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COMMUNITY BLOG - Shelly Mills - What does phishing have to do with black juju?

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

The community blog posts are written by InfoSec professionals from diverse sectors who have kindly provided articles for free to support the demystifying of cyber.


Author: Shelly Mills


Phishing is a form of fraud used by scammers to steal sensitive information such as account credentials or banking information, by disguising emails to look like legitimate emails from reputable organisations and people you trust.

Because of the ease of sending bulk phishing emails, it has become a common method for criminals to use to try and obtain your money. In Australia, citizens lost $1 444 162 to phishing scams in 2019 (https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/about-scamwatch/scam-statistics?scamid=31&date=2019) But, who exactly is phishing you?

Phishing scams are run by criminals. There are various different types of criminals who use cyber as a method to commit their crime [follow this hyperlink to the story on cyber criminals]. Organised crime syndicates, lone-wolves, etc...

....... And then there the Ghanaians, who believe their phishing scams need to be blessed though a black magic ritual in order to be successful. This practice is called “Sakawa” - the combination of internet-based fraud (usually via phishing scams) with traditional African black magic rituals (commonly referred to as “juju”). Once sending out a mass phishing email, the scammer will visit their local black magic priest to bless the scam through a voodoo ritual.

In fact, as Sawaka grows, there are now fake black magic priests scamming the internet scammers who are getting their scams blessed by these fake priests, who then send their scams out to scam the rest of the world.


Further watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o26Eks801oc

Further reading:

https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/neanxg/sakawa-email-scam-ghana

https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/3b58nv/ghanas-scamming-bulge

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakawa

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/african-studies-review/article/sakawa-rituals-and-cyberfraud-in-ghanaian-popular-video-movies/063807DDAF1C7785834F32AEDD0BC491/core-reader


COMMUNITY BLOG - guest author Shelly Mills - 19 December 2019

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