Kelowna man helps Nigerian scam artist become a filmmaker - InfoNews

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Kelowna man helps Nigerian scam artist become a filmmaker

A screenshot of Adieyemo Abolaji from his Facebook video.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Carey Missler
December 06, 2018 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - We've all heard about our fair share of over-the-phone scams. We've listened to automated and real-time voices tell us we've won a special $10 million lottery, or that an oil prince is looking to make a donation in our name, or that we've inherited a fabulous estate in Lithuania. Of course, these cellular cheats always tell us we simply need to give away vital banking and personal information to secure these riches.

Filmmaker Carey Missler is well versed in the world of phone scams. He's received countless scam calls from places all over the world. The latest overseas scammer who called him, however, just turned into his personal cameraman.

Missler has hired a phone scam artist from Nigeria to record footage of his daily life, providing startling insight for Missler and an alternate way to make money for the man.

"It's inspiring we can do something positive," Missler said.

Missler, the owner of DCD Productions, a film company in Kelowna, didn't set out to hire a scam artist. Last week, he posted an ad for a phone he was trying to sell. Typically, he receives several calls from scam artists in response to these types of ads. Missler is used to them. This ad was no different.

"This guy texted me saying he was getting [the phone] for his daughter," Missler said. "I said, 'Why don't you admit you're trying to scam me?' That's when it turned."

The man told Missler his name was Francis Obinna from Lagos, Nigeria. He confessed to being a phone scam artist and he apologized for trying to rope Missler into a con. Obinna told Missler about his tough finacial situation, describing how phone scams are one of the few ways to make money in his neighbourhood.

An idea struck Missler. As a film producer, he's always interested in new perspectives, stories and footage. He told Obinna that he'd send him money, but first he wanted the Nigerian man to record footage of his home life. Missler has just hired a man from the other side of the world to be his on-the-ground cameraman.

The next day, Obinna sent Missler five videos recording his life and Missler paid him.

"I was impressed he got back to me," Missler said. "He was a man of his word."

Missler posted one of Obinna's videos online, where it received a positive reception. The video depicts Obinna walking through a home and describing his life.

Some of Obinna's videos are too intense to show online. Missler was stunned by the raw content in two particular videos, which captured images of suicide and violence.

"No one's sent me videos like that," Missler said. "It's crazy."

Missler plans to work with Obinna in the future. He'd like to cobble more footage together into a documentary.

"We can build a relationship," Missler said. "He seems like a nice guy. He's trying to do something good."

Missler said Obinna next video will feature the Nigerian man thanking people on social media for promoting his video. Missler thinks Obinna's commitment is inspiring.

"If we can help him, we should," he said. "I like to see ideas come to life."

 

—The story was updated at 10:09 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7 to insert Francis Obinna's name. He was originally misidentified as Adieyemo Abolaji


To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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