15 Common Scams in Kenya: Stay Ahead of Them in 2024

Scammers have always had new ways to scam unsuspecting Kenyans. They have also enhanced their tricks to suit the current economic times. You may be aware of the misidentification scam, where you are tricked into thinking that you owe someone money and end up sending money to the wrong person. However, the common scams in Kenya nowadays are so digitized that you may be unaware of them and end up getting scammed.

Today, we discuss the most common scams in Kenya to help you stay ahead of them. Keep reading to find out!

1. Land Scams

Many people in Kenya are desperate to get land and stop the hassle of having to pay rent each month. Therefore, scammers will come up with a fake story about an abandoned land and convince you that the land is up for sale.

The scammers then offer you a chance to buy the land cheaply. After buying the land, you realize that the land was a government-owned land or an individually owned land undergoing a court case. Therefore, you end up losing the land and your money.

Some of these scammers will even provide a title deed to assure you that the land is yours. Recent examples are the famous Kitengela land scam and the Kirima land scam.

In both of these cases, brokers lured buyers into thinking that the lands were the government’s lands. They bought the lands at very cheap prices only to be evacuated from the land later.

A recent case is the Kirima land case. The land was owned by a family who were in an ongoing family feud. The vast Kirima land was under a long court case, which was confirmed later that the land belonged to the family.

Fake land brokers had sold parts of the land to unsuspecting buyers. They mostly sold the lands for Kes. 60,000 to Kes. 100,00. It was later confirmed that the land belonged to the Kirima family, and the land owners were given until the 31st of 2023 to vacate or face forceful evacuation.

The best way to stay ahead of land scams in Kenya is by knowing how to differentiate fake and genuine title deeds by looking at key features like:

  • Signatures
  • Initials
  • Property Description
  • Serial number uniformity
  • The read seal

Find Out: The Right Land Buying Procedure In Kenya

2. Cryptocurrencies and Forex Scams

Common scams in Kenya

Many people love the idea of earning online. Unfortunately, many think that this is a get-rich-quick scheme, and that’s how they get scammed.

In this scam, a number of people will make a pact to convince you that cryptocurrencies can make you rich. They convince you to invest an amount of money for you to earn at your comfort.

After you deposit the money, the people who convinced you end up ghosting you. Some might tell you to invest, buy a trading bot, and you will earn lots of money without lifting a finger. 

The fact is that for Cryptocurrency and forex, you have to attain knowledge of the two to start earning well. This usually takes time and is not a get-rich-quick endeavor.

3. Employment Scam

Scammers know that thousands and thousands of Kenyans are looking for jobs for their survival. Therefore, they come up with ways to scam those looking for jobs.

One common employment scam in Kenya is when someone posts on social media platforms that there are cleaner, waiter/waitress jobs paying a specific amount. If you contact the owner of posts, they will tell you there are certain qualifications needed.

One of these qualifications is a medical letter from a specified hospital. The person then tells you that there is a way for you to get these requirements at a cheaper price. They will then tell you to send some money for the letter. 

Once you send the money, the person ghosts you, and you lose money.

4. Cars From Mombasa Scam

A swindler will tell you that there are cars in Mombasa Port that owners did not pick. This type of scam is common for people looking to buy cars. They tell you that the owners died or they did not pay for the duty fee.

The swindler tells you that the cars are often destroyed. However, they apparently have a way of getting these cars at a cheaper rate. This is always a big white lie.

5. Mineral Scams

A scammer will tell you that they deal with minerals and things like diamonds and gold. They will then tell you that they are short of money to deliver the high-end products to the market.

Finally, they’ll then ask you to invest in this business for get great returns. This is usually too good to be true.

6. Caught in the Act

An extremely beautiful woman will invite you over to her place for some conjugal acts. While both of you are naked, ready to get into the act, the husband will bust you. 

He will pretend to contact the media, and someone will come in at the house with a camera. For fear of being exposed, you will pay handsomely to avoid the exposure.

