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Inside Ghana: Continuous Growth of Internet Fraud

Inside Ghana: Continuous Growth of Internet Fraud

International private investigators have been working with cases of online fraud and scams originating from Ghana for a long time. West Africa was first put on the world fraud map by Nigeria.  As Nigeria became well known for fraud, conducting internet crime from Nigeria became less profitable.  The solution?  Move operations to neighboring Ghana!  Since Ghana became one of the world’s greatest risk countries for fraud and scam, the demand of international private investigations to verify individuals and companies in Ghana has risen exponentially. During  this time, many clients have wondered if there is anything else going on in Ghana besides fraud, due to the immense amount of information found online regarding online scam in this country. As a matter of fact, not only is there much more to find in Ghana, but also many people find a pleasant surprise when they find out there are cases that come back clean, and that there are actually legitimate Ghanaian people looking for love and business online. However, given the risk, Ghana is definitely a country where verification is critical.

Ghana’s Economy

According to recent publications from the World Bank, Ghana is on its way to build a society were middle class prevails. Economic growth and poverty reduction have been widespread due to several factors. Ghana has worked over the past twenty years in the diversification of its economy, transforming an agriculture centered economy into an economy that can offer a wide range of products and services.  The country has also been working on improving access to basic services, such as education, healthcare and electricity. This has had a dramatic impact in people’s living conditions and probably nothing can be a better example than the raising skill-set and educational attainment of the Ghanaian labor force. Having better educated and healthy people has generated more opportunities and an overall improvement in the economic conditions. However, in order to understand the online fraud phenomenon, it is also important to have in mind that this particular factor has played a major role as well.

Poverty and increased access to the internet has opened the door for new money making opportunities for criminals who are willing to learn the trade and steal from foreigners.

Why is online fraud still thriving?

Under the above conditions, it may be logic to think that better educated people and greater employment opportunities would help decrease the inequality gap, reducing also the motivation of people to participate in criminal activities. However, every day online fraud and scam are getting stronger in Ghana.

There is definitely not a clear or specific answer to how the problem has gotten as bad as it has. One of the reasons may be that the changes that the country has been working on to create economic growth have also led to displace people who do not have formal education out of the labor market. With less agricultural production, many people have found themselves out of work opportunities.

Inefficient and corrupt law enforcement and judicial systems, which are often underfunded, make it very difficult to shut criminal operations down.  Arresting a scammer is not easy.

There is also a subculture of online crime that has been getting stronger over the years. It is now quite  normal for Ghanaians to see their friends in internet cafes, making a living out of deceiving strangers online.  Sadly, it has become socially acceptable.  A new argument for socialism or redistribution of wealth, some lazy criminals might say.  Every day new people learn the trade, and with little formal education, they start earning enough money to rent an apartment, buy a car and have money left over to spend. Many recognize that being a cybercriminal doesn’t help their country or their own reputation either. But the money is too much to pass up for some, so they take to the internet.

What to do?

It is extremely important to be cautious when meeting people online. Regardless of where the person says they are from, you could still be a victim of a Ghanaian online fraudster. Private investigators in Ghana recommend to a professional background check investigation to verify any individual or company in Ghana. The sooner you have evidence, the safer and more informed you will be to make a wise decision.  Don’t wait until the last minute or until you think you’ve been a victim.

Have you met someone in Ghana?  Contact us today for a free quote.

C. Wright
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