According to detectives, the fraudsters, posing as wealthy foreigners prey on the ladies on social media with false promises of quick riches luring them to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to pick up expensive items.
Officers at JKIA observed a rise in the number of young ladies who had gone to JKIA to pick up the gifts, only to discover they had been scammed and lost their money.
The fraudsters masquerading as successful businessmen post photos showcasing flashy lifestyles, to lure the ladies in.
“In one such instance, a 28-year-old lady met a man online who claimed to be living in Britain. After days of communicating online, the man told the lady that as proof of his undying affection, he had sent her some necklaces made of gold and other assorted jewelry,”
The lady would later receive a phone call from a man identifying himself as a customs agent based at the airport who claimed to have received her shipment from abroad.
The DCI stated that the young woman was asked to pay the landing fee for the package and facilitate its clearance at a cost of Ksh52,000 then go and collect it.
However, upon arrival at the airport, the supposed agent’s phone went unanswered and she realised it was a con.
“While we work round the clock to bring the suspects to book, we wish to caution young ladies to be wary of such fraudsters who may end up tricking them into more dangerous situations, some of which may cost them their lives,” the detectives advised.
Cases of online scams have become rampant in Kenya with Kenyans losing millions of shillings to fraudsters.
An Interpol report released in 2020, detailed that online organised crime in Kenya and other African states is being motivated by digitisation which makes it easier for criminals to target unsuspecting prey.
According to the report, Kenya lost over Ksh 21 billion to cybercrimes and online scammers in 2017.