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


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

Disclosure statement

Oludayo Tade is associated with University of Ibadan.


University of Ibadan provides support 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 internet portal and internet search engine, this perfidy is becoming a means of life for the young con-artists. Several fraudsters – dubbed “yahoo-boys” – have grown to be filthy rich.

Some have already been caught by the legislation. In April 2012, Olasaidi Dare, an undergraduate of this Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago-Iwoye, had been sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment for an endeavor to get money under false pretences in a cyber-cafe.

On 5 2012, a Federal High Court in Kaduna State sentenced Imonina Kingsley, of the University of Ilorin, to 20 years’ imprisonment june. He defrauded an Australian of US$1,000 by presenting himself being a person that is gay the Republic of Benin. He had been charged for impersonation, control of fraudulent papers and wanting to get cash by false pretences.

These cases attest to your nature that is pervasive of 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. Because of this we talked up to quantity of those “yahoo-boys”.

Regions of specialisation

Online fraudulence is organised along aspects of specialisation which will make a success regarding the behaviour that is deviant. Fraudsters learn the protection community of online deals to choose where you can pitch their tents. Fast reward that is monetary exactly what “yahoo-boys” have in your mind. They normally use different schemes.

Giving fraudulent communications to internet dating web sites and network that is social had been reported to be low-risk – but high-profit – regions of specialisation.

A third-year pupil stated in my opinion:

I started online fraud in my own 2nd semester of 100 level a session composed of two educational semesters in Nigerian universities as an impostor via online dating sites. I quickly seemed for the profile of people that reside in developed countries. But if it’s in Nigeria, we seek out those who are now living in places like Port Harcourt, Abuja luxury suburbs.

I posed for them as being a big guy who required a spouse. Often we posed for them on what my partner disappointed me personally and took away my property and kids. All this work is refined in a way that is pitiable some photos to persuade them whenever I’m communicating with them. Nonetheless, the things I do primarily now’s to send misleading information online for individuals to deliver their bank reports details.

Another scam this is certainly favored by the “yahoo boys” is phishing, a strategy utilized to obtain painful and sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and charge card details.

Third, the “yahoo males” will also be big on ATM fraudulence. They could stand at ATM galleries to feign assist with vulnerable users – illiterates, the old together with physically challenged – and later swap cards to defraud them.

The fraudsters execute their assaults mostly on weekends and mostly away from state in which the account is domiciled. Banking institutions are mostly non-functional on weekends. This implies victims will soon be unable to ask their banking institutions to prevent transactions that are illegal their reports until Monday morning, if the banks available for company, even though they get debit alerts on the week-end.

Informal companies and also the insider factor

Casual companies are imperative to the young scamsters’ success. These companies revolve around banks, safety agencies, co-fraudsters and, often, families.

The typical method of gathering fraudulence profit Nigeria is by 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 will have utilized a foreign title and wouldn’t normally have a recognised identification card in 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. In addition they manage to get thier share associated with the loot.

The uncertainty into the Nigerian banking sector might have developed an uncommitted workforce. Involved in an insecure establishment makes employees vulnerable. Significantly more than 2,000 bankers have actually lost their jobs as a result of financial recession in the united states. A big variety of casual employees are implemented to man positions that are key the banking institutions. This will make method for unlawful possibilities.

And so the “yahoo-boys” find effortless allies in banking staff, that are mostly youths too, for their socioeconomic nightmare. Driving a car of jobless is defined as a push element for undergraduates involvement that is internet fraudulence.

A fifth-year pupil claimed that driving a car for the unknown might have drawn a number of pupils to “yahoo-yahoo” instead of looking forward to after-school jobless. They see internet fraud as being an outlet that is creative a country like Nigeria.

The impact of corruption

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

Plus, the expansion of online sites providers in Nigeria has managed to get also easier for scamsters to commit internet fraudulence. It is currently as easy as purchasing modems and browsing the world-wide-web inside the confines of their privately rented apartments on campus. The “yahoo boys” remain in real communes of like-minded individuals and employ this community to introduce attacks that are internet.

They share information about a specific target and find brand brand new means of making prospective goals produce with their deceit. They could get assistance, share internet expenses and jointly purchase gas for generators, that are utilized to power their computer systems. They arrive to school through the day, and head to social groups in the nights also to commemorate their successes.

It really is no real surprise there is a expansion of “yahoo boys”. The party of wealth, especially among politicians, serves to encourage the participation regarding the young ones in cyber-crime. Nigerian society celebrates wide range without questioning the foundation associated with the cash.

What exactly do these young, undergraduate Nigerians do under these scenarios? They view a leadership that does care about their n’t future. And additionally they utilize their training to follow along with the instance set by their elders that displays criminal activity pays.