This question came from a lady in Hong Kong.
This is actually a full-time job, how do you do it?
If there weren’t many people working on it, we wouldn’t be able to do it at all.
We have now received pictures, i.e. slides from Nigeria because we are slowly running out of pictures that can still be obtained for a fairly reasonable price.
A colleague from Nigeria was very helpful in providing us with several dozen pictures. Nigeria is not on the list of tourists who bring pictures that can be used. So, we came into possession of several beautiful pictures for many more stories that the scammers want to present to us.
Do you know who makes or writes these stories?
This is a question that a reader from France asked us.
There must be such a market in Nigeria. You can get the stories there. For a few dollars, a stupid story about the IMF that nobody believes anyway. There is a guide on how to set up a scam business, from start to finish, with Google hangout number and email address. The stories are so adventurously badly researched that no one would believe them, but the danger alone of having only one paying makes us investigate every single story.
Sometimes it is not so easy to tell where the stories come from and from which mount.
Most of them take the route from Lagos to Accra and there they are translated, and you can tell from the translation which programme was used for each story.
A short time later they appear in the French-speaking world and more and more in the German-speaking world.
There are probably also targeted mailing lists with the names of the people who are supposed to be targeted, namely people with money. These probably start with the first names and there they pick out those they think are easy victims.
Good stories, like Saddam’s or Muammar al-Gaddafi and his rich daughter Aisha, might be a bit more expensive. We think around €100, but they are programmes.
The makers sell these programmes worldwide. This was also confirmed to us by a reader from Mexico, who is right. She had received the same email from a different address, but it contained the same content that she had received a few minutes earlier.
The programmes are numbered consecutively, and you can see to whom this and that email was sent. You have to imagine it like large call centres that are illegally maintained and where, as everywhere in the free economy, the principle of performance counts.
But these people are also exploited without restraint for the work they have to do, sometimes day and night. It is a pitiful wage for a terrible thing, which more and more also becomes unbearable and can rapidly lead to big problems with the respective justice system.
The agents who work in the call centres or in the countless internet cafés in Africa and India must realize that they are supporting the worst excesses, which can even lead to terrorism and put their lives in danger.
No one wants any free group to kill people in Africa! No one, neither in Europe nor elsewhere, wants people to be harmed in Nigeria, or in the whole of Africa, and for Europeans to have paid for it with the number of American victims also increasing.
It cannot be that Europeans and Americans pay for the war on African soil and afterwards whole armies of refugees justifiably set off from the chaos in their country to Europe on an existence there, to suffer and to have just as few prospects as at home in Africa!
This is a huge motivation for us.
Not because we are racists or because we think disparagingly of Africa.
On the contrary, we care deeply concerned about the continent. A continent so rich with wonderful people, loaded culture and a natural diversity unparalleled anywhere in the world is ruining itself only to be picked up again by others.
No one can pay for it any more.
No one wants the misfortune of people having to come across an open sea in rubber dinghies from some Alibaba catalogue any more.
The wave of refugees is also tearing European society apart. You can, of course, say, as one of the scammers wrote, that this is their revenge for colonialism because we mistreated them when we were their colonial masters.
No, the problem is in Africa – and Africa should not become another Afghanistan. And that should be the incentive of our society and that from all places in the world.
If you know Africa, you must despair of it.