Scams from GHANA (VIDEO)

Cybercriminals 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 (419) Scammers looks like thaey have written the book on West African internet fraud, their "Nigerias Show" looks like Compuserve compared to what's going on in Ghana.

Unsatisfied with the meager winnings from emailing thousands of random (wealthy) 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, with witchcraft (VooDoo).

Taking a page from cyberpunk, traditional West African Ubuntu 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 (a practice in Ghana which combines modern internet-based fraud practice with traditional Akan religious rituals).

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.

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