With the age of technology comes cyber criminals. Yahoo Boys are cyber scammers mainly based in yep…Nigeria. First a prince needs $200,000, now we have scam recruitment aimed at minors. Why not start young?
What is a “Yahoo Boy”? The answer is fairly simple and quite concerning. Single or groups of adolecent and young adults “in training” and have no problems boasting their so called success on social media while others are either out on the prowl or recruiting more members. Nigerian scams have they’re popularity via fake accounts “romance scamming” on social medias and mass emails and txt messages leading you to a cloned website eg: lottery winners, Windows/Apple login and all out fake dating sites to name a few. The worrying fact about having the younger ones to to they’re dirty deeds they are practically scapegoats while the real advanced elders seem to have a one up as you would say. For a great exaple see theconversation.com post on meet the yahoo boys below.
You would probably wonder why anyone would agree to work like this? That’s why they choose kids, vulnerable and gullible at the same. Tell a child Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny exists, they believe it. Tell them they can earn thousands without hard earned work. Of course they will believe it! Most of these areas live in poverty so it’s understandable that someone may think that the money may change their lives, but is it really worth it?
Suprisingly Most of these guys, and gals are quite content with this lifestyle. They pose as 25+ individuals with stolen profiles claiming to have a lavish lifestyle. Sadly some of these people have been exposed with the most mistakes being: friending their own scamming account, having their own friends following their scam account, having their own picture previously used on the account as a profile picture and the most obvious, admitting they are a Yahoo Boy and freely advertising the “Work”.
In the past i’ve shown original emails sent to my old spam email consisting of these scams you will find them in the posts “Military Scam Email Alert, Miss Anita Sianga and in the Email Index. These are current Nigerian scams using email as a way of keeping secure and un-identifiable, to a point. They also have a way with telling interesting stories which account to the way they try and manipulate the reader in thinking that they may be telling the truth. These “Boys” though seem to be sloppy in their work, especially with the advertising and the way they flaunt their wealth, and not in a nice way either. Some of them go even as far to reap fame and an audience to this way of living seen here in Niara Marley and Zlatan’s Official Music Video, Am I A Yahoo Boy.
If you want to say subtle, these images around media is a way of notoriety, heck there’s even instructions on google!
More examples of recruitment can be found on social media like Facebook Instagram and more notably Whatsapp. Most of these guys whether recruiting or scamming will contact via email or Whatsapp which would make them harder to track down as anyone nowadays can make a burn account then delete it when they chose. The only evidence is the conversation between you and the scammer eg: previous post example “Romance Scammers: Brain Sudry”.
With such thin evidence and nearly no tracks, these people become more aware of the growing technology and security. Us as civilians don’t have the power or permissions to access such services to use for securing and surveillance of these threats unless you are willing to spend time being educated on online security threats its not mandatory. This should be acted on and not just “mentioned online and on the news but as a mainstream threat. We all know of the hackers that supposedly tipped the American voting towards Trump, it may have been false, but if what if it was true? If they can change the votes and convince people that it was nothing but pure human numbers and not robot imagine what the internet can do? It does connect us, isn’t there a possibility?
Are Social Media Platforms The Same As What They Used To Be?
Just like these somewhat simple emails it doesn’t take much to change someone’s mind about a particular human being. When you meet someone for the first time on social media chat, you would probably have the first initial thought of either greeting, wondering who the person is or ignoring them. The second two may seem the most safest option to choose but what if they are a curious friendly person just looking for a chat, or a new friend? This was the original and obvious reason as to social media existing in the first place, so what’s the change? More software is available online for individuals to purchase used social media accounts for impersonation/scamming purposes, email marketing is wrongly used to convince people of bogus deals and fake websites. We all forget that the most targeted individuals in these scams are the legitimate websites, software and other innocent peoples content are usually at the center of all of this so they have a well recognised ground to work with and nine times out of ten we usually believe this only because of the basic information used.
When we cant remember the name of a company, we may remember the logo, the same goes for how many times we may log in to any well known website. Most of the time we willy-nilly log in within 2 seconds of visiting the initial log in screen because of how many times you have visited the site, even if you did receive emails asking to review your password or any other information, have you ever taken the time to closely look at the email or log in screen? “Yeah, but it was just from Apple. So What?”. There’s your first mistake made, regarding that email. Taking the time to observe and take action could save you exposing some valuable information such as log in details that may connect to your name, address, passwords and bank details, pretty much anything you need for stealing someone’s identity.
Social Media is meant to connect people, and they are doing just that. Pages and forums uploaded to various websites and social media flaunting and advertising scamming jobs are being exposed or removed all the time but at the same time being created. This is causing a major trust issue when connecting with other people for business and culture, the ones that do contact these individuals end up not only in financial stress and difficulties but with personal trust issues. As the most popular technique is used, they remove all personal relationships with family and friends, forcing the trust solely on them. By lulling the victim (most commonly single) in to a false state after months and some cases years into falling for the online culprit, then suddenly claiming they’ve had an accident or need money and visa to come live or marry the victim only to claim the money for transport and expenses to run off without a trace. Sounds like a well run business…
No wonder people are so secure, I have even gotten to the point where I question people myself sometimes. I have a few friends that are located overseas but when I get a new friend request or random message, I do second think. And that’s OK. It would only tell us that maybe we DO need to think about things before we act. I’ve made some great friends and hope to make some more, but the difficulty is there as cloning and buying profiles like i said can deceive anyone today. Hopefully in the future there’s more affordable, accessible software and features available for us to recognise these threats as Yahoo Boys and Nigerian Scammers are only the tip of the iceberg.
Let us know if you have had any experiences with these individuals as these are fairly common.