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Kenyans beware, Facebook accounts ‘Avrilla Shiriexh Staroz’ and ‘Ricky Zoom Rayoo’ are running scam promotions

IN SHORT: These two Facebook accounts, seemingly run by the same person, are posting promotions on Facebook groups and promising users cash prizes. But they are fake and the promotions are a scam.

The Facebook accounts Avrilla Shiriexh Staroz and Ricky Zoom Rayoo are running promotions on Facebook and promising money to Kenyans.

Both accounts post simple questions and ask users to answer in order to win the cash. They also use photos of local celebrities to run the promotions.

A typical post from one of the accounts reads: “Kati ya hizi missed calls utapigia nani kwanza: 1:Boss 2:Mum 3:Beb. Jibu ujishindie ksh35,000 Citizen Award.”

This translates from Kiswahili as: “Among these missed calls, who will you call first? 1. Boss 2. Mother 3. Lover. Answer to win KSh35,000 Citizen Award.”

The accounts have posted on different dates here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But are the accounts and the promotions to be trusted? We checked.


Signs of a scam

The accounts in question have not posted any of the promotions on their own timelines. But they posted on Facebook groups with at least 30,000 members each. This is a sign that the accounts are not genuine.

Their posts are poorly written with omitted words and random capitalisation. These are signs of suspicious accounts.

Both accounts ask interested users to contact them privately on WhatsApp to claim their rewards. But we noticed that they use the same mobile phone number, suggesting they’re run by the same person.

When we texted the WhatsApp number, we were asked for personal information, including our full name, age, location and M-Pesa number. Giving out this information to strangers could lead to identity theft.

We were then told that we had won KSh35,000 but were asked to send an “unlocking fee” of KSh486 to another number. This is the biggest red flag as scammers often disappear with the “unlocking fee” without sending the user the promised cash prize.

The accounts were created to steal people’s money and should be ignored. To protect yourself against online scams, read our guide on how to spot them here.

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