IN SHORT: The profile and photos of popular evangelist Ezekiel Odero is frequently used by scammers on social media to try to extract money from his followers. So be aware: this Facebook page is another impersonation and should be ignored.
The Facebook page Evangelist Ezekiel asks Kenyan social media users to reach out on WhatsApp for prayers. But when they do so, it asks them to send money as an “offering” first.
The page uses the photos of Ezekiel Odero, a popular Kenyan preacher who runs the New Life Prayer Centre and Church based in Kenya’s southern coastal city of Mombasa.
One of its posts, dated 7 March 2023, reads: “I PROPHESY to 10000 people reading this right now ... in exactly 3 days you will get a MIRACLE phone call that will change your situation in Jesus name. If you believe, send me a message. I shall Pray for you one on one today.”
It then reaches out to those who comment on the post and asks them to request for prayers through a WhatsApp number.
Similar posts on the page have attracted hundreds of engagements.
But is this Ezekiel Odero’s Facebook page and are the offers of prayers legit? We checked.
Signs the Facebook page is fake
We searched online for the New Life Prayer Centre and Church and found its YouTube channel, New Life TV KENYA.
As at the time of writing, it had more than 429,000 subscribers. All the preacher’s activities are posted on the channel.
The channel lists the church’s official phone numbers. The number given in the Facebook page’s posts is not among them. This is a clear sign that the page is a scam.
We reached out to the number on WhatsApp and were told to first deposit between KSh1,500 and KSh3,500 to the number as an “offering”, before prayers could be given.
Since early 2023 Africa Check has uncovered many similar Facebook pages and accounts, impersonating Odero and his church and asking for money in return for prayers.
Legit Facebook page
The Facebook page lists “newlifechurch.com” as its website. But this is the website of a church based in the US state of California, with no links to Kenya.
The church’s YouTube channel includes a link to the actual website - newlifeprayercenterandchurch.org.
The website has provided a link to the church’s official Facebook page, which has more than 248,000 followers. The page transparency section shows it was created on 5 December 2020. The fake page was created on 19 January 2023 and has only 16,000 followers.
It is unlikely for the preacher to run two Facebook pages with different contact details.
To help protect yourself against online fraudsters, see Africa Check’s guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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