In my ECON 2302 class this week we read chapter 8 of the book The Economics of Public Issues. It seeems like a good idea to buy a slave and set him or her free. But the "redeemers" have often wanted to buy large groups of slaves to redeem. This has encouraged people to capture slaves in the first place. Then it puts more money in the hands of the slave traders who buy more weapons. Some people runs scams, selling people that were not really slaves. Below are links to the three articles listed in the book's bibliography.
The False Promise of Slave Redemption
Ripping Off Slave ‘Redeemers’
Fake slaves con aid agencies in Sudanese liberation scam
The following link has links to lots of info on this issue and different views
Policy Debate: Do slave redemption programs reduce the problem of slavery?
Finally, there was a movie made in 1971 that you can read about at the Internet Movie Database called Skin Game. It was about a fake slave being sold over and over again as a scam. Here is the synopsis:
"Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O'Rourke have pulled off every dodge known for conning a well-heeled sucker, but it wasn't until they hit on the old skin game that they started to clean up. The game is simple. Jason, though born a free man in New Jersey, poses as Quincy's slave as the pair ride through Missouri and Kansas in 1857. Quincy picks a likely mark in each town, sells Jason to him for top money and rides out of town. Then Quincy and Jason get back together on the road to another town, because if Jason can't just run off after dark, Quincy finds a way to spring him loose."