Millions of Kenyans are this week struggling to come to terms with the painful loss of their hard-earned cash after they fell victim to a well-coordinated online ponzi scheme.
In the latest money racket introduced last year, young and gullible graduates desperate to make a quick buck were lured to invest into a fake “Order Grabbing” website known as “E-KEN” that purported to use machine learning and effortlessly make them money by just the click of a button.
All they had to do make deposits staring from Sh500 and then earn commissions from matching orders.
They were promised returns of up to a 3-fold profit within 10 days up to 2 weeks.
The tasks you do in these order grabbing sites is actually very simple.
You pay some certain fee to be activated then you start earning by clicking the button written “order grabbing” and when you click that button it generates you money.
On E-KEN, partcipants would be asked to rate items in the online shopping mall by ‘clicking’ on the item as a positive rating.
They would be rewarded for their efforts, based on the number of clicks and the money they invested.
The more money they invested, the more opportunities they had to click items.
So, of course, after getting some early small payouts from the app, people gleefully invested more… and more.
Some deposited up to Sh300,000.
For the 4 months it was active, the popular platform pragmatic that operated under a similar format to “Amazon Web Worker Scam” enjoyed highly positive reviews by githeri media.
This included full-fledged coverage by esteemed stations like KTN News which highlighted many of their conference meetings in Nairobi.
The company even held parties for its members and gifted cars to their top recruiters.
It has now been discovered that the vehicles handed out were actually hired from local dealerships.
For the time they were up, deposits and withdrawals were always seamless but on Tuesday, March, 22, 2022, the website, without any prior notice, went offline.
Shockwaves rang across more than 30 WhatsApp groups full of “investors” that were working with E-KEN.
None of them could access their accounts.
Rough figures presented to our newsdesk show more than 6,000 victims were caught in the dragnet.
From available data, the website was registered on 5th November 2021 in China.
This, from our view, should have been one the first red flags as there are no positive reviews on the internet about the page.
Just like in the case of “Amazon Web Worker” scheme, it has since been established that “E-KEN” is not in any way affiliated with International retailer Amazon.
Victims who shared their data on the “E-KEN” platform have been advised to inform their bank, change passwords for online accounts including M-PESA or report the matter to the police anti-fraud unit.
Safaricom is reportedly following up on M-PESA till numbers that could have been taken from the firm then edited and used by crooks to lure clients to the platform.
But all in all, scammers won’t stop.
Especially with tech getting better, they’ll keep finding new ways of running their schemes.
The sad thing is people don’t learn.
Whenever there’s a quick way to riches, people throw caution to the wind and end up losing their hard-earned money to smart criminals.
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