Faulu Kenya has disowned the Facebook page that links to a registration process requiring users to pay a fee.
Syndicated Story By PesaCheck.
A Facebook page impersonating Faulu Kenya and offering loans is a HOAX.
The page published posts like this one inviting people to submit applications for the loans amounting to Ksh 300,000 at an interest of 10 percent.
The post also has a flier urging users to apply for a Ksh 50,000 loan.
Under the “About Us” tab, there is a link that directs to a website mimicking the branding of Faulu Kenya with similar loan grants promises. The website instructs users to fill out a survey form as part of the loan application process.
The provided survey questions asks two questions; information on whether they have outstanding loans and how much they earn. Below the survey form is a “Sign Up Now” button and under it are testimonials of happy users who “received their loans”.
At the bottom of the page is a “Loan Calculator” which incorporates the 10 percent interest on the loan and a loan processing fee of Ksh 300.
Clicking on the “Sign Up Now” button opens a new page showing the loan amount that a user qualifies for. ‘Once you apply for the loan, you will receive your application status within 10 minutes and the funds within 30 minutes,” reads the message.
The requirement to obtain the loan, which is repayable within 12 months, is a valid national identification card as well as fill out a provided loan form.
Prospective first-time borrowers are required to pay a fee of Ksh 300, which is not standard procedure. The fee, which will be automatically refunded if the user does not qualify, is meant to acquire the user’s credit report from relevant institutions as well as monitor and process their loan, adds the message.
The registration procedure requires the user to send the money to a provided mobile number, which, according to the message, belongs to the organisation’s chief financial officer, Dr Patrick Kimuthi. However, in the transaction message, the name is spelled differently.
Additionally, users are asked to key in the transaction code received after paying registration fees on yet another form, alongside their name, identification number, phone number, and preferred loan amount.
The website’s domain name in question is faulu-loan.xyz, which is not the legitimate domain of the Faulu Kenya website, faulukenya.com.
The WHOIS data of the impostor website shows that it was registered on 10 October 2021, just weeks before the link was shared on the Facebook page in question. The registrant is also located in Washington in the US.
On the other hand, the WHOIS data of the legitimate Faulu Kenya website shows it was registered on 3 October 2000 in Kenya. A legitimate domain is usually older than an imposter domain.
Further, PesaCheck found at least two other Facebook pages promoting the same dubious loan and directing users to websites impersonating Faulu Kenya. The three Facebook pages operate under the user name “Faulu Instant Loan.” However, the description under the username is distinctly different; one is indicated as an “App Page”, the other as a “Video Creator”, and the Facebook page in question as “Loan Service”.
The three pages contain the logo of Faulu Kenya as the display image, have less than 100 likes, and none of the pages includes a verification checkmark. Like the Facebook page in question, the other two pages impersonating Faulu Kenya also contain links to different imposter Faulu Kenya websites.
The websites, whose domains are faululoan.online and easyloanke.xyz, have identical loan application procedures to the impostor website in question. Their WHOIS data also shows that they were registered on 1 October 2021 and 7 October 2021, respectively. The Facebook page transparency information of the three impostor pages also reveals that they were created in 2021.
On the other hand, the legitimate Facebook page has over 27,000 likes, contains a verification checkmark and a link to the legitimate website of Faulu Kenya. The “About Us” page indicates comprehensive information about its operating hours, physical address, and contact information and links to its legitimate Twitter and YouTube pages. Both the display and the cover image of the page contain logos of Faulu Kenya.
The Facebook page transparency information of the legitimate Faulu Kenya page also shows that it was created on 18 July 2011.
In a Facebook post on 22 October 2021, Faulu Kenya cautioned members of the public against engaging with imposter Facebook pages saying that they are out to steal from unsuspecting users. “Kindly take note that Faulu doesn’t ask for money to give Loans,” read the post in part.
PesaCheck has looked into the Facebook page impersonating Faulu Kenya and offering loans in its name and finds it to be a HOAX.
This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.
By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.
The article was approved for publication by managing editor Enock Nyariki.
PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.
PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.