The National Police Service has cautioned members of the public against interacting with multiple social accounts purporting to belong to Police Spokesperson Dr. Resila Onyango.
In a statement on Friday, November 25, the police service said Onyango doesn't own any social media pages and that the Facebook accounts bearing her name are operated by unscrupulous imposters with criminal intent.
NPS urged members of the public to ignore any messages from the accounts as the police body liaises with other agencies for appropriate action against the pages and their handlers.
"These existing fake accounts are maintained by unscrupulous imposters with criminal intent. We urge the public to desist interacting with the imposters, as we liaise with other agencies for appropriate action on the pages and their handlers," the message read in part.
"Please note that the Police Spokesperson does not operate any social media account and only transacts her official police duties through the NPS official communications platforms."
We wish to caution the public against interacting with the multiple accounts purporting to belong to the National Police Service Spokesperson and Director Corporate Communications at the NPS, Dr. Resila Onyango, PhD. pic.twitter.com/szVVpQZ2gN— National Police Service-Kenya (@NPSOfficial_KE) November 25, 2022
- Police Spokesperson assumes office
The new Police Spokesperson, who also doubles up as the Director of Corporate Communications at NPS, assumed office early this month.
She replaced Bruno Shioso who was appointed the commandant of the National Police Service Training College, Kiganjo.
The latest warning comes weeks after detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested three people for impersonating senior government officials including members of the First Family.
In a statement on November 6, the directorate said the fraudsters were operating pseudo-social media accounts impersonating President William Ruto, First Lady Rachel Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's wife Dorcas, Chief Justice Martha Koome among other senior state officials.
According to the DCI, the suspects aged between 19 and 25 years ran multiple Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts which they used to obtain hundreds of thousands of shillings from unsuspecting Kenyans.
Apparently, most of the victims were duped into believing that the owners of the accounts would assist them to secure financial assistance, jobs, among other favours.
Among those arrested was a 19-year-old suspect identified as Michael Wekesa who was nabbed in Sirisia, after he opened a Facebook account purporting to be an employee of the Office of the First Lady.
Wekesa, DCI said, posed as a loans officer who would influence issuance of quick loans, swindling thousands from desperate Kenyans, who approached him for assistance.'
"In a well-calculated scheme, the suspect who promised interest-free loans from the esteemed First Lady’s Office, requested for a small deposit as ‘facilitation fees’ to expedite the process," DCI revealed.
"Unsuspecting Kenyan’s not aware of the existence of such scammers sent money to a provided M-Pesa account which was then transferred to a till number under the suspect’s name. It is only after their calls went unanswered afterwards, that reality dawned on them that they had become the latest victims of fraud from tech-savvy teenagers taking advantage of gullible Kenyans online."
Also arrested in the dubious scheme was the main suspect’s accomplice Isaac Oduor, 19, who operated a ‘call center’ that received calls from would-be beneficiaries, before they were escalated to the ‘loans officer’ for action, authorities said.