By Simon Muli
On clicking the link, Users are asked to check whether their location has been selected for the reward program by clicking on the ‘Check It’ tab on the website. Next, they are required to provide their phone number, which is then validated.
A new webpage opens, notifying the user that they qualify to receive KSh 3,800 for free. To redeem the prize, they are instructed to share this news with 12 WhatsApp groups, following which their mobile money wallet will be credited with the cash within four minutes.
Once users click the WhatsApp button, the message delivered to recipients urges them to visit the website and participate in the promotion before the October 24, 2020 deadline.
The URL of the website — https://bit.ly/SafaricomReward — has been shortened and customised using bit.ly, a URL shortener that allows customisation of the text in a link and can sometimes be used by spammers to mask the identity of the landing page URL. In this case, the actual domain name is safaricomspin.com, which also hosts a dubious slot machine game.
Additionally, the link does not direct to the legitimate Safaricom website, whose domain name is safaricom.co.ke. There is also no information about the promotion in question on Safaricom’s website, Facebook and Twitter handles.
The WHO IS information of the safaricomspin.com site shows it was registered on September 9, 2020, in Panama but the identity of the organisation which owns it is hidden.
On the other hand, WHO IS information for the legitimate Safaricom website shows it was registered on February 12, 2003 and that it is owned by Safaricom PLC.
Mr Chris Karanja, a senior communications manager at Safaricom, told PesaCheck that the company is not running the promotional campaign mentioned in the claim.
In a response to queries by users on Twitter, Safaricom has cautioned against participating in the campaign.
PesaCheck has looked into a website claiming that telecom giant Safaricom is gifting its subscribers KSh 3,800 as part of the organisation’s annual loyal customers reward program and finds it to be FALSE.
This story was produced by PesaCheck in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.