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Author: Jan Beek

Abstract

In this article, I explore how email scammers deal with locations and physical spaces in the context of transnational, online connectedness. In the last decades, the technologies and stories of email scams have been constantly evolving; African scammers have increasingly targeted new audiences in Asia and even moved there. However, does location even matter in cyberspace? Based on fieldwork in Ghana and India, the article studies how scammers make use of imaginaries of Africa as a region and how they deal with national borders on the internet. Despite the perception that the internet is deterritorialized and detached from the offline world, I show that social imaginaries of the regions, national borders, and localized knowledge still count, even online. Beyond that, these everyday practices and understandings of spatial categories challenge grand narratives about South-South solidarity and the cosmopolitan Indian Ocean.

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