Scam alert! Kenyan bank warns of fraudulent loan ads on Facebook

Since January 2019 the Facebook page “Kwft LoansKenya” has been inviting users to apply for “emergency” loans at the Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT).

But it’s a money-making scam, as KWFT itself has warned.

The latest post, from 9 July 2019, links to a website titled KWFT Mobile Loans. A notice on the home page says the loan will be “approved within 30 minutes” and the money sent via the M-Pesa mobile money service.

Under the “apply now” tab, the site says loan applicants must have used mobile money services such as M-Pesa or Airtel Money for more than three months. The minimum loan is KSh2,000 and the maximum KSh300,000.

Applicants to pay KSh390

But there’s a catch. Applicants must first pay a fee of KSh390, which will be “automatically refunded if you do not qualify for a loan”.

“The fee is used to confirm your credit history from the relevant lending organisations and therefore determine your starting loan limit,” the site says.

It then lists a five-step “registration procedure”:

  • Go To MPESA menu
  • Send Money
  • Enter Number   – 0716 919 592 ( Miss Cynthia – Chief Loans Officer )
  • Amount Ksh 390
  • Enter the MPESA reference number below for confirmation purposes.

The wording is suspiciously similar to another five-step “registration procedure” in a job scam recently exposed by Africa Check.

Second scam post links to Google Form

The scam has also been published on a Facebook page called “KWFT online LOANS”. (In the comments section, a number of users are already complaining of being conned.) 

This post links to a Google Form with a similar “registration procedure” requiring a KSh350 fee.

Africa Check has also exposed a large number of scams that misuse Google Forms, a free service that allows people to collect and organise information.

‘Consider this as fraud’

On 8 July 2019 Kenya Women Holding (KWH) issued a warning on Facebook that the posts were “fraud”, saying it had no such facility. KWFT is an associate company of KWH, now known as Echo Network Africa.

“Our attention has been drawn to a Facebook Post asking the public to apply for loans at KWFT-Bank which will purportedly be processed within 30 minutes,” the warning reads.

“The public is advised to ignore this message as no such facility exists in our Bank. Please consider this as fraud.” – Dancan Bwire


 

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