Sunday, 06 November 2022 – The Directorate of Criminal Investigations is cautioning members of the public to be wary of fraudsters operating pseudo-social media accounts impersonating members of the first family, the deputy president, the chief justice, and other senior government officials.
The crooks who have opened multiple Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have obtained hundreds of thousands of shillings from unsuspecting Kenyans, who are duped into believing that the owners of the accounts will assist them to secure financial assistance, and jobs, among other favors.
In one such instance, a 19-year-old suspect identified as Michael Wekesa was arrested in Sirisia, after he opened a Facebook account purporting to be an employee of the Office of the First Lady. Wekesa, who posed as a loans officer who would influence the issuance of quick loans went ahead to obtain thousands from desperate Kenyans, who approached him for assistance.
In a well-calculated scheme, the suspect who promised interest-free loans from the esteemed First Lady’s Office, requested for a small deposit as ‘facilitation fees’ to expedite the process.
Unsuspecting Kenyan’s not aware of the existence of such scammers sent money to a provided Mpesa account which was then transferred to a till number under the suspect’s name.
It is only after their calls went unanswered afterward, that reality dawned on them that they had become the latest victims of fraud from tech-savvy teenagers taking advantage of gullible Kenyans online.
Also arrested in the dubious scheme was the main suspect’s accomplice Isaac Oduor, 19, who operated a ‘call center’ that received calls from would-be beneficiaries, before they were escalated to the ‘loans officer’ for action. Three mobile phones used in the transactions were seized from the suspect.
Later, the detectives arrested Dennis Kimaru, a 25-year-old bachelor of Commerce graduate from Kirinyaga University who operates Mzalendo Kimaru (jeshii), Mzalendo Kym Korir and Obuntu Family, Facebook accounts. The suspect who also operates accounts bearing similar names on Twitter and Instagram had opened a social media account in the name of the Head of State’s aide-de-camp Col Fabian Lengusuranga.
Detectives are pursuing other suspects who have opened accounts in the names of prominent Kenyans and senior government officials, and are using the accounts to obtain money from unsuspecting members of the public.
Kenyans are advised to be wary of such social media accounts and are cautioned not to send money to anyone in order to influence favours.
The Office of the First Lady operates a verified Facebook account and members of the public are cautioned against being misled by information published from other unverified pseudo-accounts.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.