When you research the scammers, how do you do it?
The scammer messages are usually sent to us by readers who have been in contact with the countless scammers for some time. We then sort of get into the conversations and listen to what is being said there. We act then as the bait.
Sometimes a whole row of people sits there and is amazed at what these people state. It always follows the same pattern.
Some explanations are so bad that you wonder why the Nigerians and Ghanaians can’t present these stories better. Of course, we make a distinction between Europe and the Arab Spring because young people in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are also at a great loss as to what they should actually do for work and how they should earn money.
We want to break up these structures and show that there is another way than being controlled by a kind of pimp-like system to sell the stories and maybe get €300 to €400 a month for the services.
The next question was asked again and again:
Do you actually give the records to the police?
Yes, we give the documents to the police! Any passports, papers, service cards, driving licences or other documents that scammers send us, we give directly to the relevant authorities. The files are usually at the competent authorities within a few minutes after we receive them, and they use them to carry out their investigations.
It also goes not only to the police, but also to the tax authorities or the competent customs authorities of the respective countries where it is claimed that the documents were legally acquired.
Action Fraud in London is also involved, a contact point with which one makes several phone calls and also sends documents, since some Nigerian acts from England and the UK are directed against the rest of Europe.
Of course, we always have the hope that we can change a lot with our work and no longer have to inform the authorities at all.
But this hope dies last, as the brutal gangs, such as the Black Axe in Nigeria, are certainly amused by our efforts.
Only, if they are sitting in Italy, they should not forget that the police can also look into the computers in Italy and see what has been fed in somewhere in this world.
If you imagine that some of this money goes into weapons for extremist groups or even terror, you can always find a justification for why we do this as a hobby on the side.