Internet scam, commonly known as Yahoo Yahoo in Nigeria or Sakawa in Ghana became popular simultaneously in these 2 countries in the early 2000 and it has become an in-thing amongst Nigerian and Ghanaian Youths.
Over the years, the act has become a trend among young guys and for one to be seen as a real Big Boy these days; you have to be involved in the act.
Oftentimes, many young guys who paint the town red, driving posh cars, wearing expensive jewellery, rocking the social scene by spending lavishly, make their money through internet scam.
The act has become a means of livelihood for so many young guys. However, the cyber crime thing has been in existence for so many years, as many of the then popular fraudsters in Nigeria made their money through internet scam but it became more popular when young men started doing it professionally.
One of the tricks they use in swindling foreigners is called “Freestyle”.
The Freestyle trick is the simplest and it is common amongst starters. Applying Freestyle trick, all you need to do is to open an account in any of the popular dating sites and look for someone who falls in love with you, afterwards he or she starts paying your bills sending hard currency.
Also, one of the major tricks, Yahoo and Sakowa Boys are using to perpetuate this act is Over Payment.
The Over Payment trick requires a lot of processes. The Yahoo Boy who uses this trick pretends to be a prospective buyer, by logging into any of the popular internet classified sites, after which he offers the person who he’s buying from cheque as a mode of payment. In this case, the Yahoo Boys have a way of persuading the seller to send the excess after issuing an over payment cheque.
With this trick, a Yahoo Boy can buy goods worth 1000 USD and issue a cheque of 5000 USD.
What the Yahoo Boy is interested in is not the goods he claimed to be interested in but the excess money that will be sent to him after the cheque must have been cashed.
Another trick used by Yahoo Boys to swindle foreigners is called Come And Carry Format.
The Come And Carry trick has been in existence for so many years. It is also called Next Of Kin.
With this trick, the scammer claims to be a banker and he tells his victim that a huge sum of money in his care, is by a late businessman and hanging in his bank and the person who will get the money is the Next Of Kin to the late business man.
Thereafter, the scammer tells the victims that he will need some certain amount of money to get the necessary documents to claim the money.
Apartments trick is another popular format the Yahoo and Sakowa Boys use in scamming their victims. With this trick, the fraudsters claim to be agents by placing adverts of apartments for lease on the internet. They go as far as uploading pictures of posh apartments available for lease and tell whoever is interested to make payment to a particular account. They have used this trick to swindle many foreigners over the years.
Another trick these guys use is transfer. With this trick, they look for a foreigner whose account can take huge amount of money and they persuade him or her to help in receiving a large amount of money in his or her account. All they do here is to do on-line transfer which is usually done by some I.T. Gurus who hack into other people’s account to achieve the trick.
Though the fraud transfer will be detected few days after the transaction but the Yahoo Boy would have gotten his own share from the transferred money before then.
However, the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission in both countries have resolved to stop the internet scam by checkmating the fraudsters and they have put so many things in place to stop the cyber crime.
They have been working with international crime bodies that have been educating foreigners on the safe ways to do businesses on the internet.
In Nigeria, the trend is more dangerous. Once a foreigner knows you are a Nigerian, he finds it difficult doing business with you. Even if you claim not to be a Nigerian, the whoever you are browsing with will know where you are located by checking your I.P.
This has made it difficult for the Yahoo Boys to swindle foreigners.