Meet the Scammers

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Meet the Scammers

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THE CYBER CRIMINALS BREAKING HEARTS AND STEALING BILLIONS

Their voices are persuasive, their emails insistent and they’re proven to be remarkably successful at conning countless people into handing over their money.

Internet scamming began in the early days of email with appeals from Nigerian ‘princes’ asking for help to regain their missing money.

From those amateurish beginnings, the scammers watched, learned and refined their techniques. What started out as a simple scam from West Africa has now morphed into a global enterprise, conning people on an industrial scale.

Now, Four Corners investigates how these scams operate, uncovering an online marketplace where fake identities and criminal skills are bought and sold.

Reporter Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop travels to Ghana to meet the scammers and watch them at work. At the heart of their business is the ‘romance scam’, where criminals, often posing as lovelorn US soldiers, convince their victims to send them money.

But for some, the romance scam is just the start of the nightmare, with victims used to launder money or conned into trafficking drugs – with devastating consequences.

A Four Corners Story

Credits

Four Corners
Australian Broadcasting Corporation