Published by VICE on Mar 1, 2013

Fraudsters in Ghana show us how they use internet scams to steal thousands of dollars from unsuspecting victims all over the globe.

While Nigeria's 401 scammers may have written the book on West African internet fraud, their shtick looks like Compuserve compared to what's going on in Ghana. Unsatisfied with the meager winnings from emailing thousands of random Westerners in hopes of convincing one poor sap they're the treasurer of the Ivory Coast, Ghana's scammers decided to stack the odds in their favor the old-fashioned way—witchcraft.

Taking a page from cyberpunk, traditional West African Juju priests adapted their services to the needs of the information age and started leading down-on-their-luck internet scammers through strange and costly rituals designed to increase their powers of persuasion and make their emails irresistible to greedy Americans. And so "Sakawa" was born.

Now not only is Sakawa Ghana's most popular youth activity and one of its biggest underground economies, it's a full-blown national phenomenon. Sakawa has its own tunes, clothing brands, Sakawasploitation flicks, and even a metastatic backlash from Christian preachers and the press. When we were in Accra over the summer it was impossible to walk more than 10 feet without seeing the word Sakawa in blood-red Misfits letters on a poster or tabloid, often accompanied by bone-chilling horrors of the photoshopped variety.

The government is freaked out because Sakawa is threatening Ghana's business reputation, the Christians are freaked out because they're losing money to the Juju priests, the press is freaked out because being freaked out is what sells papers, and the public is freaked out because their government, preacher, and media are all telling them they should be. All the while the Sakawa boys are living the high life and racking up debts to the spirit world, just waiting for the axe to fall.

Hosted by Thomas Morton | Originally released in 2011 at

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Comment by Spirality on March 1, 2017 at 21:47

Another one just now 

Comment by Spirality on February 4, 2017 at 9:05

Hi folks,

We got a spammer the other day, it turns out we had this one before posing as a General or Lieutenant in the US army, this time she calls herself Dr Susan Helm.

She uses an automated spamming tool to reach as many people as possible in the shortest time, so she managed to comment on several profiles before I could stop her. Sorry about that.

Please don't respond to her at all, and don't be afraid to report these people in the chat box or to Diane, Kev or myself.

Information below (as promised) as we share info on scams.

her email is (please don't contact her, this info is only for hackers)

her IP is reported as

Comment by Spirality on September 29, 2016 at 19:11

Frank again -


Comment by Spirality on September 14, 2016 at 20:09

Another Spammer today folks, sorry about the intrusion.

If you got a message or comment from her, please do not respond, just ignore them.

Its Olive Gismala aka Dr George Ella

Here is the fake message....

Hello,My name is Miss Olive Gismala a single girl never been married before,I like your good profile i saw in this ( i am interested in having a good relationship with you, I will also like to know you the more, please contact me through my personal email ( ) for more information including my picture,i also have something very important to discuss with you. Regards Miss Olive Gismala

Comment by Spirality on June 8, 2016 at 1:49

If you ever get anyone claiming to be a Navy SEAL, the man to contact is Don Shipley

Comment by Spirality on June 8, 2016 at 0:51

Good catch Jen.

I reported her/him to the admin at who expose people pretending to be in the military.

Comment by Spirality on June 7, 2016 at 2:12

Another one claiming a connection to the US Army (please do not reply, it is a scam) ....

Hello Dear,
My name is Jessica U Meir, From Illinois United States of America. Iam a NASA Astronaut officer/ A trained Military Pilot working at US military Base camp (Engineer Brigade) in Syria, I am interested in having a good relationship with you,I will introduce myself better and send you my picture as soon as i receive your mail, I have something very important i want share with you. (
Thanks and kisses.
Jessica U Meir

the email address and IP as promised ....

Comment by Spirality on November 18, 2015 at 5:41

I commented this message in a few member pages, people have responded well.


Tir na Saor is a spam-free site, and there is no soliciting

If someone tries to get your contact details, please report them in the chat box, or to an admin

Thank you

Comment by Diane, Denizen on November 10, 2015 at 14:22

I no longer accept membership applications from anyone I suspect are not genuine. If they are genuine applicants they will get in touch to ask why they were not accepted, this allows an examination and learning process.

Comment by Spirality on November 10, 2015 at 8:31


You may have noticed the details of certain scammers in the previous comments below (as promised).  I may from now on also include details of other scammers in comments to follow, in whatever form that takes (for example a list of email addresses, locations or other information).


Scammers may consider this notice as their first and final warning, that by continuing their attempts to scam this community they are submitting all of their information to the public domain, past present and future.


The reason some information is shared is so that People and other admin can research, recognize and resist spam and scams against their online communities. 

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