August 29, 2013


Kenyan con-woman makes fake appeal for funds for ill child. She used an image she’d found online, of a healthy, American child in a bid to make her appeal more believable.

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Kenyan con-woman makes fake appeal for funds for ill child

Kenyan con-woman makes fake appeal for funds for ill child

Fraud is unfortunately the order of the day in Kenya and, as times go by, bizarre occurrences that have made headlines in local news have shown just how people are ready to go to absolute extremes just to make an extra coin regardless of how legal or ethical their ploys are.


In the today’s  Daily Nation Page 30, there is an advertisement for a medical appeal for a child that reads:

“This my baby boy, he suffers from biliary Atresia a liver disease that has damaged his liver. He requires a liver transplant in India and the surgery cost Sh 2.7 million which we as the family are unable to raise!

We appeal to our greater Kenyan family to assist us in this trying time! Nothing is too small to give and with God’s help we believe we shall save his life!

Contributions can be made via Mpesa etc.

Thank you and God bless you.”

The notice is accompanied by a captioned photo of the allegedly ailing child, one Master Calvin Wanzila (in caps). Sadly as it turns out, the woman seeking for financial assistance is just one of the many swindlers on the loose in Kenya because the photo of the baby used in the notice has actually been downloaded from the internet and is in fact not of a sick child but that of a fit and handsome African American baby with blue eyes.

On the website where the photo was lifted, the cute baby boy real name is Laren Galloway and one of the captions below his photo reads:

“Honestly think this is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen, what a miracle this is and he pulls off those sky blue eyes so well. His and his eyes aren’t in anyway photo shopped, edited nor are they contacts. Both of his parents are African-American and from Atlanta.

This Kenya Forum correspondent went ahead to try and get in touch with the con-woman behind the ad but all the numbers given were unobtainable, but the Sh20 that the correspondent sent to her Mpesa account just to establish whose names the simcard was actually registered to, revealed that indeed the simcard is registered to a Ruth Pauline. That would make the post bank Kenya account listed in the ad genuine as well and judging from this, she is certainly a professional con-woman who is well equipped for her day job. Her only mistake was using the wrong model for her paid ad.

Feigning illness has been one of the most used gimmicks by Kenyan conmen to relieve unsuspecting good Samaritans of their money and cases of people faking blindness, disability and what have you are not new, but in Ruth Pauline’s case, this is certainly a first.

According to a source in Nation Media, the media house got wind of the case long before it went viral and their legal body has teamed up with authorities to bring the culprits to book.

The Kenya Forum has established that the woman in question was not working alone and that some of the culprits have been arrested and that most of such advertisements are paid for through M-pesa Paybill functionality, and it may not be possible to identify such ads before the paper is printed. The space ‘Ruth Pauline’ used to advertise goes for around Sh 25,000 but in most cases, Nation Media doesn’t charge for medical appeals that are brought to their attention and even when they do, they charge the minimum rate.

The sad thing about the entire situation is that such selfish acts by these con people, who have no shame or dignity, is actually spoiling the likelihood of any future success for genuine cases.


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