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Scamming can pay well and for Skidoo, it's a brutal bottom line: West African fraudsters are taking what is owed to them."It might be somehow painful seeing someone who is old enough to be your mother going through that but the bottom line still remains, we've got to survive," he said. Rent a store and make it a perfume shop."Help me Lord! Kweiku takes to the stage in front of a small crowd to perform."In 20 years, I want to become a big musician worldwide, a businessman and employ the youth so I can create jobs for the youth because that is the main thing that is holding us back," he said.
In Kweiku's flat, we find a book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, in which his goals are scrawled on the inside cover:"Target — desire: I must get 25,000 cedis [,690] by the end of November 2019."Purpose/goal: 1.
He believes he knows the way to a woman's heart and her bank account."Women like men who are caring," Skidoo said."If you're not giving them money, you always call them: 'How you doing? Maybe it's been long since she met someone like that, it's been a long time since someone pampered her.
It's been long since someone told her sweet things, you understand." In a packed internet cafe in a commercial town west of Accra, we find teenage boys and young men in front of every screen, logged in on dating sites under names like Jessica, Mary and Jennifer.
In all, I think she sent me about ,000."While the Four Corners team is filming, Kweiku returns a missed video call from the woman and blocks his webcam with his finger so she can't see him."I'm trying to video chat with you so you can see me but the camera is not working properly," he tells her in a faltering American accent.In secret groups on Facebook's instant messaging service, Whats App, we found scammers sharing tips on mimicking American accents and female voices.In the Whats App groups, criminals advertised Australian bank accounts to launder money and buyers offered to send gifts to Australian romance scam victims. At an outdoor concert in Accra, hundreds of young Ghanians have gathered to dance, listen to music and party.Online dating scams continue to rise, costing unsuspecting victims millions of dollars each year.Rather than simply sending phishing emails, cybercriminals are playing the long game to cheat people out of their money.
"Sometimes I'm tempted to believe so, my friend." Cafe boys like Mohamed, Kweiku and Skidoo are the bottom feeders in a global enterprise which has spread from nearby Nigeria."Those who indulge in this as the perpetrators — most of them are unemployed," Abu Issah, acting head of prosecutions at Ghana's Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), told Four Corners."But they are very intelligent because it takes someone with an intellect to sit down and even fancy how to get into this activity and to hoodwink someone."The FBI reports formidable crime organisations which originated in Nigeria have spread to more than 80 countries and are making billions of dollars a year from scams alone.