Friday, 7 February 2014

Abidjan - cyber crime capital of Africa

Phishing, hacking, phreaking, 4-1-9 scams - however you describe it, cyber crime is on the rise in Ivory Coast.

According to the Ivorian government, it received more complaints about cyber criminality in the first half of 2013 than any other country on the continent, making it Africa's unlikely capital of "brouteurs" - Ivorian slang for cyber criminals.

Sitting on the edge of the Ebrie lagoon in the heart of the financial district of Abidjan, one former brouteur, who would speak only on condition of anonymity, says he started when he was 16 because it was the "fashion" at the time.

As the 22-year-old nervously stubs out his cigarette, looking around to check no-one else is listening, he describes how the "love method" is the most lucrative.

"You [find] yourself a man or a woman who is looking for love," he explains. "Then you start chatting and exchange photos."  After that, he says, comes what they call the tax - the money he would wheedle out of his unsuspecting "lover".

To read the rest of the online article, please click on this link to the BBC website
To listen to the radio version, please click on this link.
To watch the BBC World TV report, please click on this link to the BBC website.

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