Revealed: How fraudsters cloned Jumia social accounts and conned Kenyans
Details of how four Kenyans worked together, and cloned Jumia websites’ social media accounts and defrauded Kenyans’ money amounting to millions can now be revealed.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) gave a blow-by-blow detail of how the cybercriminals managed to con Kenyans before they were finally arrested over the weekend.
Describing the trio as notorious thugs, the DCI said they falsely “obtained money from unsuspecting members of the public by operating fictitious online platforms purporting to sell goods.”
They were identified as Dickson Magembe, Dionicious Omonyi and Derrick Kodek, and they were nabbed by sleuths attached to the DCI headquarters, the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau wing.
This is after several Kenyans complained to the DCI over the operation of the suspicious Twitter, Facebook and website accounts being run by the three.
“The trio are believed to have obtained millions of shillings from unsuspecting shoppers, by operating fake accounts imitating popular JUMIA online stores,” the DCI said.
According to the DCI, the three ran a fake Facebook page called Jumia Shopping. Over the festive season, they even offered discounts of up to 40 percent for various household goods.
The good deal saw many Kenyans attracted to the discounts without knowing they were being duped.
“An MPESA till number where cash deposits would be made before delivery of goods was provided and upon successful payment, an invoice would be sent via WhatsApp promising free delivery within 24 hours,” the DCI said.
Immediately, the money was paid, the clients would then be blocked from social media, and they were left disappointed after bearing heavy losses.
Such a victim is one civilian from Mukothima in Tharaka North Sub County, Tharaka Nithi county who paid Sh95,000 for a seven-seated recliner seat and a coffee table.
The money was paid after an offer was made on the fake Facebook page announcing the discount for the recliner seat and other household items.
“Tens of other Kenyans who found the deals too good to think twice fell for the trap hook line and sinker, after hurriedly making orders before getting thoroughly disappointed later,” the DCI said in his statement.
During the arrest, police managed to recover a total of 22 sim cards that were being used in the fraud. The first suspect to be picked was a third-year student at Kisii University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
The suspect was arrested in the Canaan area of Kisii town and later led detectives to his two other accomplices in Ruiru, Kiambu county.