Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Perpetrators use legitimate dating websites to defraud people looking for love out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, jewelry, electronics, and even plane tickets. Most of the scams reported to the U. Embassy in Accra, Ghana involve fake personas.
A documentary film has been released which observes how Ghanain online dating scammers work to extract money from lonely Westerners. Sakawa takes it name from the word that was coined to describe illegal activities which combine internet fraud with traditional African rituals.
Director Ben Asamoah explained that Ghana is a very religious country, so people will often practise voodoo to bring them luck in whatever they do. The film mainly focuses on the fraudsters, and tells the story of how a lack of infrastructure and job opportunities in Ghana led to its citizens turning to crime to support themselves.
A word from the editor
So it is a tedious process to gain money. Ghana has become a dumping ground for electronic waste and hardware from the west.
Old hard drives are harvested to withdraw valuable information and pictures in order to make the fake profiles more believable. A BBC Panorama episode interviewed several victims and tracked down one of the scammers to an area in Nigeria.
Watch the interview with Asamoah here. Dominic is the Editor for Global Dating Insights.
He enjoys a variety of sports and has a further passion for film and music.