 Watu 119 pekee."

The mix of English and Kiswahili translates to: "Back to school PROMOTION: mention one English word with three letters & check your inbox #GIFT KSh65,000, 119 people only."

Other posts on the group have attracted hundreds of engagements, including here and here.

But is the Facebook account really run by the actor? We checked.


Signs the account is fake

It is unlikely that Saiedi would be giving away KSh65,000 for answers to such simple questions. It seems too good to be true – which is usually a sign that something on social media is not to be trusted.

We checked Saiedi's verified Instagram account, which has over 774,000 followers, and found no such offers. It is unlikely that the actor would be running the Facebook account but not showing the ads on her Instagram account, where she has a larger number of followers.

The suspicious account asks those who comment to get in touch privately via the Facebook inbox. This is often an attempt to scam people. 

The account and promotions are fake.

To protect yourself, read Africa Check's guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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