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Kenyans, do not be conned by these Facebook accounts offering bogus promotions

IN SHORT: There are Facebook accounts promising Kenyan users large amounts of money, featuring the names and photos of local celebrities. But be warned – the accounts are run by scammers.

The Facebook accounts Icon Smart and Smart Icon are running promotions on groups in Kenya with thousands of members.

The accounts ask users to answer simple questions to stand a chance of winning money.

They use photos of prominent Kenyan journalists and actors to run the promotions.

One of the posts, dated 20 May 2023, reads: “LUNCH  GIFT Sasa HIVi ✅ Ksh35,000 Andika Neno linaloanza na HERUFI (O) Tukuzawadi sasa hivi Watu wa Kwanza 98 USIPITWE#citizentvkenya.”

This mix of Kiswahili and English translates to: “Win KSh35,000 as a gift for lunch now. Write a word that starts with the letter ‘O’ and we will gift it to you now. Be among the first 98 people. Don't miss the chance.” 

Other posts by these accounts appear here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But are the Facebook accounts and their offers to be trusted? We checked.


Signs the Facebook accounts are fake

We checked the official social media accounts of the journalists and actors featured in the posts, including Rashid Abdalla and Yasmeen Saiedi, and found none of the promotions on their pages. A legit promotion would have featured on their accounts.

Both accounts reach out to those who comment on the posts and inform them that they have won the cash. They then provide the “winners” with WhatsApp numbers where they can claim their money. 

When Africa Check sent a message to the numbers, each asked us to pay KSh486 to “unlock” our reward. This is a clear sign of a scam.

The accounts and the promotions are fake. 

Africa Check has exposed similar accounts in the past. To protect yourself against scams, see our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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