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 Possible Kenya Orphanage Scam... Needs Investigating!

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AnonymousTipper
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Joined: 01 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello,

This is for anyone who is up for a little investigating/fun. I have a "friend" who joined a facebook group for orpahs in Nigeria, and I'm very suspicious it's a scam. To give you a brief overview, this is a "charity" group on facebook with no information if you google it online "Livingway children home is located in one of the towns in Kenya Rift Valley Province, a place called Naivasha."

While it could be legit, it seems a bit strange. They are asking (of course) for donations, but there is no real background info to this group. The email given ends in UK, but the address of this charity is located in Georgia. An obvious stock photo is used for their group picture, but they refer to it at one point to as a photo of their children. I've seen posts they've written to my friends site, talking about God and then breaking into almost text slang ie "never grow weary of doing good coz in due time God wil grant u his reward!!"

Again, I could be wrong, and I would feel bad if I were, but my gut tells me something is strange here, & is why I'm posting it to you, because I'm not sure I have the means to investigate this as well as you do! The girl I know who joined this is very sweet, but I think she is being taken advantage of. Please help!

Thank you,
Anonymous

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148692879402&ref=mf#/group.php?v=wall&gid=148692879402
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freshmeet
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hmmm. Confused

I did a little digging and Living Way Children's Home in Naivasha, Kenya is a project of Utengo Ministries which is located in GA and is a legit charity (I verified this though GuideStar and the IRS webistes). However, I do find it strange that there is no mention of this, or the founders of the Utengo Ministries themselves. Donations and inquiries can be made directly through their website at utengo.org. So - I don't know. It does look fishy.
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Jammy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Many scammers will pretend to be a legitimate charity, in the hope that someone will send money to them.

If you have identified a legitimate charity with that name, you could contact them and ask if this facebook group really represents them.

From what you've said so far, though, I'd give very good odds that this is a scam.

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SlapHappy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I emailed the real charity and asked them if this was their page or not. I think it's a scammer's. Yahoo addy, and email not listed on the webpage. you can donate to "living way" (two words, not one like the facebook page) using paypal. I'll bet this person wants WU. Anyone want to respond to this suspect, while I wait for the response from the real charity? Go ahead.

Update. The email listed as the contact on the facebook page failed.
Someone shut it down.
[email protected] is no good anymore.

@Anonymous Tipper - Thanks for the warning, and I thinks it's pretty safe to say it looks phoney to me. Tell you friend not to give any money to these Facebook people.

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AnonymousTipper
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks everyone- I'm so impressed already! I created a fake FB profile and friendrequested a few of the main people on that site, just to do a little sleuthing of my own. I did find another website called the Living Way Childrens home, but it was based in India/Asia, the one on FB is based in Africa. I emailed her awhile back and to be careful not to send them any money (she said she wouldn't) but I think she's more involved than she's letting on (not in a bad way, but in a way that she's buying into this)

Thank you all again- I'm curious to find out more!
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Master of Puppets
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Joined: 12 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^Baiting scammers who pretend to be from an existing charity can be so much fun Wink Take a look at some of the baits from our beloved nurse Wink

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SlapHappy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Anonymous Tipper - What is the URL of the new website you dug up? If this one is fake, we can kill it. Plus bait all the baastaads behind all this. Please post what you believe to be another fake site, ok, and we'll check that one out too. Smile
Can anyone with a FaceBook Account report this first OP FaceBook page, and have FaceBook take it down? Do you want to report them yourself, AT? Smile

As you may have noticed, we do jump all over fake charities, impersonating the real ones.

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AnonymousTipper
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm not sure if the other site is legit or not, I initally thought it was the same place (when I googled Living Way Children's home, this is what came up):

http://www.newandlivingway.in/about_us.htm

I just found it strange though that this Living Way Children's Home has the same name...

I definately would like to report this to facebook if it's a scam- I emailed the Utengo Ministries people to confirm if they're connected with this group (my guess is that they are not either). I also friendrequested some of the key members of this group under a falst FB ID. "Macharia Stanley Maina" is very suspicious to me. He told the girl I know that he attends school in Georgia, and that he and his brother "own three acres of land there".... however on his FB profile he claims he goes to school in the UK. He (or his name) has shown up in searches as Dr Macharia Stanley Maina, Prof. Macharia Stanley Maina, a marketing expert, and as a veterinarian student.
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freshmeet
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

UPDATE

I also sent an inquiry to Utengo and here is the reply from Leon Scott, co-founder:

Quote:
Thanks for writing. My wife and I started Utengo a few years back to support underfunded ministries we encounter on occasional trips to Kenya. The Living Way Orphanage is one of the ministries we support but we are not their exclusive source of support, and we are not directly associated with the site you saw. However, after receiving your email and a couple of others, I called Zachariah Shahasi who founded the orphanage with his wife. Zachariah is in the U.S. completing a theological degree at Beulah Bible College in Atlanta. He informed me that some associates at the school established the site to assist him in raising funds for the home. I know they have a current need for support and would welcome any interest you or others might have.


Therefore even though it seems hinky, it's legitimate. Good to know! Smile
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SlapHappy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I got the same email. But I'm still suspicious of this facebook site. Why is the email bouncing? And will the real Founder of the charity take a look at this, and identify these "friends" on here? Has the real "associates' site" been hacked? What are the authorized legitimate sites?
So many questions..

That India site looks totally unrelated.

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Philo Kvetch
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't buy any of it. I'd like to see their IRS filings.

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freshmeet
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Okay so maybe I am jumping the fence when I say 'legitimate'. You guys are the experts so you would know better. I just don't want to see people going /b/board on this group if they turn out to be college students taking up a collection. Most likely they wouldn't have tax forms or non-profit status because they wouldn't be declaring the money as income. But I guess AT's sleuthing and baiting will prove what they are.
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