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Accra dating scam

Scamming came to be refered to by the Hausa term ‘sakawa’.Headlines warned of “The Sakawa Menace,” and crime movies had titles like “The Dons of Sakawa.” Despite the widespread approbation — even moral panic — a too-weak police and court system in Ghana has left scammers to pursue their gains largely without resistance, Burrell said.

“This thrill was evident in the most popular of Internet activities among youth — collecting pen pals.” Burrell observed young Ghanaians pursuing a variety of relationships with foreigners online, including same-aged platonic friendships, romantic relationships, older adults to appeal to for advice, patrons offering financial support, and even business partnerships.He had diversified his gains, investing in the local music industry and renting out two trucks he had acquired.These youth, disillusioned with the possibility of forging authentic connections with foreigners, instead sought attention through misrepresentation; their Internet scams demonstrating increasingly clever strategies of social engineering.Burrell found that many young Ghanaians had difficulty seeing the social and cultural disconnects that separated them from the foreigners they attempted to befriend.“Such enforced disconnection and avoidance followed a seemingly minor interactional misstep,” Burrell said, most often requests for money or gifts.In the classic 419 email, the author claims to be a wealthy former member of the corrupt Nigerian government needing to quickly transfer money out of the country, and the email recipient is asked to make their bank account available for the money transfer in exchange for a hefty percentage of the gain.Although such email scams are more strongly associated with Nigeria, they are pursued in other parts of West Africa, as well.Typically, the young male Ghanaians would assume a fictional female persona online, attempting to lure a foreign boyfriend.Once the “boyfriend” was properly seduced, the scammer would invent a scenario.In her research in Ghana, Burrell encountered a number of young non-elite Ghanaians pursuing another approach to the Internet’s promise of prosperity: online scamming.The most familiar example may be the so-called “419” email scam.

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