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Full List of Fake Loan Apps in Kenya 2024/2025

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The spread of fake loan apps in Kenya has become a pressing concern in recent years, casting a shadow over the digital lending circle. 

These deceptive platforms prey on the vulnerabilities of unsuspecting borrowers, promising quick access to funds but delivering nothing but financial ruin.

 As the demand for convenient and accessible loans rises, so too does the prevalence of fraudulent schemes aimed at exploiting the financial desperation of individuals. 

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the fake loan apps in Kenya, uncovering the extent of the problem and providing essential tips to help consumers stay safe when borrowing money online.

What are Fake Loan Apps?

Fake loan apps, also known as unlicensed lending apps are deceptive mobile applications that pretend to offer real financial services but have malicious intentions.

These apps lure users in with the promise of quick and easy loans, but their true goal is to steal money and personal information.

Over time, the number of online lenders and loans given out has greatly increased in Kenya. 

A study by Reel Analytics found that 55 out of every 100 Kenyans they asked had taken loans from online lending sites. According to the State of Digital Lending Report most people who use these online lending platforms live in cities (about 66%), and the majority of them are between 30 and 34 years old. 

The research showed that many Kenyans like using digital platforms because they’re easy to use and they give out loans quickly.

The study also showed that there are over 45 online credit providers in Kenya. However, some people in Kenya have been tricked by these fake loan apps.

Read also: Payday Loan Business: Find out How Payday Loan Works

How does Fake Loan Apps Operate?

Before looking at the specific names of fake loan apps in Kenya, it is essential to understand their modus operandi, i.e., their mode of operation. 

Fake loan apps typically masquerade as legitimate lending platforms, promising instant loans with minimal documentation and no credit checks.

They often target individuals with urgent financial needs or those who may have been rejected by traditional banks or licensed lending institutions.

Once a user downloads the app and completes the registration process, they are required to provide sensitive personal information, including their ID number, mobile money account details, and sometimes even access to their contacts or social media profiles. 

Armed with this data, the scam operators may engage in identity theft, blackmail, or unauthorised financial transactions.

These fake loan apps also often employ aggressive debt collection tactics, including harassment, threats, and public shaming on social media platforms.

Borrowers who struggle to repay the loans are subjected to exorbitant interest rates and hidden fees, worsening their financial woes.

Read also:Tala Loan Limit

How to Identify Fake Loan Apps.

Being able to recognize the signs of a fake loan app is crucial for protecting oneself from falling victim to financial fraud.

Here are some red flags to watch out for when considering a mobile lending app:

  • Lack of physical address 

You can spot fake loan apps by checking if they provide a real physical address. Fake ones usually don’t have a proper address or may give out fake ones. 

  • Registration fee

Before giving you the loan, these apps might ask you for some money upfront, which they call a “registration fee.” Some say they’ll give it back once they give you the loan. The legal ones just take the borrowing fee out of the loan itself.

  • Website verification

When you’re checking out websites, watch out for the web address. Make sure it starts with “https” and not just “http”. If it’s just “http”, it’s not secure, and hackers might take your information when you visit those sites.

  • Unrealistic loan terms: 

If an app offers instant approval with very high loan amounts and seemingly low-interest rates, it’s likely a scam.

  • Not registered with the CBK: 

You can verify a lender’s legitimacy by checking the CBK’s list of licensed institutions: https://www.centralbank.go.ke/.

  • Poor User Reviews: 

Before downloading a loan app, check user reviews and ratings on reputable app stores. Negative reviews, reports of hidden fees, or aggressive debt collection practices should raise alarm bells.

  • Request for Personal Information:

Genuine loan apps may require some personal information for verification purposes, but they should never ask for sensitive data such as your PIN, passwords, or access to your mobile money account.

Read also: Faraja Loan: How to Borrow from Faraja

List of Approved Loan Apps in Kenya by CBK.

Recently, in March, Google removed unauthorised Kenya loan apps from the Play Store. This action was taken in line with regulatory changes implemented in January 2023, which mandated Digital Credit Providers (DCPs) to obtain licences from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The Central Bank of Kenya has licensed 51 digital lending companies out of 480 that applied. They approved the first ten apps in September 2022, then 12 more in January 2023, followed by 10 more in March 2023.

