Foreigner Loses Half a million on Date with Kenyan

  • A silhouette of a couple on a date.
    A silhouette of a couple on a date.
  • An Indian man allegedly lost Ksh453,000 after an encounter with a gang operating in Nairobi, as he set out for what he thought was a romantic evening with a woman he met on an online dating site.

    Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives based at Lang'ata, on Saturday evening, October 3, announced that they had arrested two people suspected to be part of the gang that had extorted the foreigner.

    According to the police report, the suspects allegedly lured the foreigner to Muimara estate in Imara Daima, Nairobi through an online dating site.

    "On the 22nd of September 2020, the lady suspect; Mary Mukii Kioko, met the victim at the dating site before luring him to a house in the said estate, where on arrival three men joined them in the room," reads an excerpt from the DCI statement.

    Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu Road
    Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu Road
    Simon Kiragu

    The suspects are alleged to have tortured the man forcing him to reveal his ATM and mobile money passcodes after which they withdrew the said amount through various avenues and later dumped him along Mombasa Road near Sameer Business Park.

    Following a tip off, the DCI officers raided the said house during which two more suspects identified as Benard Mbusu (house owner) and David Moses Limiri allegedly escaped through the perimeter wall.

    During the operation, officers reportedly confiscated six mobile phones, a PDQ machine, assorted ATM cards, bank agent books among other items.

    The two suspects were placed in custody pending arraignment, with officers launching a manhunt for the escapees.

    There are numerous horror stories of bad internet experiences in Kenya ranging from the slightly humorous to the deadly.

    An online survey conducted by research firm B2B International and Kaspersky Lab in August 2017, highlighted the dangers of using online dating platforms.

    According to the report, 55% of people that date online have experienced some form of threat or problem – ranging from IT security incidents to meeting up with people that didn’t turn out to be who they claimed.

    The data suggested that men put themselves at risk more than women. Twice as many male online daters said their devices had been infected with malware, spyware or ransomware and 13% of men had been sent phishing emails that claimed to be from an online dating site, compared to just 7% of women.

    The findings showed a worrying number of online dating users are, through their profiles, placing sensitive information about themselves into the public domain, which could potentially lead them to harm if the information was to fall into the wrong hands.

    It further showed that, one-in-ten online dating users have shared their full home address publicly on their profile, have shared details about their work/ trade secrets, or personal details about their family in this way.

    To mitigate instances that would place a user in danger, the cybersecurity firm advised users to always put their personal safety first by exercising the utmost caution when dealing with strangers on dating sites.

    A user browsing through a smartphone for news.
    A user browsing through a smartphone for news.
    Simon Kiragu