A few weeks ago, the government warned Kenyans against falling prey to conmen using fake social media accounts of prominent people to fleece the gullible.
Standard Digital has learnt that the fake accounts are still operating. It is also clear that the conmen are operating without fear of the law.
Standard Digital has noted that there are more than five fake Facebook accounts of the First Lady, Margret Kenyatta, all with her photos and important messages to Kenyans.
In each of them, the first lady is purporting to be running some philanthropic project empowering the youth, uplifting the poor, empowering businesses or fighting poverty.
In one account, for example, the first lady is giving out business empowerment loans and grants while in another, she is giving out motorbikes and tuk-tuks
One will also see positive comments by “users” supporting the first lady’s course and praising her for her empathy towards Kenyans.
In one of the Facebook accounts, “The Office of the First Lady is running motorcycle and tuk-tuk project to create employment opportunities for the youth”
In another account also bearing the same name, the focus is “Business Empowerment Loans for Entrepreneurs”
This reporter called State Houses Director of Digital Communications, Denis Itumbi who refuted claims that the First Lady is running such like endeavours.
Moreover, he cautioned anyone against paying any amount of money to anyone purporting to represent the first lady.
This reporter played undercover and pretended that he was in need of the assistance "promised by the First lady" on the Facebook account. This is how the conversation went.
Reporter: Hello, in line with your message of loan assistance, my name Silas Nyamweya, 070**71**6*, Umoja, Nairobi
Responder: I don't give loans.
Reporter: Okay, I read your FB message on motorbike and tuk-tuks, please advice me about it
Responder: If I donate to you one motorbike for transportation business this morning will that be helpful to you
Reporter: Sure, yes.
Responder: Will you be able to make good maintenance of the motorbike
yes, I'm sure of that
Responder: Can you afford to pay for the logbook transfer fee of 3500/-for the logbook to read your names this morning
Reporter: Yes, how should I pay it? M-Pesa or bank account? Also, can I pay it by 12-noon pls?
Responder: Kindly call my project manager Mr erick jotunda (sic) on 0799487927 for more information immediately
okay, thank you.
Upon calling, the responder told me that “he knew my case” as he had been informed by “Meshimiwa” about it. All I needed to do was to send the “logbook transfer fee” and go to collect the said motorcycle from Thika Road Mall.
As soon as I reached the point where I was required to pay Sh3500 “logbook transfer fee” I immediately knew where the deal was heading to and cut off the communication.
By 9.44 am Friday, February 22, 2019, the man was still receiving calls and directing the gullible on how to pay for the "logbook".