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Kenyans, beware of this Facebook account running bogus promotions and trying to scam you

IN SHORT: You can't earn thousands of Kenyan shillings by answering simple questions on social media. Don’t fall for this trick used by scammers on Facebook.

The Facebook account Jota Jonnes has offered thousands of Kenyan shillings to users who answer simple questions posted on two Facebook groups, with a joint membership of over 487,000 people.

Some of the account’s posts feature photos of married Kenyan journalists Rashid Abdalla and Lulu Hassan, perhaps to attract more users. The two are prominent news anchors for Kenyan channel Citizen TV.

The account often posts a list of numbers and asks users to identify the missing ones.

For instance, a 27 July 2023 post reads: “MORNING PROMOTION Sasa hivi 35, 000. Find the missing numbers.1,2,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15. Watu 190.”

This mix of English and Kiswahili translates to: “KSh35,000 is up for grabs now. Find the missing numbers among 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. We need 190 people.”

The promotions have been posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the Facebook account and its promotions legit? We checked.


Common scam in Kenya

The promise to award users with large amounts of cash just for answering simple questions sounds too good to be true. The amount to be won does not match the minimal effort required to win it. 

It is also unlikely that anyone would award 190 people KSh35,000 each, on a daily basis, just for finding a missing number from a short list. That’s a whopping total of KSh6,650,000, approximately US$46,661

We checked the comment section and noted that the account congratulates those who respond and asks them to reach out on WhatsApp.

Africa Check messaged the WhatsApp number and were told to deposit a KSh499 “unlocking fee” in order to receive the KSh35,000 “reward”. This is a clear indication that this is a scam account.

This is a common trick used by scammers in Kenya. Africa Check has debunked them before, including here, here and here.

To help protect yourself against online fraudsters, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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