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No, popular Kenyan actor Lucy Maina not offering cash to Facebook and WhatsApp users. Stay away from this page

IN SHORT: Beware of the Facebook page ‘Becky Citizen Tv Promotion’ and any others that ask you to pay an activation fee before you can access the money they promise you. They are likely run by scammers.

The Facebook page Becky Citizen Tv Promotion promises to give users KSh35,000 (about US$220) for answering simple questions about the TV drama series of the same name.

The page uses the stage name and photos of popular Kenyan actor Lucy Maina, who plays the lead character in the drama Becky. The series first aired in July 2023 on Citizen TV, the country’s most-watched channel.

One of the page’s posts, dated 2 February 2024, reads: “CITIZENTV PROMOTION Between this 4 ACTORS Ni nani aliplay vizuri katika kipindi chake Taja ulimpenda nani ama kipindi kipi kisha uangalie inbox yako in 2 minutes KSH. 35,000 MARIA, ZORA, SULTANA, BECKY USIPITWE kama huwa unafwatilia vipindi vyetu hapa CitizenTv.”

The mix of English and Kiswahili loosely translates to: “CITIZENTV PROMOTION Between this 4 actors who played their role best in their respective shows Mention who you love on what show then check your inbox in 2 minutes KSh35,000 MARIA, ZORA, SULTANA, BECKY don’t miss this if you have been watching our programs on CitizenTv.”

The post is accompanied by a link that takes users to a WhatsApp chat where they can supposedly enter to win the prize. It has been reposted 60 times.

The page continues to publish similar offers, inviting users to interact with their posts or answer simple questions to win cash prizes.

But are the promotions legitimate? We checked.


Signs of a scam

We sent a message on WhatsApp expressing our interest in the cash prize.

In the response we received, we were asked to provide personal information such as name, phone number and location.

We then received a confirmation message. It said that we had been selected and nominated as one of the lucky winners.

But there was a catch. We were asked to pay an activation fee of KSh299 to their secretary’s number 0726715050.

The page claimed that the promotions were sponsored by Citizen TV. However, they were not advertised on the broadcaster’s radio, TV and digital channels.

On 30 January 2024, Citizen TV Kenya used its official Facebook account to warn the public not to engage with posts from “Becky Citizen TV Promotion” promising money to users on WhatsApp.

“Fake WhatsApp Group Alert: Be warned that this WhatsApp group (Becky Citizen tv Promotion) was not created and is not being run by Citizen Digital or any group/individual affiliated to it, so kindly treat it with the contempt it deserves,” the company wrote.

We also checked the actor's official Instagram account, Lucy Maina, and found no such promotions. 

The Facebook page under the actor’s stage name and the promotions on it are fake.

Africa Check has exposed many similar scams using Maina’s name, including here, here and here.

Read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them to protect yourself. 

You can also report any suspicious Facebook posts by clicking on the three dots at the top-right corner of the post and selecting “report post” from the drop-down menu.

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