Recently, in March 2024, they gave permission to 19 more loan apps to operate in Kenya, making it a total of 51 DCPs. The new loan apps that got approval are: 

  • Sokohela Limited
  • Tenakata Enterprises Limited 
  • Umoja Fanisi Limited
  • Zanifu Limited
  • Zenka Digital Limited
  • Okolea International Limited
  • Pezesha Africa Limited
  • Rewot Ciro Limited
  • Risine Credit Limited
  • Sevi Innovation Limited
  • Anjoy Credit
  •  Asante FS East Africa
  •  Autochek
  • Azura Credit
  • Ceres Tech
  • Chapeo Capital
  • Chime Capital
  • Colkos Enterprises
  • Creditarea Capital
  • Decimal Capital
  • Dexintec Kenya
  • EDOMX
  • Extend Money Services
  • Factorhouse
  • Fezotech Kenya
  • Fortune Credit
  • Fourth Generation Capital
  • Getcash Capital
  • Giando Africa
  • Inventure Mobile
  • Jijenge Credit
  • Jumo Kenya
  • Kweli Smart Solutions
  • Letshego Kenya
  • Lipa Later
  • Little Pesa
  • Lobelitec Credit
  • Maralal Ledger
  • Marble Capital Solutions
  • MKM Capital
  • MFS Technologies
  • M-Kopa
  • Mwanzo Credit
  • Mycredit
  • MyWagepay
  • Natal Tech
  • Ngao Credi
  • Pi Capital
  • Senti Capital
  • UbaPesa
  • Zillions Credit

The bank is asking the remaining lenders to submit all necessary documents to get licensed. Loan apps like OKash and MoKash were removed from the Play Store because they didn’t follow Google’s rules.

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Fake loan apps in Kenya

With the above list of Approved loan apps by the Central Bank of Kenya(CBK), it would now be an easy task to identify loan apps that pose a threat to one’s Vital information or businesses.

Ben Roberts, an expert in cybercrime and the head technology and innovation officer at Liquid Telecom, explained how scammers operate in these fake loan apps.

He highlighted that when someone shares their password or other private details by clicking on suspicious links online, it opens the door for hackers to access their bank accounts.

The information given in this article when put into practice will guarantee you a safe space to play when looking for legit loan apps to use especially in Kenya where these DCPs are rampant.

Read also: How to View and Remove Google Chrome’s Incognito History

Safe Borrowing Practises to have in Mind.

  • Borrow from reputable lenders:

Only use lenders registered with the CBK. These institutions are subject to regulations and are less likely to engage in predatory practices.

  • Read the terms and conditions carefully: 

Understand the interest rates, fees, and repayment terms before agreeing to a loan.

  • Borrow only what you can afford to repay: 

Don’t take on more debt than you can manage.

  • Protect your data: 

Avoid installing apps that request unnecessary permissions.

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Steps to Take If You’ve Been Scammed

If you have fallen victim to a fake loan app scam, it is crucial to take immediate action to mitigate the damage.You can:

  • Contact Your Mobile Service Provider: 

Inform your mobile service provider about the fraudulent app and request assistance in blocking any unauthorised transactions or messages.

  • Report to Regulatory Authorities:

Lodge a formal complaint with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) or the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to alert them to the scam and prevent others from being victimised.

  • Seek Legal Assistance: 

Consider consulting with a legal advisor or consumer protection agency to explore your options for seeking restitution or pursuing legal action against the perpetrators.

If you have already been a victim of a loan scam, you can also report the app to the CBK’s official website @ https://www.centralbank.go.ke/department.

FAQs

What Are Fake Loan Apps?

Fake loan apps, also known as unlicensed lending apps, are deceitful mobile applications that claim to provide genuine financial services but have ulterior motives. They attract users by offering quick and effortless loans, but their real aim is to steal money and personal data.

How Does Fake Loan Apps Operate?

Fake loan apps pretend to be legitimate lending platforms, promising instant loans with minimal paperwork and no credit checks. They target people in urgent need of money or those rejected by traditional banks. After users download the app and register, they’re asked for sensitive information like ID numbers and bank details, which scammers exploit for identity theft or unauthorised transactions.

How to Identify Fake Loan Apps?

Look out for red flags like missing physical addresses, registration fees, insecure websites, unrealistic loan terms, absence from CBK’s licensed list, poor user reviews, and requests for sensitive data like PINs. Genuine loan apps may require personal information for verification but never sensitive data like passwords.

What Are the Approved Loan Apps in Kenya?

Recently, the Central Bank of Kenya licensed 51 digital lending companies, including Sokohela Limited, Umoja Fanisi Limited, and others. These approvals aim to regulate the digital lending sector and protect consumers from fraudulent practices.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Scammed?

If you’ve fallen victim to a fake loan app scam, act promptly. Contact your mobile service provider to block unauthorised transactions, report the scam to regulatory authorities like CBK or DCI, and consider seeking legal advice to recover losses or take legal action against the scammers.

Conclusion

The menace of fake loan apps continues to plague the digital lending landscape in Kenya. 

By exposing the full list of fraudulent apps and educating consumers on how to spot and avoid them, we can empower individuals to make informed financial decisions and safeguard their financial security in the digital age.

References

  • centralbank.go.ke – Licensing of 19 Additional Digital Credit Providers (DCPs)
  • citizen.digital – 51 Digital Lenders Now Licenced To Operate In Kenya As CBK Approves 19 More
  • tuko.co.ke – List of Ways to Identify Fake Loan Apps in Kenya, Avoiding Being Scammed
  • tuko.co.ke – Central Bank of Kenya Licences 10 More Digital Lenders, Total Now 32

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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 90

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