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Kenyans, beware of fake Facebook account ‘Jjoan John’ and its scam offers

IN SHORT: Scammers in Kenya have mastered the art of using the country's famous people to try and defraud Facebook users. But after being exposed several times, some accounts are now starting to post fake promotions promising big payouts. Steer clear of them, too.

The Facebook account Jjoan John promises Kenyans on Facebook thousands of Kenyan shillings if they take part in its promotions.

While it doesn’t use the names of famous people in Kenya, unlike many recent scam accounts, it uses the photos of some. For instance, its timeline features Kenyan actors Yasmeen Saiedi and Sarah Hassan, who starred in a popular TV drama series.

One of its posts reads: “Andika neno moja yenye linaanza na ‘T’. English only and win KSh150,000 Citizen.”

This mix of English and Kiswahili roughly translates to: “Write one word that starts with the letter ‘T’ and win KSh150,000 from Citizen TV. Use English only.”

Such promotions have been posted on Facebook groups here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the account and its offers legit? We checked.


Fake account and offers

The account mentions Citizen TV, a privately owned TV station in Kenya, as the source of the funds. But we found no such promotional messages on the channel’s verified Facebook and Twitter (now called X) accounts. 

Jointly, these accounts have over 12 million followers. The absence of the promotions on the verified accounts is a clear sign that the suspicious posts are fake. They also do not appear on the verified Instagram accounts of Saiedi and Hassan, which have huge followings.

We noted the suspicious Facebook account asks users to engage privately via WhatsApp to claim their rewards. 

We sent the word “promotion” to the WhatsApp number, as other users were instructed to in the comment section. We were told to pay a registration fee of KSh799 before proceeding. This is a sign of scam.

Legitimate competitions or promotions rarely, if ever, require the payment of a fee before paying out. All signs point to a fake Facebook page with scam offers.

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