Dating conmen

Nicknamed “yahoo-yahoo” after the international web portal and search engine, this perfidy has become a way of life for the young con-artists.

Many of these fraudsters – dubbed “yahoo-boys” – have become filthy rich. In April 2012, Olasaidi Dare, an undergraduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago-Iwoye, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for an attempt to obtain money under false pretences in a cyber-café.

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.

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View the full list Many undergraduates in Nigerian universities dabble in internet fraud.

Fraudsters study the security network of online transactions to decide where to pitch their tents.

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.

The 33-year-old, who worked with Ray King, of Ashley Road, Parkstone, told customers he could give them an immediate payment equal to half of their total pension funds.

The remainder of the money would be reinvested in eco-friendly company Nature Eco Investments, he claimed.

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