A number of websites discuss this phenomenon in Ghana and Kenya and offer worthwhile, practical advice.
The most dangerous ones – and the ones more likely to be focused on local victims – propose meetings in out of the way places (often in Tema, a city near Accra that’s generally unfamiliar to most Accra residents) and then rob the victims when they arrive.
What would be more disappointing – but certainly possible – is dating sites eliminating profiles from Kenya and Ghana in the hopes of protecting people from scams at the expense of actual gay individuals in these countries looking to meet people.
The story was also a reminder for me of what Global Voices is able to do that can be difficult for other media outlets to replicate.
My friend hadn’t hired a prostitute, and contacted the front desk of the hotel, who explained that this was a pretty common scam.
The scammer hopes to reach a tourist who had hired a prostitute and saw himself as a potential target for extortion, or a person who hadn’t hired a prostitute but was sufficiently embarrased by the prospect of being confronted in a hotel lobby that he pays hush money.