You may have probably encountered messages like these, or you might have heard people getting conned through such messages and you thought that it can never happen to you.

Several tenants have naively paid rent to fraudsters posing as landlords or agents after encountering messages that often start with innocent-sounding payment changes, capitalise on the urgency, and coerce tenants into redirecting payments to fraudulent accounts.

Since last year, many tenants have shared similar experiences of fraudsters trying to defraud them.

“I almost fell for it last month. My goodness. Niliponea juu kadeal fulani hakakuwa kamekam through,” said Andrew.  

Banks have also been cautioning people against falling for such scams, with landlords’ associations, advising their tenants to verify any information before proceeding to make any payment.

How to avoid falling prey

Do not respond to the text.

Exercise restraint and caution before divulging any personal or financial information.

Call your agent or landlord directly. It is always advisable as a tenant to cultivate a habit of direct communication with your landlord or agent. This is very important because it will make it easy for you as a tenant to confirm the legitimacy of such messages directly with the property owner or agent and avoid falling victim to such fraudulent schemes.

And finally, always verify account details with existing tenants, if possible, to avoid getting scammed.