The rise in internet fraud popularly called Yahoo-Yahoo is worsening by the day with many Nigerians detaching themselves from the dangerous trend. No wonder, one begins to express fear for the future generation of Nigerians.
Yahoo-Yahoo as a phrase picked its nickname after the international web portal and search engine, describing how the cybercrime offences are committed using the web portal as a tool.
Yahoo-Yahoo boys are usually seen with multiple electronic gadgets like laptops and phones which they use to perpetrate their illicit acts. Most of the crimes are mainly romance scams, employment scams, identity theft, fraudulent online vehicle sales scams, rental scams and lottery scams etc, where victims are convinced they won an international lottery but must pay fees or taxes before receiving the payout. These are usually the bait use to hoodwink their unsuspecting victims.
These entire schemes for making money by dishonest means are to convince or ensnare their victims into believing that they are in a legitimate business, whereas they are all scams. These forms of crime gradually ravage the hope of young Nigerians by taking them away from hard work, entrepreneurship and academic pursuits.
Today, the fraud has become a business of sort as many of the perpetrators have become rich through dubious means of livelihood while many are languishing in several Nigerian prisons.
It has been seen that in recent times, the number of Yahoo-Yahoo boys arrested and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Commission has been on the increase with so many brilliant young boys perpetuating these cyber crimes going jail.
Just a few weeks ago, US Security agents arrested 281 ‘Yahoo-Yahoo Boys’ worldwide and the disturbing fact is that 167 of them are from Nigeria, a signal that Nigerian youths no longer pursue legitimate means of living but through crimes and criminality.
The operation, which resulted in the seizure of nearly $3.7 million, amounting to about N1.3billion is a dangerous dimension.
Though the EFCC’s efforts in its mandate to fight corruption as well as financial and economic crimes have been commendable, the commission needs all hands to be on the deck to fight the scourge of internet fraud and other forms of corruption in our country.
The EFCC cannot do it alone and therefore, the onus is on all Nigerians to join hands with the anti-graft agency and others to nip in the bud this monster called Yahoo-Yahoo boys. The time to do it is now a stitch in time, they say, saves nine.
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