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Internet Fraud These 5 Nigerian businesses rely largely on yahoo boys

Internet fraudster support, by spending obscene amounts, many businesses that would struggle otherwise.

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play internet fraudsters dubbed "Yahoo Boys" post fake profiles on gay dating sites then force the victim to pay money for their silence (AFP)

Over the past few days, following an EFCC raid on the popular Lagos nightclub, Club 57 and the subsequent arrest of 12 suspected internet fraudsters, internet fraud has become the prevailing discussion both on social media and offline.

There’s hardly anything concerning social media that hasn’t been discussed in one of our many heated conversations on Twitter.

This time, however, thanks to a particular table-shattering tweet from Noble Igwe, the economic value of yahoo boys, and just how involved they are in the local economy, two very important topics, have now been added to the menu.

The case often made for internet fraudsters is that they have added massive financial value to the local economy in self-owned businesses that they fund with their ill-gotten wealth and vendors that they patronise. While this is by no means a strong enough argument to justify their crimes, it is based on statements that are largely true.

ALSO READ: Can we all hold hands and agree that internet fraud is a crime?

Internet fraudster support, by spending obscene amounts, many businesses that would struggle otherwise.

For all we know, these five businesses would suffer without the proceeds from internet fraud.

1. Online Fashion Vendors:

Nowadays, Instagram is a far cry from the photo-sharing platform that we first fell in love with. Nowadays, it is dominated by content creators, celebrities sharing snippets of their private and public life and of course, vendors.

Many of these vendors deal in urban fashion with a particular focus on the newest trends; a trait which makes them perfect for anyone with a little cash to spare and little interest in the stress that comes with searching for the latest items in Lagos.

play Many of these vendors deal in urban fashion with a particular focus on the newest trends (Pinterest)

 

Online fashion vendors are heavily patronised by internet fraudsters and other members of that ecosystem who are often anxious to sport the latest wears as quickly as they can.

A fashion vendor who prefers to remain anonymous tells me that most of them understand that the difference between failure and success is often a strong relationship with a collective of yahoo boys who can assure them of sales as soon as each new load drops.

2. Nightclubs and Lounges:

Few people can afford the overpriced alcohol and exclusive parties that define Lagos nightclubs and internet fraudsters are the creme of that class.

Known for having a knack for lavish parties and extreme displays of wealth, yahoo boys are among the most important patrons of Lagos nightlife.

ALSO READ: Noble Igwe is not scared to say how yahoo boys hide their money

It is no mistake that so many of them were found in the same place, at Club 57, on one night. To meet their demand for a good spot and their tendency to leave a spot once it becomes over-patronised, various lounges and clubs have sprung up in cities like Lagos and Abeokuta.

play EFCC operatives during a raid on Club 57 in Ikoyi, Lagos (Twitter (@officialEFCC))

 

While they are not entirely responsible for keeping these facilities open, they would definitely feel the pangs if yahoo boys were to stop using their revolving doors.

3. Escorts:

Well-paying crime comes with many perks and among them, it’s hard to separate women and sex, most especially, from the mix.

With wads of cash and obvious displays of wealth, yahoo boys have no trouble paying for the pleasure of female company.

ALSO READ: From Allen Avenue to Snapchat; the evolution of the Nigerian sex worker

The practice has become so frequent that an entire niche of sex workers has emerged to meet the very specific lifestyle that these internet fraudsters prefer.

play A niche of sex workers has emerged to meet the internet fraudster's needs (Pulse)

 

Escorts abound in and around places most visited by internet fraudsters, such as nightclubs, party venues, hotels and the like. Without internet fraudsters, a major source of patronage for these sex workers would cease to be.

4. Luxury Cars:

People from just about every walk of life drive sports cars around Lagos and Nigeria’s many cities, and if the variety is a mirror of what our society is, then it’s perfectly within place to say Yahoo boys cruise in the finest leather too.

Beyond that surmisal though, luxury cars are part of the stereotype of the Nigerian Yahoo boy, along with expensive jewellery and high-end streetwear.

A Yahoo boy's car is an extension of him and as we discovered with the raid on Club 57, they are hardly ever without these status symbols.

play The internet fraudster aspires to luxury cars as a status symbol. (Nairaland)

 

This has created a massive market for car vendors who can be found in towns like Ogbomosho, mostly to meet a local demand for vehicles.

The car industry would still exist without internet fraudster but there’d be fewer of those cars on your roads if that was to ever be the case.

5. Hotels

One of the biggest misconceptions about internet fraudsters is that they work out of dens, laying underground and surfacing only to spend their money.

The ecosystem that supports internet fraud in Nigeria is made up of large networks of fraudsters that are constantly mobile as their trade command. Hotels support this need to be constantly on the move or out of view.

play When on the run, internet fraudsters are often found in obscure yet expensive hotels. (Hotels)

 

ALSO READ: Codeine Diet and why Nigerian musicians should stop celebrating drugs

When on the run, internet fraudsters are often found in obscure yet expensive hotels seemingly made for that purpose. Hotels like this have sprouted around the country, particularly in the West and parts of the East in response to a demand for comfortable temporary accommodation.

The use of hotels is common among criminals who need to be on the move but for those built to meet the distinct needs of an internet fraudster need him to stay alive.

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