Clever scam

Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday for the past decade, a pink building in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, flew an American flag from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Inside, a portrait of President Barack Obama hung on the wall, and people claiming to be consulate workers speaking English sold visas to the U.S., India and other countries to rural Ghanaians for $6,000 apiece.

The real Consulate across town sold the real visas for $160. But they were a little harder to qualify for…..

12 thoughts on “Clever scam”

  1. It’s a great scam if one assumes that the people who’ve been stung only turn up when the customer service section is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

  2. And this is one of the reasons why most of Africa is a poor shithole. All the clever people are ripping off others instead of doing something constructive.

  3. Google says the average(I know, they can’t even give a median so the number may be way off) income in Ghana is $520 per year. Where do rural Ghanaians come up with $6000?

  4. > All the clever people are ripping off others instead of doing something constructive.

    In the west, that’s an accusation usually levelled at financiers.

  5. Where do rural Ghanaians come up with $6000?

    Maybe they bought their counterfeit visas with counterfeit greenbacks.

  6. LY

    Probably isn’t the dirt poor folk but ones who own land and raise funds by selling or mortgaging it. Side-note: I was surprised to discover how many British Bangladeshis including some who are on the very poorest end of the UK spectrum have quite substantial land assets back home. Lots changes hands at weddings or when trying to raise money to get a UK mortgage.

  7. TMB

    As I understand it this was rather cleverer than that – the fraudsters basically chaperoned their victims to pre-arranged appointments. Put them up in a hotel under their control iirc. Didn’t let them roam the streets and discover the “other” embassy…

  8. Rob – extraordinarily to me, a Turkish crime gang seems to have found it worthwhile to jet over to Ghana to run this thing. So it isn’t even just Africans fleecing Africans.

  9. So nothing new. Arabs have been taking advantage of Africans for centuries. Turks are close enough to Arabs in this case.

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