This is a list of scams every Kenyan should beware of. A scam is a fraudulent scheme orchestrated by a dishonest individual, group, or even a company in an attempt to obtain money or something else of value from the public. Many people feel that they have become too smart to fall victims to scammers but scammers too have improvised new creative and smarter ways to get what they want.
They have close to genuine offers which are even aired on our local TV stations to make them even more believable and many Kenyans blindly fall for them. Here are some of the scams you should beware of in Kenya.
1. Real Estate Scam
Real Estate scams have become more and more as the demand for people to own land or a home increases each day. Frankly speaking, there has been an obsession nowadays by many people to buy a piece of land or plot somewhere with plans of developing it in future or the host “real estate company” pledging to develop it for you at a small fee and cons are taking advantage of this. Such real estate scams are even aired on our Media daily to unsuspecting buyers/investors. First, have a look at some of the most common real estate scams.
- Fake Property Listing
If you see a property in your location that suits your taste but upon inquiring you are told you need to pay some money so that you can see the property, be very cautious. If you insist on seeing the property then paying afterwards, they will tell you that the owner is out of the country so they are following protocol and in most cases, they will also tell you to make a booking and pay commitment fee then the property will be transferred to your name as you pay the rest of the amount in instalments. Most of such offers are usually scams. Just insist to see the property and its proper documentation before making any transaction.
- Online Property Sellers
Many people nowadays search for homes online to save themselves the hustle of going to the ground to see the houses themselves and this is what scammers take advantage of. They take a genuine listing from a genuine online seller and post it as their own in another site at a lower price of course. Unsuspecting buyers then get in touch and are even told to wire some amount as a booking fee and that’s how they are duped. Never pay any money before signing any legal paperwork or seeing the property.
- Title Deed Fraud
If you have bought land before, you know how hard it is to find a clean and genuine title deed in Kenya. Fast forward, I can give you a practical example of title deed fraud where people bought land in Syokimau, constructed homes and were even given title deeds. Later, bulldozers came and brought down their homes in a tearful occasion after the land they had built their homes was found to belong to JKIA and those who had sold the land to them had vanished long time ago after issuing the title deeds. One needs to ask for a copy of the title from the seller, do a search at the Ministry of Land, determine the owner. One can also know if the seller is selling land he/she had used to secure a loan and know if the land being sold is cleared of all rates and has no penalties. If you are buying land, also ensure you see a survey map, its crucial.
- Property Investment Scam
Scammers look for creative ways to persuade unsuspecting investors to invest in them. After enrolling, investors are required to buy soon-to-be-built real estate projects at heavily discounted prices. After buying, the organizing company disappear with investors money and the investors later realize that the property they bought was not even for that company.
2. Job Scams
According to Trading Economics, Kenya’s unemployment rate as of 2019 stands at 7.50%, a worrying figure that’s. This means that very many people are jobless and any opportunity that comes up is hastily pounced upon and that’s where scammers come in and take advantage. Their Job posters are all over and their conning narrative is either after applying, they tell you to pay some fee to get the job or come for an interview, upon arrival, they rob you clean and leave you desperate and lost as you came.
3. Online Shopping Scams
I personally dread online shopping, especially OLX. Cons here list very expensive products but at a very low price and that’s what catches the attention of buyers. After having a chat with the seller and you agree on meet up location, you can find a gang which beats you up, robs you and leaves you with nothing. The con can also give you a fake product, say a phone. After you have paid and left is when you realize you have a fake product. I could just recommend that you shop in renown online stores like Jumia, Killimall and many others which are not an individual to customer business oriented but a company to customer orientation.
4. Online Dating Scams
Online dating rarely makes a perfect couple as a matter of fact. Despite that being the case, many Kenyans flood online dating sites looking for lovers and behind those attractive profiles lurks conmen and women. Once one has established a strong online relationship, the scammer then out of nowhere turns into a beggar who needs money to offset some ridiculous bills. Many scammers pretend to be out of Kenya or even Africa and even promise to refund double the amount you have loaned them only to vanish into thin air after the money has been wired.
5. Prize/Lottery Scam
You can receive a random text or call that you have won a certain amount in an ongoing competition which maybe even runs on Tv or even won a trip to someplace but you never even participated in any competition. The problem is not in the notification, it starts when they tell you to pay some amount so that they can process your prize and send it over, like how do you even process ‘my money’ with another money. Many people think that nobody falls for this but there are very many people who fall for such scams and lose a lot of their money.
Other scams Kenyans should beware of are:
- Mpesa Scams
- ‘Easy money making ways’ scams