Tuesday, December 02, 2008


So as we were saying, have you noticed how skilled these scammers are? They are prolific writers, they are creative…they will excel if they channel this skill to feature story telling and other positive business! Why can’t they just see the potentials they have? Perhaps, they are too obsessed with the mission of scamming people, reaping where they have not sown, to concentrate on these good qualities! Are these yahoo-yahoo boys really ahead of every effort made to curb internet fraud in Nigeria? What is the latest development being put in place by stakeholders to control this trend and make yahoo-yahoo less attractive to those involved?

Ambassador Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) bailed me out with his rich response to my many questions! I sent him an email to ask: Do you think the increasing rate at which youth are engaging in cyber fraud a.k.a yahooyahoo can be eradicated? If yes, how? Are there any NEW and EFFECTIVE measures being put in place to curb this corruption?

“While I may not want to use the word "eradication" for yahoo-yahoo, I think it can be "curbed" like other crime. Reduced. made not so attractive. So, yes. How? There are the legal and technical solutions which will both punish the act and make it almost impossible to commit the crime without being adequately "rewarded." But there's a strong need for a socio-economic approach. That explains why I chose to start the Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (www.pinigeria.org/isspin) and we're working on the second phase now. Phase I made noise about the problem but phase II will involve a sticker campaign, musical collabos against cybercrime (if you will, the opposite of "Yahooze" and "Maga Don Pay").

Also critical is the re-training of repenting cybercriminals to make them a successful example when talking to present cybercriminals. With positive peer pressure, we can dissuade many from the act... and I bet you know this is a major issue so it won't leave us tomorrow.” He replied.

Indeed, this will not leave us tomorrow. But it will leave! With such undiluted initiative by PIN and of course our collective efforts, we can together make scam business, especially yahoo-yahoo less attractive in all ramifications!

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