7. WhatsApp or Facebook Money Requests

Have you ever received a text from a friend that they need some money and they can refund the cash the next day? They will usually give you a phone number or a pay bill number. 

Mostly, they will give you a pay bill number and tell you that they can only receive money using the paybill. Be careful and confirm with your friend if you have another contact number. In most cases, the scammer has already hacked your friend’s Facebook account or WhatsApp account.

8. Fake Online Shops

Whether on Facebook or Instagram, fake online shops are all over. The shops will ask you to send the delivery fee and pay for the product you want once you receive the product.

The shops usually have any type of products. The shop owners will convince you that they have sold most of the items you need and apparently have only one remaining.

Be careful since most of these shops are fake, and they advertise the items at a much cheaper price than the normal one. 

9. Motorbike Scam

A swindler will contact you and lie that a prominent person is offering Boda bodas at a cheaper price. They usually mention or create profiles for famous and respected people like Mike Sonko or Rachael Ruto. 

The swindler will tell you that the person has an offer to upgrade the lives of common citizens. Therefore, they will say that the motorbikes are worth Kes. 10,000. 

For you to receive the bike, the swindler will say that you need to secure a bike before a specific date. The scammer will even tell you that the offers are so limited.

10. Fuliza Limit Scam

Fuliza is an overdraft service offered by Safaricom. The service allows Safaricom users to complete a transaction even when they have less money in their accounts.

A swindler will create a mark with fake text messages that they helped others to increase Fuliza loan limits. Therefore, they are ready to increase your loan limit too, but at a fee. 

This is a lie; the only way to increase a Fuliza limit is by using the loan and paying on time.

Therefore, when someone comes to convince you to give your details, ignore them.

11. Lost and Found Bundles of Notes

This is kind of old, but since the scammers are still using it, it means that some people may not be aware of it. 

You’ll see an unsuspecting person picking up a bundle of notes, usually a fake one filled with papers. This person will make sure you see him picking the bundle.

Since you’re a witness, they’ll tell you to follow them into a hidden spot where you two can share the money. The ‘hidden spot’ is where you get attacked by thugs, and they take all of your possessions, such as money, phone, and other valuable items.

12. Wrong Mpesa Transaction

A scammer will send a fake Mpesa message where you are notified that you have received some cash. The message is usually not from Mpesa but from Conman’s private number.

The balance will show locked. You will then receive a phone call telling you to reverse the money sent. If you don’t check, you will end up sending what is in your Mpesa account.

13. Dating Scams

If you are on any social media and most likely on Facebook, you will have someone hitting on you with a fake white profile. They will lure you into thinking that they love you and they are willing to even marry you.

This is, of course, after a number of times chatting with the stranger. Later on, they will send you pics of some goodies they’d like to gift you.

They will, however, mention that you have to pay tax for the goods at the port for you to receive the goods. You will receive a call from someone in Kenya asking you to send the tax fee for your goods to come to you.

The moment you send the fee, that’s how you get conned your hard-earned money. 

14. Binary Bots

This is almost like the Cryptocurrency and forest scam. It involves buying automated bots to trade for you online. The perpetrators claim that these bots have made many Kenyans millionaires. You’ll find even celebrities hyping these fake trading bots after being paid by the companies and individuals who program the fake bots.

They will even present you with fake screenshots to prove to you that other buyers earned well using the bots. This is just one of the common scams in Kenya you need to be aware of. If those bots made genuine money, no one would be interested in selling them. Instead, they’ll use them to make more money and become more wealthy. 

Therefore, when you see someone hyping a binary trading bot, be sure that you don’t fall for this scam.

15. Dating White Men Scam

Some women in Kenya will do anything to get hooked on a white man. While some may be looking for genuine love, others are looking to get out of poverty or simply leave the country. They do this both offline and online.

Scammers have noted this thirst and know that some of the women are willing to part with their money to get a white man.

Therefore, they will tell the women to pay Kes. 400 or Kes. 500 to get a white man who is willing to marry them and leave the country. This also is among the most common scams in Kenya that you need to be on the lookout for.