A scam is basically an illegal plan for making money, especially one that involves tricking people. Campus students in Kenya may feel unassailable or too smart to fall victim of a scam, but they are actually much more susceptible to scams than they think, possibly due to unfamiliarity with the scammer’s ever-changing tactics.
More than 100,000 students join Kenyan universities each year, that’s both public and private universities; government-sponsored and self-sponsored students. Many of these students are leaving their homes for the first time and being independent out here for the first time too, meaning that they’ll have to face new real-world challenges on their own.
Scammers take advantage of the innocence and the benightedness of these new students and even older students who are ignorant too to milk some money out of their pockets. Some of this schemes are usually too good to resist and usually come in students friendly packages that lure the students at sight.
Some of the scams every campus students should beware of are;
1.Data Bundle Scams
This is maybe the most conspicuous and most cunning scam in campus. The scammers know that majority of the students like spending much of their time online so they put up posters on notice boards, pathways, halls, and walls with very affordable data bundle rates, complete with a contact to call or text when you need them. They further pledge to deliver the bundles after you have paid the required amount or they even promise to wire the data bundles to you once they have received the money. Once somebody has sent the money, this ‘sellers’ vanish after blocking you.
2. Online Dating Scams
Few success stories of online dating do exist here in Kenya. Nonetheless, a good number of Kenyans have a tendency of going for online dates since it looks pretty much an easy way of getting a lover. Online dating on the other hand dating has a high possibility of landing you on fraud dates. Cons marauding on this online dating sites usually create attractive profiles and pose as potential hook-ups. Once you establish an online relationship, the scammer turns into a beggar and ask for money to pay emergency bills. Majority of the scams who claim to be overseas are actually within Nairobi.
On the other hand, you can be told to pay a small fee for hookup and after you have paid, the hookup agent will suddenly vanish, stay alert.
3. Employment scams
These scams follow an almost similar trend where the cons ask you to pay for something and end up disappearing into thin air. Majority of you have seen this EMPLOYMENT!!! EMPLOYMENT!! posters on your campuses. This cons will put up ‘jobs’ on posters and with the current unemployment rate or the desire to have a job so that one can pay his/her bills while on campus, many people will apply and then the successful applicants will be told to pay some small fee for training and orientation. Sometimes you can register your CV on the many job websites in Kenya and with no time get an email, a text or a call from an employment agency promising you that particular job you want at a small fee. Mark you most of this funds are usually wired through mobile money, so the con and the other party rarely get to meet. After payment the same thing happens, they disappear.
4. Scholarship Scams
There are many needy but bright students in campuses who badly need scholarships. They are the ones who fall trap to scholarship scams the most. First, scholarship applications are free and don’t require one to pay any fee, maybe the data fee for the Cyber, A variety of the sweepstakes scam asks students to wire money for “fees” or other charges to receive a scholarship… This is a direct scam.
Students should beware of this two scholarship main scams
- Charging a fee for scholarships scams
- Phony scholarships. These either don’t exist or they are so small as to be hardly worth applying for. Their major aim is to harvest personal details of applicants for ID theft or marketing purposes and that’s why you may be getting texts from numbers you don’t even know.
5.Student Loan Scams
Sometimes life in Campus pushes you to the limits and you are left dead broke. In some circumstances, not even your friends can bail you out of our financial situation and so the only resort remaining is going for money lenders like Tala, Branch and even other upcoming money lenders which offer instant soft loans. Some lenders charge very high-interest rates because they know you are desperate and will just grab the cash and run hence it pays big time to do some little research on interest rates and to go for renown lenders who cant swindle your money on repayment.
6. Online Shopping Scams
I usually say that the only trick to online shopping is simply avoiding it but if pressed by necessity, always judge your seller by reputation and not the mouth-watering offers they have. Online shopping sites like OLX have many cons and you have to insist on Face to face businesses to avoid falling victims. Even renown online shops have been reported to package the wrong items, or no items at all and later fail to take responsibility.