Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I have always wondered how people fall victim of internet scam even when it is glaring that it is a scam. Recently, I discovered three factors in play: Greed, naivety and desperation. Last week, my colleague received an email from someone who made an outrageous promise to sponsor him and any six of his friends to an event in the USA. By the way, my friend neither have a knowledge about this event in question nor did he ever apply in the past. What a divine favor he thought and off he ran to send his personal details and that of his two friends to the organizers.

"This is a scam. Before you know it, they will be asking for traveling processing fees" I said to him. But he thought otherwise. Remembering that the internet that has opened rooms for such junkie activities also provide answers sometimes, I logged on to Google to search for the organization in question and I was not disappointed about what I found. The poorly built website of this so-called World Youth Organizations for Human Welfare "" only further increased my suspicion and then another link on Google linked me to an article by the Law offices of Thomas Gross (a public service committed to fighting internet fraud, 419s and other scams) with a screaming headline "SCAM EMAIL ALERT, Exposing internet fraud and scam". They published a list of all the emails sent out by "WORLD YOUTH ORGANIZATION FOR HUMAN WELFARE" in the past. Perhaps, someone has been trailing their activities and decided to build a counter website, an effective way of kicking them out of their fraudulent activities.

I was sorry that I had to be the one to tell my friend the bad news, his newly found jackpot was actually a scam. I couldn't bear the disappointment on his face, but then, it was better than have him crying pain in future of being ripped off by some smart dude a.k.a yahoo-yahoo boys. It is amazing that these youths (an oldies) no longer only settle on interrupting our emails with all manners of proposal and scams, they have actually gone a step further to build websites and flaunt non-existing charity organizations which they now use as a model to rip-off others. Well, who is falling for it? Desperate, naive or greedy dudes like my friend.

Are these yahoo-yahoo boys really ahead of every efforts made by EFCC to curb internet fraud in Nigeria? What is the latest development being put in place by stakeholders to curb this trend and make yahoo-yahoo less attractive to those involved? Don't miss the part 2 of this article!

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