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As Yahoo Boys take over Edo cybercafes

Despite efforts by government to stamp out internet fraud, many Nigerian youth, particularly in Benin City, Edo

State, still engage in the crime, writes Uchechukwu Olisah.

Despite fforts by the Nigerian government to eradicate financial fraud, particularly the one known in local parlance as

419 or advance fee fraud, in the country through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the scam

perpetrated through the internet is still on the rise.

Nowhere else is this rise more pronounced than among youth who, for dearth of appropriate nomenclature, have

found the business very lucrative. The youth, majority of them post-primary school leavers, undergraduates of

tertiary institutions and fresh graduates of such institutions, are the ones mainly involved in this scam business.

In Benin City, the Edo State capital, financial fraud and the perpetrators, known as Yahoo Boys, have taken over

cybercafés. Any cybercafé one enters in Benin City is bound to enjoy the patronage of these boys usually found

tapping away on computer keyboards, sending all sorts of scam letters, claiming or answering to names other than

their real ones and posting fake photographs of themselves on the web.

Besides, these Yahoo Boys, in the course of telephone conversations with their potential or actual victims, whom

they variously refer to as mugu or maga, alter their vocal chords in manners that make them speak in alien accents.

Yahoo Boys spend up to 10 hours between the mornings and late evenings, almost everyday in cybercafés. They also

engage in what is called night browsing, which is usually from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. the next day, committing all

manners of internet crimes.

The activities of these 419ners deny persons or groups who want to engage in legitimate business on the internet the

opportunity of carrying out their businesses to satisfactory level through theier occupation of most internet-enabled

computer systems in cybercafés and spending longer time on the systems.

However, while persons or groups engaged in legitimate internet businesses groan for the lack of adequate time and

space, the operators of such cybercafés smile to the banks on account of the quick and fat returns on their

investments and patronage by Yahoo Boys.

What is responsible for the society’s degeneration into this abyss of iniquity? Mr. Emmanuel Obe, a journalist, said “it

is a product of the moral and economic decay in the society.”

According to him, “youths are no longer taught the virtues of hard work and due process while growing up because

parents and guardians are too busy to attend to the moral upbringing of the children. They also do not monitor the

children’s progress in school.”
Obe suggested that because of the high level of unemployment in the land combined with the high activity and

awareness rates, young people could not find things to do with their hands and heads, and so, they switched over to

these scam activities which he said had paid off handsomely for a good number of people.

“Although not all of them eventually make it, the fact that they have seen some of them make it through the foul

means keeps their spirits high. The situation is made worse by the rapid acquisition of the knowledge and use of

information and communication technology (ICT) which, of course, is what the financial world depends on for swift

business transactions,” he said.

Obe said the economic implication of this organised scam could be the jeopardisation of genuine international trade

between Nigeria and other foreign countries and between Nigerians and foreigners.
This, he pointed out, was because the Yahoo Boys would have duped these foreigners and, by that, wane these

potential foreign investors’ confidence in the country.

“And so, genuine growth and foreign investment will be hampered,”he said, adding, however, that “it should be a

challenge to policy makers to see how they can convert the skills acquired in computers by these youngsters to more

positive engagements.”

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August 22, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. The truth is that a lot of cafe can’t survive without yahoo boys, Tell me how many people come to cafe to send mail to their brother or sister, without yahoo boys, you will run down in a month, becos by the time, you open a care from morning till nite and you can only get 5 persons, you will be crying that you have made no money.
    The only solution is for the government to look for one Data entry job online and let this boys do it since they are already used to the internet, or other online jobs, the government can do this job online maybe inputting peoples names that participated in the Election. and it will be a very good thing. The people who may up the government are stealing our money and we are paying taxes.

    LET EVERYONE TELL THE TRUTH, SINCE YAHOO CAME OUT, DON’T YOU SEE THE RATE O ARM ROBBERY AS REDUCED, I SWEAR TO GOD, IF YAHOO IS TOTALLY STOPPED IN NIGERIA , YOU WILL SEE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL NOT SLEEP WITH PEACE OF MIND, AND IT NOT JUST POSSIBLE FOR EVERYONE TO HAVE A SATISFYING JOB, SO WHY ARE THE EFCC DISTURBING THEIR SELF INSTEAD OF LOOKING FOR WAYS TO CASH THE PEOPLE TAKING OUR MONEY ABROAD AND USE THE MONEY TO DEVELOP THE COUNTRY, ALL THE MONEY EFCC HAVE BEEN COLLECTING I HAVE NEVER HEARD WHAT THE USED IT TO BENEFIT THE CITIZENS OF NIGERIA. EFCC THIS MONEY IS NOT UR FATHER MONEY, SO WHY SHOULD YOU BE DISTURBING YOURSELF, OR WILL YOU BE MORE PLEASED IF THIS BOYS WHERE ARM ROBBERS AND DISTURBING THE PEACE OF UR FAMILIES? HAVE GOVERNMENT BEEN ABLE TO COPE WITH UNEMPLOYMENT? IF YOU TALK ABOUT THE COUNTRY IMAGE, THEY IS NO COUNTRY THAT’S CLEAN AS FAR AS POLITICS IS INVOLVE, BECOS MAN CAN ONLY RULE ITSELF TO INJURE, BECOS WE ARE IMPERFECT AND HAVE WEAK POINTS, SO EFCC I WILL WANT YOU GUYS TO KNOW YOU ARE HUMANS AS WELL AND ASSUMING YOU DIDN’T HAVE THAT JOB AS AN EFCC AGENT, YOU URSELF WILL HAVE JOIN IN DOING YAHOO YAHOO. BECOS HOW MANY GRADUATES DO YOU SEE TODAY WITHOUT JOBS, AND IF YOU SAY BUSINESS, ALOT ARE INVOVLE IN DIFFERENT TYPE OF BUSINESS, THAT IS WHY IF YOU ARE IN LAGOS AND OPEN A BUSINESS THE WHOLE PEOPLE WILL JOIN IN DOING THE BUSINESS IF THEY SEE YOU ARE MAKING MONEY. POVERTY IS NOT A WHAT EVERYONE LOVE. OK SEE HOW MANY GIRLS ARE INVOLVES IN PROSTITUTION, HOW WILL YOU FEEL IF YOUR WIFE OR LOVER TELL YOU SHE WAS A PROSTITUTE BECOS THEY WAS NO MONEY AND SHE TRIED LOOKING FOR JOB AND NEVER FOUND ANY? WILL YOU NOT WISH THEY WAS YAHOO YAHOO THEN SO THAT SHE CAN DO IT? OR EFCC IF I SOMEONE IN THE STREET COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND SAY PLEASE HELP ME WITH N50,000 MY MOM IS GOING TO DIE IN THE HOSPITAL, TELL ME THE TRUTH WILL YOU EVEN TELL THE PERSON YOU HAVE OR EVEN GIVE THE MONEY OUT? GOD WILL JUDGE YOU IF YOU LIE, SO PLEASE PLEASE THE YAHOO BOYS ALONE, BECOS IT NOT UR FATHER MONEY OK

    Comment by A MUST READ | December 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. @must read u’ve said the whole truth.let them jugde their self.what is even ur own there? fuck country’s image.is it ur great grandfathers money?

    Comment by seun | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. God help people like this you are truly sick and will be judged for your actions one day its called the law of karma comment by mary

    Comment by mary | February 19, 2010 | Reply


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