meet up with the ‘Yahoo boys’ – Nigeria’s undergraduate conmen

meet up with the ‘Yahoo boys’ – Nigeria’s undergraduate conmen


Lecturer of Criminology, Deviance and Social issues, University of Ibadan

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Oludayo Tade is connected to University of Ibadan.


University of Ibadan provides help as a partner that is endorsing of Conversation AFRICA.

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Numerous undergraduates in Nigerian universities dabble in internet fraudulence. Nicknamed “yahoo-yahoo” after the worldwide web portal and google, this perfidy is now a means of life for the young con-artists. Many of these fraudsters – dubbed “yahoo-boys” – have grown to be filthy rich.

Some have already been caught by the legislation. An undergraduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago-Iwoye, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for an attempt to obtain money under false pretences in a cyber-cafe in April 2012, Olasaidi Dare.

On June 5 2012, a Federal tall Court in Kaduna State sentenced Imonina Kingsley, for the University of Ilorin, to two decades’ imprisonment. He defrauded an Australian of US$1,000 by presenting himself being a homosexual individual from the Republic of Benin. He had been charged for impersonation, control of fraudulent papers and trying to get cash by false pretences.

These instances attest to your pervasive nature of internet fraudulence in Nigerian universities. My very own research had been carried out at Nigeria’s premiere University of Ibadan. My aim would be to decide how this subculture is organised among pupils in tertiary organizations. With this we talked up to a true quantity of those “yahoo-boys”.

Regions of specialisation

Web fraudulence is organised along regions of specialisation which will make a popularity of the deviant behavior. Fraudsters learn the safety system of online transactions to determine the best place to pitch their tents. Quick financial reward is just exactly exactly what “yahoo-boys” have in your mind They normally use various schemes.

Delivering fraudulent communications to internet dating web sites and online networks had been reported become low-risk – but high-profit – regions of specialisation.

A student that is third-year if you ask me:

We started online fraud in my own semester that is second of level a session composed of two scholastic semesters in Nigerian universities being an impostor via online dating sites. I quickly seemed for the profile of people that reside in developed countries. But I look for people who live in places like Port Harcourt, Abuja luxury suburbs if it is in Nigeria,.

I usually posed for them as being a man that is big required a spouse. Often we posed to them as to how my partner disappointed me and took away my property and kids. All of this is refined in a pitiable means with some images to persuade them whenever I’m communicating with them. But, the things I do primarily now could be to send misleading information online for individuals to deliver their bank reports details.

Another scam this is certainly well-liked by the “yahoo boys” is phishing, a strategy utilized to obtain information that is sensitive as usernames, passwords and bank card details.

Third, the “yahoo men” will also be big on ATM fraudulence. They could stay at ATM galleries to assistance that is feign vulnerable users – illiterates, the old therefore the physically challenged – and later swap cards to defraud them.

The fraudsters perform their assaults mostly on weekends and mostly away from state in which the account is domiciled. Banking institutions are mostly non-functional on weekends. What this means is victims will soon be not able to ask their banking institutions to get rid of unlawful deals on their reports until Monday early morning, if the banks available for company, and even though they get debit alerts within the week-end.

Casual sites while the insider element

Casual companies are imperative to the young scamsters success that is. These sites revolve around banks, protection agencies, co-fraudsters and, often, families.

The typical method of gathering fraudulence money in Nigeria is through the banking institutions, mostly through the Western Union cash transfer. Through compromised banking staff, fraudsters utilize fake identification to get into funds. Simply because the fraudster could have utilized a name that is foreign will never have a recognised identification card for the reason that title. An insider within the bank is important: the banker facilitates payment without attracting the attention of security agencies for successful execution of fraud. Additionally they manage to get thier share for the loot.

The uncertainty within the Nigerian banking sector might have developed a workforce that is uncommitted. Employed in an establishment that is insecure employees susceptible. A lot more than 2,000 bankers have actually lost their jobs because of recession that is economic the nation. A sizable amounts of casual employees are implemented to man key jobs in the banking institutions. This is why method for unlawful possibilities.

And so the “yahoo-boys” find effortless allies in banking staff, that are mostly young ones too, for their socioeconomic nightmare. Worries of jobless happens to be recognized as a push element for undergraduates involvement that is internet fraudulence.

A fifth-year pupil reported that driving a car for the unknown might have drawn an amount of pupils to “yahoo-yahoo” as opposed to awaiting after-school jobless. They see internet fraudulence as being a imaginative socket in a country like Nigeria.

The impact of corruption

Hitherto, internet fraudulence had been performed at general public cafes. Nevertheless, with regular raids on these internet cafes and the arrest of suspected fraudsters by law enforcement, the “yahoo guys” have merely relocated their bases.

Plus, the expansion of websites providers in Nigeria has managed to make it also easier for scamsters to commit fraud that is internet. It really is now since straightforward as purchasing modems and searching the world-wide-web inside the confines of their privately rented apartments on campus. The “yahoo boys” remain in physical communes of like-minded individuals and make use of this community to introduce internet assaults.

They share information about a specific target and find brand brand brand new methods of making prospective objectives produce for their deceit. They can get assistance, share internet expenses and jointly buy gas for generators, that are utilized to power their computer systems. They come to school throughout the day, and head to social groups in the evenings and also to celebrate their successes.

It’s not surprising that there’s an expansion of “yahoo boys”. The party of wide range, specially among politicians, serves to motivate the involvement associated with the young ones in cyber-crime. Nigerian society celebrates wide range without questioning the origin associated with the cash.

What exactly do these young, undergraduate Nigerians do under these scenarios? They experience a leadership that doesn’t worry about their future. Plus they utilize their training to adhere to the instance set by their elders that presents criminal activity will pay.