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Kenyans, don’t be scammed by Facebook page offering loans at a fee

IN SHORT: There has been a proliferation of Facebook pages offering loans to Kenyans. But the lack of a proper website and the demand for an upfront fee often reveal their true intentions, which are to defraud the public. This Facebook page is one of them.

The Facebook page Loanika loans - Instant loans to M-Pesa offers loans of up to KSh100,000 (US$690) to Kenyans on Facebook.

It claims that instant school fees and business loans are available, and urges those interested to contact to the WhatsApp number provided.

The page says the loans would be sent to the applicants’ M-Pesa numbers. M-Pesa is a mobile money financial service by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecoms company.

Most of the posts have attracted responses from interested users, including here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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


Fake Facebook page, fake offers

Trusted companies usually have proper websites for running their business activities. But this Facebook page is linked to an online form, which has expired. This is the first red flag.

Financial institutions in Kenya also usually ask for a client’s credit history or rating before offering them a loan. Promising thousands of Kenyan shillings to strangers over WhatsApp is another red flag. This is a tactic often used by fraudsters to steal users’ personal information.

We contacted the phone number on the page and asked for a loan. We were told to give our full name, ID number, phone number and county of residence. We were also asked to indicate what we needed the loan for and the amount.

We were then asked to pay KSh435 before we could access the loan. Being asked to pay an upfront fee is a clear sign of a scam. Genuine loan offers from reputable financial institutions don’t require this.

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

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