When Adam Grumbo received a message from a person claiming to be a hot, American girl, he knew something was off. The sender wasn't particularly good at playing an American and after some pressing, he found out that the messages were, in fact, coming from a young scammer who lived in Nigeria.
At the time, it seemed as though this person was hoping to trick Adam into sending thousands of his hard earned cash to a different country to be quickly spent, probably on criminal activities. But Adam was intrigued and decide to find out more about his scammer. After talking to him for a while, he had a crazy idea.
He decided to hire this man, who was named Tobi, to take pictures of his community. Not expecting much, he went about his day but a few hours later, his phone beeped as Tobi the scammer sent dozens of photos from his first "assignment".
Emboldened by Tobi's apparent honesty, Adam decided to take the assignment further. He promised a payment of $100 if Tobi went down to the local market and took videos and pictures of the food and people.
Against the advice of basically everyone who has been contacted by an internet scammer, Adam wired the funds through Western Union and proceeded to wait for the second time. He was surprised by what happened next.
Tobi turned out to be an eloquent young man who was also a talented photographer and filmmaker. There were photos of animals in the market, people selling food and rooftop scenes of locals going about their lives in the bustling Nigerian town. He even bought tomatoes, onions, peppers and fish and filmed himself preparing a local Nigerian dish. Adam was blown away.
"Whether he's an honest person or not," Adam says, "Tobi is really struggling to survive and I have to give him the benefit of the doubt."
It turned out that Tobi had taken up scamming to pay for his electrical engineering degree. What seemed like an sinister message from a trickster turned out to be a cry for help from the other side of the world.
After the assignment, Tobi sent in a video, thanking Adam for the opportunity to show people images from Nigeria and promising he'll live as an honest young man from now onward.
Adam is now fundraising for Tobi's next assignment on GoFundMe. He's hoping the money will help his new friend graduate university soon and support his loved ones.
Have you ever been contacted by a scammer?