On a recent trip to the West African country, two fraudsters schooled me in the tricks of their trade.
“Nigerians aren’t the only ones committing international advance fee fraud, but nearly one-fifth of all such scams originate in the West African country.”
“The two fraudsters make most of their money duping fellow Nigerians. (They insist that tricking people is not the same as stealing. “We don’t thief,” Danjuma says.) They told me about one elaborate scam, called Elawala (or “Let’s go” in Igbo, one of the languages spoken in Nigeria), that they occasionally pull on their countrymen. It involves a taxi cab, a “juju man,” magic charms, and a huge bag of cash (and it’s way too complicated to explain here). Another go-to scam involves a taxi cab, a French man, a locked box filled with gold, and very expensive pliers. (Ditto.) They asked to hire me out for a day for one of their cons because, they said, my white skin would bolster their credibility. “Black man believes that white man is reality,” Danjuma explains.”
"…they blow much of their income entertaining “clients” in order to convince the victims they’re legit. They’ll fly potential marks to Ghana, for example, and put them up in a fancy hotel while they meet with Sheye and Danjuma’s faux business partners there. Since Ghana is a less corrupt country, they say, victims are more likely to enter into a business deal with a Ghanaian than a Nigerian. The two say they own homes worth about a quarter million dollars each.”
“"We are not scared of any minister or president," Danjuma says"