Government sounds an alarm over a new scam circulating on social media targeting retired teachers and other employees.
In a statement on Thursday, September 21, Huduma Kenya said the message, which is directing the retirees to visit Huduma Centers, is false.
“Be aware of a fake message that is circulating on several social media sites directed at retirees urging them to visit Huduma Centres,” read the statement in part.
Huduma also urged the retired teachers to exercise caution before sharing personal information or responding to such messages.
File image of a Huduma Centre.
The fake message was calling on teachers who retired between 1997 and 2007 or their families to visit the pension department in Huduma Centers for some claims that were paid.
“Hi members, do you know of anyone who worked in the Ministry of Education as a teacher or any other position and retired between the years 1997 and 2007? If yes, advise him/her or his/her family (if deceased) to visit Huduma Centre – Pensions department for some claims that were paid. Tell a friend to tell a friend,” the fake message read.
This comes a month after Education CS announced that retired teachers will be receiving pensions within six months after retirement.
“We’ve emphasized the need for the retirement file to be sent immediately upon a teacher’s retirement to initiate the payment process. Our focus is on ensuring swift compensation for retired teachers. Our goal is to conclude the procedure within four to five months.” CS Machogu said on August 9.
The criminals may use a variety of tactics to pressure the retiree into paying or providing their personal information in subsequent follow-up conversations.
It was observed that the criminals may end up threatening the retiree or even suspending their benefits.
The criminals may also create a sense of urgency by telling the retiree that they must act immediately or they will lose their opportunity to receive a benefit or avoid a negative consequence.
The National Police Service lamented that, unfortunately, many retirees have fallen victim to this scam.
This is because, the elderly are more likely to trust someone who claims to be from a government agency, and they may also be more vulnerable to pressure tactics.
Police are, therefore, urging retirees to be aware of this scam and to take steps to protect themselves.
“If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from a government agency, hang up the phone or delete the text. Do not give out any personal information or make any payments.
“Instead, contact the government agency directly to verify the information,” the police urged.