Two years after Kenya introduced the e-Visa, some scammers have decided to reap from unsuspecting visa applicants by creating fake websites.
Two fake websites are being used to hoodwink visitors applying for Kenyan visas online. The websites claim to be intermediaries for visa application, and charge up to three times the official rate of $50 per person.
Kenya’s Immigration Department has now put out an advisory against the two websites — www.kenya-evisa-online.com — and www.evisa-kenya.com. An advisory also shared by the Kenyan Embassy in Berlin:
“Evisas for Kenya can only be applied for on the official government website www.ecitizen.go.ke
The websites www.evisa-kenya.com and www.kenya-evisa-online.com are NOTaffiliated with the Kenyan government in any way and is NOT authorised to process or issue Evisas to any applicant. DO NOT APPLY FOR AN EVISA THROUGH THESE WEBSITES!!!”
While the genuine Kenya government site — evisa.go.ke — charges the official fee of $50, the fake websites are charging between $120 and $199, with applicants asked to pay using their MasterCard and Visa cards, which exposes them to further fraud.
The sites then ask the applicants to await for an approval via e-mail, after which they can download and print the e-visa from the e-Citizen account.
“These fraudulent sites are masquerading as genuine government platforms and have been scamming e-visa applicants. They are designed in such a way that they can be mistaken for the official Government of Kenya e-visa website,” said Kenya’s ambassador to the US, Njeru Githae.
However, www.kenya-evisa-online.com has now put up a disclaimer saying that it is not in any way a Kenyan government website, but only provides services and assistance at a professional fee of $68. In addition, the site has already been flagged by Google with a disclaimer: “Attackers on www.kenya-evisa-online.com may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards).“seen when you try enter the site.
The website www.kenyaonlinevisa.com is hosted by Amazon Data Services, a subsidiary of the US headquartered global e-commerce firm Amazon. The data firm is based in Dublin, Ireland, but the servers of the fraudulent sites are spread across the globe, including in the UK and the US. One of the sites, www.kenyaonlinevisa.org, is hosted in Spain and even has a physical address in Barcelona.
The www.kenya-evisa-online.com website is hosted by Name Cheap, a company headquartered in Los Angeles, California.