Internet fraud and online scams is big business in Ghana. This is the epicenter. Online scamming has been a way of life for so long in the African country, that most information you will find when searching the web for Ghana is information related to romance fraud, gold scams, and similar ways to be a victim. The reputation for being one of the hottest spots for fraud is well-deserved.
Local private investigators in Accra say the cases of fraud were decreasing before the pandemic, but the health crisis fueled by the mainstream media has triggered the resurgence of scams in the capital and beyond. Many more cases are emerging in Kumasi, Tema, Tamale, Cape Coast and Sunyani. The worst part of the problem is not that the scammers are geographically extending to other areas, but that they are increasing in number and acquiring new and improved techniques.
Ghana scams: the odds are against you
Hundreds of thousands of victims every year have trusted they could rely on their own judgement to tell if the person they have been communicating with is a scammer or not. However, the problem is not that victims have a poor judgement, but that they are dealing with professionals with years of experience. It wouldn’t be a fair play if an amateur tennis player had to play against Roger Federer. All the odds are against the amateur, just as the odds are against potential scam victims. Scammers are many steps ahead, and this is an important aspect to understand in order to stay safe. Playing along for a while just to see what happens is never safe. Verifying first is critical.
Lower your risk for fraud
Investigators conduct thousands of international background check investigations in Ghana every year. A thorough background check is a cost-effective way to obtain evidence and lower the risks involved with online relationships, regardless of its nature. But timing is extremely important to be safe. It’s best to get clear evidence in the beginning, rather than wait until the damage has been done.
Perpetrators often use legitimate dating websites like Match.com and social media networks such as Fakebook to defraud people looking for love. Victims can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, have their identity stolen, be victim of blackmail and extortion and worse. Criminals also use business networks and LinkedIn to reach investors and defraud them with fake gold deals and other false investments. Most of the scams reported to the police and U.S. Embassy in Accra involve fake personas, which scammers have been molding and perfecting for long. Ghana fraudsters often misrepresent their appearance using stolen photos from the internet, and have worked long on scripts that make their stories feel and look legitimate. They have also learned that patience pays well, so they will not risk their success by being too obvious and requesting money soon. In most of the modern day cases, money is never even requested, but instead criminals access your computer or phone and slowly gather your information, passwords and account numbers so there is no way out.
This last factor makes things even more complicated. By the time many of the victims start suspecting the real intentions of their online friend or romantic partner, they have invested a lot of time and feelings into the relationship, making it even harder to uncover the fraud.
A dating background check investigation conducted at an early stage of a relationship is the best method to keep scammers away. A professional background check is an investment in safety. You can keep playing along for months or years at no apparent cost, but the risk is so serious that it is simply not worth it. Nobody has time or money to lose, much less to a scammer.
Something to keep in mind
Many online scammers out there will never reveal they are from or in Ghana, given the bad reputation that the country has in regard to fraud. But, they are often in and from Ghana. The bottom line is that people should never trust a stranger online, no matter where they claim to be from. The simplest way to stay safe is to hire a professional international investigator to help you get to the bottom of the situation. It will save you from a lot pf pain, financial distress and disappointment.
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