Why he stopped Internet scams

March 26, 2024
6 min read
crypto scam

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Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Why I stopped being a fraudster
  • Binance executive escapes detention
  • Zimbabwe to launch 3 new satellites
  • Leatherback partners YES BANK in India

Why I stopped being a fraudster

crypto scam
Hacker photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com

Today's intriguing read revolves around the transformation of an Internet scammer who turned away from fraud.

First off, the numbers: Internet scam complaints have risen steadily over the last five years. Between 2018 and 2022, the number of complaints increased by 127%, from 351,937 to 800,944. Notably, losses increased in tandem, rising from $2.7 billion in 2018 to $10.3 billion in 2022.

Many of these scams, particularly phishing scams, target unsuspecting consumers, enticing them to divulge personal information under false pretences.

While the US and UK bore the brunt of these scams in 2022, perceptions often associate Internet crimes with West African countries like Nigeria and Ghana, albeit lacking substantiated data.

In his most recent insights, Bolu discussed how *Patrick Johnson, a reformed scammer, began scamming out of financial necessity, fueled by the harsh realities of life in Nigeria.

Over five years, he honed his scamming skills, primarily targeting older women with romance scams. The allure of easy money and a lavish lifestyle eventually led him to a deception.

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But everything changed when he encountered his last victim, *Debbie Garcia. Her vulnerability struck a chord within Johnson, causing him to question the ethics of his actions. This pivotal moment sparked a transformation within him, leading him to reassess his life choices.

I know I’m not telling the story. This is because Bolu's piece captures the essence of Johnson's journey beautifully. So, why be a copycat when I can direct you to read the story yourself?

If you're curious to learn about how Johnson transitioned from a scammer to an advocate for change, be sure to check out Bolu's insightful piece for the full scoop here.

* — not real name

 Binance executive escapes detention  

A portrait of Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance employee detained in Nigeria
Nadeem Anjarwalla

Remember this? Binance executives detained in Nigeria

One of the Binance big shots — Nadeem Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan nabbed in Nigeria on February 26, 2024 — has made a daring escape.

How did Anjarwalla escape? According to reports, he busted out from the guest house while on a prayer trip to a nearby mosque. Word on the street is that he hopped on a Middle East Airlines flight to exit the country. But how he pulled it off sans passport is anyone's guess. As for where he's headed, your guess is as good as mine.

Sources say both executives were living the good life in the guest house, with phones and Internet at their disposal. Meanwhile, their families are pleading for their release, insisting they've done no wrong.

In a fresh twist, Nigeria's tax collector, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has hit Binance with tax evasion charges.

The suit also names Gambaryan and Anjarwalla in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Filed in Abuja under case number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, the FIRS accuses Binance of four counts of tax evasion. These include dodging value-added tax (VAT), company income tax, failing to file tax returns, and allegedly aiding customers in evading taxes via its platform.

The government also claims Binance failed to register with FIRS for tax purposes and broke existing tax regulations in Nigeria.

It wants data on Binance's top 100 users, a demand the company hasn't met.

Besides, a court has ordered Binance to cough up the info to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The EFCC claims there's a whiff of criminality in Binance's Nigerian operations.

   Zimbabwe to launch 3 new satellites   


Zimbabwe is preparing to launch three new satellites into space.

Among them is ZimSat-2, an Earth observation satellite with advanced features scheduled to launch later this year.

Painos Gweme, the Coordinator of the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINSGA) stated that concrete progress on the second satellite, ZimSat-2, is expected by June 2024.

The goal is to develop local human capacity capable of designing, manufacturing, and controlling satellites.

The Zimbabwean government has also given the green light for two more satellites, which are currently in the early stages of production.

Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe's Minister for Finance and Economic Development, mentioned that the country is partnering with Japan for this satellite project.

Japan is assisting in developing these satellites and training Zimbabwean graduates to ensure they can handle satellite manufacturing independently in the future.

These Earth observation satellites aim to provide valuable scientific data about Zimbabwe's environment. With improved sensors and image resolution over the previous model, the new satellite will aid in landscape monitoring in the future.

Zimbabwe launched its first Earth observation satellite, ZimSat-1, back in 2022. Since then, it's been reportedly helping with things like agriculture and mining mapping efforts, sending back data from orbit to the command centre on the ground.

Leatherback partners YES BANK in India  

Leatherback YES BANK partnership
Source: Supplied

Leatherback, a Nigerian fintech, has teamed up with YES BANK, a Mumbai-based commercial bank, to make sending money and getting Indian Rupee (INR) payouts in India a breeze.

Now, folks like international students, medical migrants, tourists, and anyone else using the Leatherback platform can easily send funds to individuals and businesses in India, thanks to YES BANK's wide reach. And the best part? The money can be withdrawn instantly in INR.

Leatherback uses multiple currencies to smooth out cross-border transactions for individuals and businesses. Right now, users can send remittances in INR and get payouts through SendR, Leatherback's remittance solution.

To make payments, users must provide a valid Indian Financial System Code (IFSC), like SWIFT codes for USD and GBP payments.

With headquarters in London and regulation in Nigeria, the UK, Canada, and other countries, Leatherback boasts over 30,000 customers. People and businesses from over 20 countries, including Nigeria, Canada, and the UK, can access up to 15 currencies, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, and USD.

This collaboration will reinforce Leatherback's commitment to offering financial, payment, and commerce solutions. They aim to break down barriers to global growth and mobility, opening up more opportunities for their users in India.

In case you missed it

What I'm reading and watching  


  • Seedstars has announced  INFUSE 2024, a global invitation for innovative applications aimed at fortifying health systems against climate threats and improving immunisation delivery. Apply here.
  • Explore this website to find multiple job opportunities in Data that align with your preferences.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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