SCARS™ Insight: A Cybercriminal Study – Narratives of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Agents

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SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Insight: A Cybercriminal Study – Narratives of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCCEFCC Economic and Financial Crimes Commission The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (419 fraud), scams, and money laundering. The EFCC was established in 2003, partially in response to pressure from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which named Nigeria as one of 23 countries non-cooperative in the international community's efforts to fight money laundering. The agency has its head office in Abuja, Nigeria.) Agents

For the first time, there has been a study of what it is like on the ground in Nigeria from the perspective of the Agents of the EFCC!

PLEASE NOTE; THIS IS WRITTEN FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE NIGERIANS AND IS NOT NECESSARILY SENSITIVE TO SCAMScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. VICTIMS.

ALSO NOTE THAT THERE IS VERY LITTLE ABOUT THE LARGER SCAMMING ORGANIZATIONS – THEY ARE MOSTLY IGNORED SINCE THE EFCC RARELY INTERACTS WITH THEM.

A Study by:

Suleman Lazarus is an Austrian independent scholar who is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom. He is a qualitative sociologist and his research interests include the cultural dimensions of digital crimes. While he completed an empirical study on the connections between hip hop artists and cybercriminals in 2018, one of his theoretical works in 2019 nuances “the synergy between feminist criminology and the Tripartite CybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Framework.” He is also a published poet and his most recent poem is entitled, “Betrayals in Academia and a Black Demon from Ephesus.”

Geoffrey U. Okolorie is a digital forensics expert, a fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. examiner and cybercrime investigator who is currently a postgraduate research student in the UK. He is a member of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria, as well as a member of various local and international professional organizations.

Abstract

While this article sets out to advance our knowledge about the characteristics of Nigerian cybercriminals (Yahoo-Boys), it is also the first study to explore the narratives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officers concerning them. It appraises symbolic interactionist insights to consider the ways in which contextual factors and worldview may help to illuminate officers’ narratives of cybercriminals and the interpretations and implications of such accounts. Semi-structured interviews of forty frontline EFCC officers formed the empirical basis of this study and were subjected to a directed approach of qualitative content analysis. While prior studies, for example, indicated that only a group of cybercriminals deploy spiritual and magical powers to defraud victims (i.e. modus operandi), our data analysis extended this classification into more refined levels involving multiple features. In particular, analysis bifurcates cybercriminals and their operations based on three factors: educational-attainment, modus-operandi, and networks-collaborators. Results also suggest that these cybercriminals and their operations are embedded in “masculinity-and-material-wealth”. These contributions thus have implications for a range of generally accepted viewpoints about these cybercriminals previously taken-for-granted. Since these criminals have victims all over the world, insights from our study may help various local and international agencies

  • [a] to understand the actions/features of these two groups of cybercriminals better and develop more effective response strategies; and
  • [b] to appreciate the vulnerabilities of their victims better and develop more adequate support schemes.

We also consider the limitations of social control agents’ narratives on criminals.

Introduction

In Nigeria, over 77% of youths live on less than USD2 per day (African Development Bank, 2018), and online and offline lives are inextricably intertwined (Lazarus, 2019a; Lazarus 2019b; Powell et al., 2018). Even though the link between offending and poverty is far from straightforward (Newburn, 2016), unemployment and poverty have strong connections with online crimes “within a given nation” (Kigerl, 2012, p. 483). What is notable is that the Nigerian youths have been disproportionately implicated in defrauding victims all over the world (Akanle et al., 2016). Internet crimes are global issues (Kirillova et al., 2017; Wall, 2007; Yar, 2017), and millions of people with email accounts have undoubtedly encountered Nigerian scam emails (Rich, 2017). Consequently, recent years have witnessed an upsurge of research on victims of cyber-fraud that supposedly originates from Nigeria (Cross et al., 2018; Owen et al., 2017; Sorell and Whitty, 2019).

We still, however, know very little about Nigerian cyber-fraudsters (Lazarus, 2018). Remarkably, no study has attempted to explore the narratives of officers who have close interactions with these cybercriminals, even though frontline law enforcement officers who routinely investigate, arrest, interview, interrogate and prosecute these cyber- fraudsters have insiders’ insights. The narratives of these frontline law enforcement officers, therefore, merit examination. This study asks: “what are the narratives of frontline law enforcement officers about cyber-fraudsters and their activities in Nigeria?”.

The bifurcation of the Nigerian cybercriminals: Narratives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) agents. Lazarus, S., & Okolorie, G. U. (2019).

ACCEPTEDANDFINALCOPYLazarusOkolorie

 

TAGS: SCARS, Nigeria, EFCC, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Yahoo Yahoo, Yahoo Boys, Scam Victims,

SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

SCARS™ Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.
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It is essential that law enforcement knows about scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
  3. Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. « www.IC3.gov »
  4. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network on « www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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