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(They insist that tricking people is not the same as stealing.

“We don’t thief,” Danjuma says.) They told me about one elaborate scam, called (or “Let’s go” in Igbo, one of the languages spoken in Nigeria), that they occasionally pull on their countrymen.

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They say they’d make a lot more than that, but they blow much of their income entertaining “clients” in order to convince the victims they’re legit.

They’ll fly potential marks to Ghana, for example, and put them up in a fancy hotel while they meet with Sheye and Danjuma’s faux business partners there.

(Ditto.) They asked to hire me out for a day for one of their cons because, they said, my white skin would bolster their credibility.

“Black man believes that white man is reality,” Danjuma explains. Sheye and Danjuma say they are each worth about $60,000, in a country where more than 70 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day.

I just returned from a reporting trip to Nigeria, where I was traveling around the country talking to terrorism experts, nomadic cattle herders, and government officials about how global warming affects conflict in the country. As a newswire reporter focused on the terrorist group Boko Haram, he was able to provide crucial context for my story.