IN SHORT: Many desperate Kenyans would like to take advantage of easy loans offered by local financial institutions, but not all offers are genuine. This account, which claims to act on behalf of major financial institutions in Kenya, should not be trusted.
The Facebook account Mpesa Loans presents itself to Kenyans as the best source of instant loans of up to KSh250,000 (about US$1,666).
It frequently posts ads on multiple Facebook groups with thousands of members.
One of its posts, dated 27 October 2023, reads: “How much loan do need in your Mpesa account right now? 20,000KES, 40,000KES, 60,000KES, 80,000KES, 100,000KES. WhatsApp us through 07-8335-5372.”
M-Pesa is a mobile financial service by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecoms company.
The suspicious account uses graphics of various financial institutions in Kenya and claims it offers loans on their behalf.
But are the loan offers legit? We checked.
We noted that the posts are poorly written. For instance, most feature misspellings, odd punctuations and some letters are randomly capitalised. This is a sign they are not from a professional institution but rather an individual.
We contacted the account and we were told that the loans were from different financial institutions under the “Inua Jamii soft loans foundation programme”. It particularly mentioned Absa and KCB banks as well as digital credit providers, such as Tala and Zenka Kenya, as the institutions in the programme.
But this is misleading as each of these institutions operates independently. Besides, there is no such thing as “Inua Jamii soft loans foundation programme”. The Kenyan government only runs Inua Jamii, a programme that gives cash grants to poor and vulnerable people.
“Inua Jamii” is Kiswahili for “uplift the community” but the programme has clearly said that it did not give out loans.
The account told us that different loans were available but each attracted a registration fee. Facebook accounts and pages that ask for a registration fee before users can access the funds are likely to be scams.
We could not find the number provided by the suspicious account listed on any of the institutions’ websites.
The Facebook account is fake and its offers are scams.
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