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Be wary of ‘friendly’ requests online

Beware when you receive a friendly request for financial assistance on social media. Con artists are now using social media to swindle Kenyans using what seems like harmless requests.

Investigations by Nairobi News have revealed that the trend, where men are getting bombarded with financial requests from women with photogenic profile images – or men posing as such – is quickly gaining currency on social media,

A number of men Nairobi News spoke to recounted their experiences with these on-line fraudsters.

“The end result is predictable, these women will almost certainly ask for a financial favour,” Robert Musyoki (not real name) offered.

This trick is also gaining currency on mobile phone interactive platform Whatsapp. There are claims that a large majority of ladies you will engage with on Whatsapp will end up asking for cash moments after initiating a conversation.

“Their methods (of requesting for money) is all too familiar and simple,” one male victim said.

“You will receive a Facebook request from a stranger whose account’s profile picture bears a beautiful picture of a lady. On accepting the request, the “female” stranger will thank you and then initiate a conversation. Within no time she will begin soliciting for financial help to solve one problem or the other.”


One such “requests” seen by Nairobi News reads:

“Ok, me kuna mtu amenikosea kabisa, she was supposed to pay me some cash over the last weekend, and it is the only cash I had budgeted for the month, imagine at the moment am at work sina fare, kindly asking if u can lend me 2k refundable end of the month, kindly tu.”

Which translates to: “Someone was supposed to pay me some cash last weekend but hasn’t do so. I am now stuck in the office with no bus fare. Please lend me Sh 2,000 refundable end month.”

Multiple sources that Nairobi News spoke to said Sh 2,000 seem to be his “magic amount” most ladies will ask for – whatever the reason – with the “I am stranded” and/or “gas imeisha” (my cooking gas is finished) the favourite line.

On Whatsapp, ladies keen to exchange numbers with men will similarly start conversations before placing their financial request.

Alternatively, they will pick on a number on a Whatsapp group and start the conversation.

Nairobi News couldn’t independently confirm if the profile pictures on some of the accounts used to “request for cash” were legitimate.