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Kenyans, beware of Facebook pages impersonating Citizen TV news anchor Mashirima Kapombe and trying to scam you

IN SHORT: Scammers on social media often ride on the name of prominent personalities to defraud unsuspecting people. These two Facebook pages using Kenyan TV news anchor Mashirima Kapombe’s name are likewise up to no good.

The Facebook pages Mashirima Kapombe and Mashirima Citizen frequently post simple queries on Facebook groups and ask users to engage.

Both pages use the name and photo of Mashirima Kapombe, a prominent news anchor with Citizen TV, one of Kenya’s most watched TV stations.

Some of the posts published by these pages ask users to mention English words starting with certain letters, identify missing numbers in a list provided and name favourite television programmes. The users are promised “gifts” of up to KSh35,000.

The pages have posted the offers in many Facebook groups here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The posts have attracted hundreds of comments from unsuspecting users trying their luck.

But are these Facebook pages really run by the news presenter and are the offers legit? We checked.


Suspicious offers

While the promised monetary rewards for engaging with the posts seem attractive, the offers have not been posted by the anchor on her official Facebook account or any Facebook group. This is a red flag.

One would assume that an established news presenter would make an effort to publish well-written coherent messages on social media. But these posts have poor grammar, which seems uncharacteristic.

Africa Check also noted that while the pages may have different second names identifying the news anchor, the mobile number given to users in the comment section are the same as seen here and here. This indicates that they are being run by the same person.

We reached out to the number on WhatsApp by texting the word “#PROMOTION” just as other users were instructed.

As expected, we were told that we had won KSh35,000 and were asked to deposit KSh197 as “clearance fee” to receive our winnings. We declined as this is a trend we have observed from similar scammers before.

The pages are fake and their offers are a scam.

Africa Check has debunked similar Facebook accounts using Kapombe’s name here and here.

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