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Yahoo Plus: Nigeria’s 419 scam network is spreading into Ghana
We know that Nigerian Scammers have spread throughout much of the world, but this represents a more serious movement into Ghana to consolidate the region.
Internet fraud from Nigeria is not new, yet the sophistication of local cybercriminals has intensified and mutated in the last few years.
Nigeria is ranked third behind the UK and the US in cybercrimes worldwide, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.
Efforts by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to enact laws against cybercrime have only pushed the illicit trade, also known as 419 fraud, into other countries such as Ghana.
Ghana’ Madina Divisional Police Command last August arrested 26 Nigerians for suspected Internet fraud. In their possession upon arrest were 33 Laptops, 26 mobile phones, and flash drives among other gadgets.
The amount of money stolen worldwide in 2017 via the Internet reached US$172 billion, according to a report by cybersecurity firm Norton.
The scammers, also known as Yahoo Boys, are criminals responsible for the mutation of this trade to whatever form will yield the most money.
A decade ago romance scams were hot, but since the world is catching on somewhat, cybercriminals have transformed their illicit trade into more complex endeavors that target vulnerable victims everywhere for easily and quickly money.
THE YAHOO SENSE OF UNITY
The Yahoo Boy rarely lives alone. A sense of community is vital to know how to make money, avoid certain locations, and know what type of fraud to commit in what region of the world.
Back in New Haven, a commercial center in Enugu state, Nigeria, scammer Chukwukadibia Godson explains the need for this group of criminals to stay together:
‘It depends on what stage of despair over life, in general, you are when you get in. If you are new then you need to know which brand of this business will pay and how soon.”
“You need to know what time of day to throw a bait and on what platform, what time to check back in on a client, and you need business documents, and that can be produced here in New Haven. So you need to stay close because you will get all that information here.”
The aim is to get money from unsuspecting individuals or businesses from around the world. Once a victim transfers money, the criminal does not stop until that victim has no more money and no one else to borrow from.
Godson, 29 years old, rides a ‘Lexus Yahoo boy’ also known as the Lexus Rx330, a signature vehicle for the successful scammer that he changes once every two years.