Inside the criminal world of Ghana’s e-mail scam gangs

By Thomas Morton, Vice Magazine/
April 6, 2011 11:30 a.m. EDT | Filed under: Web

EXCERPT (See full article at link below.)  I get these all the time…

…During Nigeria’s oil boom in the 70s, Ghanaians flooded into the country to take guest worker jobs. Within 10 years they’d worn out their welcome and were deported en mass back to Ghana, but not before they’d picked up a popular local pastime: the Nigerian “pen pal scam.” The way it works is you become pen pals with some dolt in America or Britain, bitch about how hard your life is in Africa, then wait for them to send you money and presents.

See the rest of The Sakawa Boys at

As computers made their way into the continent, the scam was adapted to e-mail and gradually evolved into the rainbow of weird phishing messages from state treasurers and estate managers and plane-crash lawyers that crowd your inbox every morning. And as scammers got hungrier for bigger pickins, they hooked up with hacker-types from the U.S. and Europe who taught them basic credit card fraud, which they combined with the playacting of the e-mail scam to create increasingly elaborate — and profitable — superscams. Then for some reason they combined all of this with black magic, and that’s how Sakawa was born…


About swgraham2

Mountain Mists is an opportunity to develop some thought processes individually as I journey through this wonderful world; as someone who values highly effective management techniques and the art of leading teams; and through my association with West Virginia University as a professional technologist and network manager specializing in digital signage.
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