Before the technological innovation that brought about the internet, the financial fraudsters popularly known as 419ers were in operation in Nigeria especially in the commercial city of the country (Lagos). They were mainly grown-ups, Educated and illiterate men and women who specialized in using fax machine to defraud unsuspected foreigners and Nigerians.
With the coming of the internet system, Nigerian youths especially the undergraduates have taken to the illicit trade called Internet scam. Investigations reveals that this development is responsible for drastic reduction in cultism in the higher institution as it has been overshadowed by wide spread of cyber fraud/crime.
For most of the fraudsters, greedy is the name of the game. But as these examples abound and the economic climate worsens, more young people are seeing internet fraud as a viable means of survival.
The name yahoo yahoo has become a house hold name, it simply refers to criminals who indulge in advance fee fraud schemes or involve in internet crime. The yahoo fraudsters enjoy status of big boys in the society and are socially recognized among their friends and anywhere fraudster are, other boys that are not involved in the crime will want to associate with them due to their flamboyant lifestyle. Internet fraudsters are mostly youths between the ages of 18-35 years. This may be due to the early exposure of the young ones to the activities of the internet without proper guidance.
The increasing rate of the internet fraud in the society has become a strong threat to the growth of Nigeria and has led to ill-reputation internationally and consequently denied some innocent Nigerians certain opportunities abroad. In most Nigeria tertiary institutions, various form of crimes are being witnessed ranging from examination malpractices, falsification of admission, rape, robbery, stealing, sexual abuse, assault amongst others.
But in recent times, internet fraud a new form of crime now exists in our tertiary institutions which is denting and drilling holes in the economy of the nation. In the case of email, sometimes it comes inform of marriage proposal, unclaimed fund, donation, lottery, help, bonanza, bank transaction notification / credit alerts etc. some of the youths send such scam emails everyday while others send more to increase their chance of getting victims that will fall to their prey. The trend has however advanced beyond the ordinary internet fraud level to what is generally known as yahoo plus, oracle plus, or yahoo extra. This new trend is the latest fraud among unscrupulous youths and an elevated form of the traditional modes of internet fraud. Some use small tortoise, which they keep under their feet whenever they are chatting on the laptops with their clients (victims). Their fingertips also bear incisions and a charm-filled animal horn prepared by their spiritualist. Some go as far as sleeping in the cemetery and bathing in a river, even use the destiny of their opposite sex to brighten their chance of getting their victim hypnotized. Once this is done, the victim is guaranteed of remitting money to the swindler’s account regularly from any part of the world.
There are lots of dangers involved in internet fraud considering what the swindlers would become or turn to after everything fades away when they forget or when God wants to intervene some run mad, untimely death, fearless and so on. Before they become successful in this fraudulent activity, they do go through lot of tasks of which is not everyone that succeeds.
The youths should realize that internet fraud has percussions which could destroy their future, other youths should be optimistic about the situation of our country. They should shun the belief that “Nigeria cannot get better” youth should also discover their talents through skill acquisition programs. We should all have a total change of heart by having the fear of God in our heart, Religious and non-governmental organizations should always organize programs that will sensitize the youths and the society at large on the need to have the fear of God in their heart, the youth should be encourage in their talent through skill acquisition programs.