Scamming came to be refered to by the Hausa term ‘sakawa’.
Headlines warned of “The Sakawa Menace,” and crime movies had titles like “The Dons of Sakawa.” Despite the widespread approbation — even moral panic — a too-weak police and court system in Ghana has left scammers to pursue their gains largely without resistance, Burrell said.
Typically, the young male Ghanaians would assume a fictional female persona online, attempting to lure a foreign boyfriend.
Once the “boyfriend” was properly seduced, the scammer would invent a scenario.
One example begins: Kindest Attention: Sir/Madam, I am Gerry Ogodu, The Secetary  General to the former Senate President Senator Pius Anyim, of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Though this proposal may come as a surprise to you as we have not met in any way before.
I got your contact address through your country business Guide and feel you will serve as a reliable source to be used to achieve this aim, by trusting under your care the total sum of Fifteen Million, Five Humdred  Thousand US dollars (US .5M).
When Burrell began studying the youth Internet culture in Accra, Ghana, in the early years of the 21st century, she found a widely-shared fixation on making foreign connections and specifically on possibilities for travel overseas.
While chatting online, Fauzia mentioned “ok, my phone is giving me problems and I will be very grateful if you could send me money to get a better phone or if you could send me a new phone.” After repeating the request, “I didn’t see him online again,” said Fauzia.
Burrell found that many young Ghanaians had difficulty seeing the social and cultural disconnects that separated them from the foreigners they attempted to befriend.
“Such enforced disconnection and avoidance followed a seemingly minor interactional misstep,” Burrell said, most often requests for money or gifts.
Entire Internet cafés had been overtaken by scammers, and their profits were clearly evident in the young men’s conspicuous consumption of new cars, jewelry, and trendy upscale clothes.
There was also much more public visibility for the scamming subculture and considerable alarm in Ghanaian society over the activity.
He had diversified his gains, investing in the local music industry and renting out two trucks he had acquired.