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.

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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 http://vice.com

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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 susanhelm00100@gmail.com (please don't contact her, this info is only for hackers)

her IP is reported as 105.112.39.67

Comment by Jen on October 1, 2016 at 12:17

Thanks Spirality.   I use https://whatismyipaddress.com/ to check the IP addresses that Ning collects.  When you open the page find and click "LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS IP".  You can enter the IP address and it will show general location and also details on Spam alerts etc.  I hope you find this helpful as well.

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

Frank again - mr.frankkwabena10@gmail.com    41.218.219.250

 

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

ellaellageorge@gmail.com

216.185.39.159

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 (tirnasaor.com) 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 (olivegeorge21@gmail.com ) for more information including my picture,i also have something very important to discuss with you. Regards Miss Olive Gismala

Comment by Jen on June 8, 2016 at 13:06

Great info.. thanks Spirality!

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9aykgU9FZc

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

Good catch Jen.

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

Comment by Jen on June 7, 2016 at 23:31

TPS got the same member app from jessicameir64@gmail.com but the IP address was 197.148.110.98

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. (meirjessica42@usa.com)
Thanks and kisses.
Jessica U Meir

the email address and IP as promised ....

jessicameir64@gmail.com

80.248.79.19

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