Free water tank donations? Don’t be conned by scam Facebook page

The Facebook page “Free Water Tank Donations” claims to be giving away free water tanks to Kenyans.

In one of its typical posts it says the water tanks have been donated by nongovernmental organisations in the US, UK and United Arab Emirates “due to the current situation of Covid-19 outbreak in several parts of the world”.

It claims tanks will be donated to at least 2,000 homesteads in each of Kenya’s 47 counties.

Users are encouraged to “book” the water tanks for “a friend, Your mother, neighbour and/or local institution like churches and schools”. 

It sounds too good to be true, so we investigated.

Clues to a scam

There are no details about the organisation supposedly organising the give-away on the Facebook page. The posts link to an amateurish website with the headline “FREE WATER TANKS DONATIONS”.

The “about us” section of the website gives no further clues, but has what looks like sample, or dummy, text and images. This is placeholder text in a website or blog template, which can be edited. 

The website linked to in the Facebook page’s “about” section looks even more suspicious. It’s a dead link to a page with the address “instantfunds.org”.

The organisations listed in the posts, including Kenya Water for Health Organization, USAid, World Vision Kenya, the United Nations and Care International, have denied any involvement in such a project.

And Africa Checked has debunked similar offers in the past.

Delivery ‘fee’ biggest red flag

The clearest sign the page and its posts attempt to trick people is that all applicants are asked to pay a fee of KSh300 for “delivery costs”. 

Having to pay any sort of administration fee for a give-away or charity is usually a sign that something is fishy.

The posts are also poorly written, with typos and bad grammar. This is another sign of a likely scam. 

There is no evidence any water tanks are being given away to needy Kenyans through a programme like this. 

To protect yourself against scams, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them. Report any suspicious Facebook pages or posts by using the “page transparency” section or clicking “report post” on the top right of any post. – Dancan Bwire


 

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