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“I always posed to them as a big man who needed a wife.Sometimes I posed to them on how my wife disappointed me and took away my property and children.My aim was to determine how this subculture is organised among students in tertiary institutions.For this I spoke to a number of these “yahoo-boys”.Many undergraduates in Nigerian universities dabble in internet fraud.Nicknamed “yahoo-yahoo” after the international web portal and search engine, this perfidy has become a way of life for the young con-artists.
Plus, the proliferation of internet service providers in Nigeria has made it even easier for scamsters to commit internet fraud.
It is now as simple as buying modems and surfing the internet within the confines of their privately rented apartments on campus.
The “yahoo boys” stay in physical communes of like-minded individuals and use this network to launch internet attacks.
Quick monetary reward is what “yahoo-boys” have in mind. Sending fraudulent messages to online dating websites and social network sites were reported to be low-risk – but high-profit – areas of specialisation.
A third-year student said to me: “I started online fraud in my second semester of 100 level [a session comprised of two academic semesters in Nigerian universities] as an impostor via online dating.