A Facebook account claiming to belong to Rachel Ruto, the wife of Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto, is advertising loans to Kenyans.
At the time of writing, four active posts advertise school fees, business loans, free new motorbikes and tuk-tuks, or tricycle auto rickshaws. All ask users to engage privately with the account, through direct messaging.
One of the most recent ads, posted on 13 January 2021, claims the second lady would like to “change the lives of 74 Kenyans who are interested in starting transportation business ... by giving them an opportunity to get a new motorbike and tuktuk”.
It asks Kenyans over 21 to “inbox their names, I’d [identity number] and location of delivery for immediate consideration”.
The other ads, published 14 December 2020, claim Ruto is “offering loans through her Inua Jamii loan foundation”.
The misspelling in the group name – “Hon Rechael Ruto” – should be an immediate red flag that the offers are not legitimate. Being asked to send personal details, such as your identity number, through a social media account is another clear sign of a scam.
And lastly, the Inua Jamii programme is not run by Ruto. Inua Jamii is a government social safety net programme targeted at the vulnerable and poor.
Is there any truth to this page or these ads?
No similar ads appear on the official Facebook page for Rachel Ruto.
While the first post on the “Rechael Ruto” page appears to have been published on 30 September 2020, the official Mama Rachel Ruto Facebook page has been active since 2013.
The imposter account has also deleted posts after they were identified as false by fact-checking organisation Pesa Check.
On 15 December 2020 Ruto warned that the ads and the “Rechael Ruto” page itself were “fake”.
In November, the Kenyan government also warned Kenyans that similar ads, claiming to be from first lady Margaret Kenyatta, were false. The announcement was made on the official Facebook page of the Inua Jamii programme.
“Do not send any money to these individuals as they are scamming hard-working Kenyans out of their money,” the government cautioned.
For more help identifying fraudsters on social media, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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