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Unmasking five fake accounts impersonating Kenyan governor Kawira Mwangaza and peddling bogus loans

IN SHORT: Ignore scammers exploiting the Meru governor’s name and offering fake loans on Facebook.

The Facebook accounts Hon Kawira Mwangaza Lõans and Finãñcè, Hon Kawira Mwangaza Promotions., Hon Kawira Mwangaza, HON Kawira Mwangaza Meru county and Hon. Kawira Mwangaza Soft Loans. are running cash promotions and offering loans to Kenyans on Facebook. 

The accounts use the name and photos of Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza. Meru county is 280 kilometres from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

They claim to offer thousands of Kenyan shillings in loans for school fees, personal use, business, farming and emergencies. One of them also claims to offer jobs.

The accounts invite those interested in what they’re offering to call or send a private message to their WhatsApp number or Facebook inbox.

Some of the posts require users to pay a “security fee” of varying amounts depending on the loan you want to take out. 

The promotions and loan offers have been posted on different dates here and here. (Note: See other instances at the end of this report.)

So are these offers to be trusted? We checked.

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Don't be fooled!

A request for an advance payment before the loan is disbursed is a sign of fraud.

Asking users to reply to posts by private message may be an attempt to scam them and steal their personal information.

Some of the posts mention that the loans are offered in partnership with Inua Jamii, a Kenyan government programme that provides cash grants to poor and vulnerable people. Inua Jamii has repeatedly stated that it does not offer loans to Kenyans.

Mwangaza's verified Facebook page has more than 157,000 followers and contains posts about the governor's activities and whereabouts. It is unlikely that Mwangaza would have one account to document her official activities and another to offer loans.

Moreover, the posts on these accounts are poorly written. They contain random capitalisation and odd punctuation. One would expect the social media posts of a governor to be well written, with no obvious errors in grammar or spelling.

These suspicious accounts also have little activity. This is a sign that they may be fake and may have been set up purely as a scam.

To protect yourself, read our guide to spotting Facebook scams.

The claims have also been made here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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