IN SHORT: Another unverified Facebook page using the name of William Ruto, Kenya’s new president, is offering users cash and loans – if they pay a “registration fee”. But it’s just another scam.
And online scammers have been quick to try to take advantage of his higher profile. On 23 September Africa Check exposed the scam Facebook page “Mtarajiwa Rais Mweshimiwa Ruto”, which presents itself as Ruto’s account and offers bogus cash giveaways to users.
Again, the account uses Ruto’s name and photos.
One of its posts asks users to send in their full names and phone numbers and pay a “registration fee” of KSh399 via M-Pesa mobile money transfer. The phone number given is supposedly for “my office Secretary”.
Once the “fee” has been paid, the post says, users will receive KSh60,000 in their M-Pesa accounts within five minutes.
Another post, in Kiswahili, says Ruto will give the same amount to all supporters in need of help, including people working in low-income jobs such as bike taxi drivers and small-scale vegetable sellers.
But the account is bogus.
No ‘blue tick’ verification badge, poor spelling and grammar
Facebook allows public figures such as Ruto to verify their pages. A verified page carries the “blue tick” verification badge.
Ruto’s official Facebook account, “William Samoei Ruto”, is verified. The account offering the promotional cash and loans is not.
It is unlikely that the president would operate two Facebook accounts and dedicate one to cash giveaways.
It is also unlikely that a Facebook account representing Kenya’s president would publish posts that are full of spelling and grammar errors, and ask for cash from supporters.
To help protect yourself against online scams, see Africa Check’s guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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