Cherono falls prey to imposter on social media

Tuesday October 13 2015

Kenya's Gladys Cherono celebrates with the Kenyan flag after winning the women's category of the 42nd Berlin Marathon on September 27, 2015. PHOTO | JOHN MACDOUGALL |

Kenya's Gladys Cherono celebrates with the Kenyan flag after winning the women's category of the 42nd Berlin Marathon on September 27, 2015. PHOTO | JOHN MACDOUGALL |  AFP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono has fallen victim to an imposter who opened a fake Facebook account using the athletes name purporting to raise funds for charity.

The 32-year-old athlete, who won the Berlin Marathon on September 27 in personal best of 2hours, 19minutes and 25 seconds to become the seventh fastest female marathoner in history, yesterday told Daily Nation Sport that she was alerted about the imposter by her friends.

On Monday afternoon, the imposter appealed to the public through the fake Facebook account to join her in raising funds for a children’s home which the imposter was due to visit on Wednesday. 

The Facebook post said the children’s home needed Sh10 million and gave out a mobile phone number through which contributions would be sent. The imposter directed willing individuals to one Wesonga, who would instruct them on how to contribute money.

Cherono reported the incident to Eldoret Central Police Station shortly before midday Tuesday. An officer at the station confirmed the incident, saying the matter had been referred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

Cherono, a corporal at Kenya Defence Forces, said the fake Facebook account was created shortly after she won the Berlin Marathon.

“The imposter managed to get through to my friends, especially athletes and colleagues. It’s sad that some fell prey to the imposter,” said Cherono.

“Some of my friends on Facebook managed to send contributions to the number but we have acted on time. The Facebook account had my photos from Berlin but it has already been pulled down,” said Cherono.

Cherono said she intends to compete in the London Marathon or Boston Marathon in April next year before the Olympics.