How secure is your Facebook account? Tales of victims of impersonators
When Mercy, received a call from a friend who told her that she had seen her photos on Facebook being used by a person with a different name, she dismissed it as a joke.
But it was true.
The friend decided to send her a screenshot of the account and that is when Mercy was hit by the reality of someone who had been using her photos on social media.
That when she started keenly following the account.
Mercy, who lives in Kisii, said that she did not believe what she saw when she went through the account bearing the name Joan Matoke who had been using her images.
“The person was also uploading images of my six-year-old son and also saying that he was her son. I was really shocked and not even reporting the account on Facebook assisted me,” she told Nairobi News.
That was back in 2018, and to date Mercy has lived with the damage the fraudster caused on her image.
Talk of damage, so daring was the fraudster that at times she would photoshop her face and place it on images with exposed body parts.
Mercy told Nairobi News that she was so upset about it but could only ask her friends to tell off the person behind the fake account.
“The fraudster at times placed my face on images of women with exposed their legs, but I couldn’t stop it,” she said.
One day the fraudster took the image of her son and posted it on Facebook claiming the boy was unwell and asked people to assist her.
It is then that Mercy went to her real account and warned her friends against falling for the fraudster’s tricks.
However, the end result was that the fraudster blocked her from Facebook.
“Friends keep telling me that the fraudster is still up to her mischief. It hurts me alot,” she said.
“I am still disturbed about it and every time I become more worried about the damage the fraudster could be doing to my image. “It is clear that the fraudster is trying to attract men considering the kind of images they share out there – it is really bad,” she added.
Mercy is among so many other Kenyans who are victims to fraudsters who tarnish their image using Facebook.
Last week, two Members of Parliament Charles Jaguar (Starehe) and Aden Duale (Leader of Majority) warned the public of fraudsters who were impersonating them on Facebook.
In Duale’s case, officers attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) at the Central Police Station arrested a former University of Nairobi student who has been impersonating National Assembly leader of majority Aden Duale.
Mr James Oire Ombui is said to have opened a fake Facebook account using Mr Duale’s name where he has been luring unsuspecting members of the public to part with Sh 2,000 in order for them to access Sh10,000 scholarships allegedly set aside for students across the country.
According to a statement issued by the DCI, Mr Ombui had been asking unsuspecting members of the public to send the cash to his two phone numbers listed as 0720886964 and 0722134712.
Central Police Station boss Peter Atavashi said officers nabbed the suspect in Nakuru before transferring him to the Central Police Station in Nairobi.
“He was arrested in Nakuru and brought to Central Police Station after a complaint was made against him,” he said.
A day later, Jaguar warned his Facebook followers of a fraud who was using his name to get money from Kenyans.
He notified the public that the information that was being shared by the account was “fake.”
“Kenyans don’t get duped. It would be so sad to lose your money to unscrupulous people,” he said.
Others, who have also complained in the past include, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. Embakassi East MP Babu Owino, Cotu boss Francis Atwoli and CAS Transport Chris Obure.
There are 81 million fake Facebook users according to statisticbrain.com.