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30.08.2004 General News

Internet Fraud On the Ascendancy in Accra

By Accra Mail

Internet fraud, popularly known within Zongo communities as 'sakawa' is gradually catching up with the youth of Nima, Alajo, Maamobi and other slums in the Accra Metropolis.

The youth, whose ages can be as low as thirteen spend much of their time browsing in cafés and possibly defrauding, people through the Internet.

By dubious means, the youth, who are mostly males, lay hands on credit card numbers of certain people and ultimately use them in purchasing items like mobile phones, footwear etc.

A source in one of these areas told the ADM that the boys into such "business" consult juju men to help them defraud people. The source said the fraudsters are able to defraud their victims up to an amount of ¢30million and more.

He said they sometimes disguised themselves as females to lure men to send them money.

This criminal act, which the laws of this country frowns upon, is said to have found foothold in these communities through the Nigeria "419" syndicate.

In the last few months, the activities of internet fraud have been rampant in the Accra Metropolis. Busy Internet did experience a number of such acts.

In an interview with the Marketing Manager of Busy Internet, Mr Francis Ahene-Affoh, he said Internet fraud is a problem to all internet café operators. He said shopping online is what these boys use to defraud people. In answering the question, what measures are put in place to check internet fraud, Mr Ahene-Affoh explained that the management of Busy Internet has tightened up security.

He said all shopping online websites have been blocked.

"One can only shop online provided he or she gives out his or her identity".

Mr Ahene-Affoh disclosed that a number of arrests have been made and the culprits were handed over to the police.

Apart from Busy Internet, ten other internet cafés the ADM contacted had put nothing in place to check the activities of these fraudsters

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