IN SHORT: Many scammers ride on the names of famous people in Kenyan society to defraud the unsuspecting public. But in a new trend, stand-alone accounts are also trying to steal your hard-earned money. Steer clear of them.
“Apply for Mpesa Loan in 3 minutes now. Business 80,000/=, School fees 70,000/=, Rent 65,000/=, Bills 60,000/=. Name one that you would like to have within three minutes only! WhatsApp 0742543103,” reads a post from the Facebook account Peterson Mwiruri.
The advert is among dozens that have been posted by the account on different Facebook groups with thousands of members.
Each of its posts has attracted hundreds of engagements from Facebook users who want to know how they can apply for the loans.
But are these ads legit and is the Facebook account to be trusted? We checked.
‘Activation fee’ scam
The fact that the Facebook account has little activity on its timeline but actively posts adverts across Facebook groups is telling. Genuine financial institutions invest time and money in their social media accounts, and would not need to post poorly written adverts on Facebook groups, as is the case with this account.
The account doesn’t link to a website and asks users to apply for the loans via WhatsApp, which is another red flag. Financial institutions issuing loans usually have functioning websites or apps where customers can apply and engage further.
We messaged the WhatsApp number listed in the ads and were told that each loan amount could only be accessed after we had paid an “activation fee”. This is usually a trick to get users to send money, but they don't receive any loans and are often blocked on WhatsApp by the scammer after paying the fee.
With the account posting across different Facebook groups and reaching thousands, this tactic could lead to many unsuspecting users being defrauded.
The Facebook account is fake and its offers are scams. To help protect yourself from such scams, read our guide on how to spot them here.
Republish our content for free
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.