This week’s flop of the week goes to internet fraudsters, also known as yahoo boys, for taking their fraudulent activities to yet another level and for the disservice they have done to a generation of young Nigerians who are deemed fraudulent until they can prove otherwise.
Just last week, four of these keyboard warriors were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (which was ironically created to catch their daddies in Nigerian government and public service) in Lekki, Lagos.
True to form, the EFCC took photos of the four suspects, Ale Daniel, Tunde Badmus, Adams Tunde Adedeji and Ajiboye Gbenga and shared them via its social media accounts.
Besides living in one of the most highbrow areas of Lagos, the suspected fraudsters were found in possession of luxury cars, a Range Rover, a Mercedes Benz and assorted charms.
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Yea. It’s gotten to that now; It is a reality that we have tried our faux-oblivious best to ignore, that Nigerian fraudsters are using charms, fetishes and various assortments in a bid to make quick wealth.
For a while, stories of yahoo boys sleeping in internet cafes with turtles around their necks circulated on social media. Most of it was folklore admittedly, but in recent times, proof has crept out of podcasts to social media.
In a video posted on social media, a young Nigerian male can be seen barking in a manner similar to a dog while he’s taunted by his peers for the severity of his paper chase.
Texts which followed the footage suggest that this form of fetish-assisted internet fraud is a new trend among youths in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Which then begs the question; when does it become too much?
Nigerians who are rooted enough to know the intricacies of these practices or anyone who has seen a Nollywood movie for that matter knows that there is often a price to be paid for these gifts, and more often than not, it is human.
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Internet fraud was once treated with levity as a crime with no real victim, at least, at home in Nigeria.
Today, it has degenerated into a behemoth, sullying the reputation of young Nigerians and the country as a whole.
From foreign nationals with their life savings, these fraudsters are putting holes in the security frameworks of the country’s biggest financial institutions and conning businessmen into handing over their wealth.
This week, yahoo boys stared us in the face with their cars and charms. Their new-found desperation became a bit more obvious and depending on what you saw, it showed us a sad glimpse of what may yet come.