Yahoo boys are scammers who engage in advance fee frauds especially frauds emanating from the internet. In Nigeria, internet fraudsters are called yahoo boys.
Most of the yahoo boys in Nigeria are relatively young people; they are also sometimes called omo yahoo, Gee boys, G-boys or yahoo yahoo. Most if not all of these criminals are educated, they are very skilled in the usage of computers and mobile phones to gain confidence of unsuspecting individuals with a view of defrauding them. Foreigners from rich countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway and Australia etc are easy targets because of their nature of trusting people so easily.
People from poor countries and even Nigerians are also targeted, though on a small scale. The unemployment level in Nigeria has led to an increase in rank of these yahoo boys. It is not uncommon to see young people without no known source of livelihood to drive flashy cars and live expensive lifestyle, thanks to ‘yahoo yahoo business’.
This article will show you how these yahoo boys dupe people and the strategies they use to make this scamming business successful.
Strategies used by Yahoo boys
This type of scams perpetrated by yahoo boys is mainly targeted at people from rich countries like the US, UK and Australia etc. The yahoo boy or G-boy will open a fake account on Facebook account with a picture of a young and beautiful white lady; he will start conversation will several white men on Facebook. When he identifies a rich one among his contacts, he will start building up a relationship. Once he has won the confidence of the white man, he will start demanding money from the white man with different excuses.
Another type of dating scam is for yahoo boys to develop relationships with rich old single white women. These old women are very vulnerable, they just need companionship. Once the yahoo boy has the confidence of old white women, he starts to demand money using false pretences.
Social media and dating websites are the main tools used for this nefarious activity.
An example of the dating scam is that of Dr (Miss) Yvonne (not real name). Yvonne is a retired 67 year old lady, she worked as a medical doctor in Australia in her youthful days. She is divorced. She went on a dating scam to search for relationship. A profile of a 45 year old black man who pretended to be a former Australia Investment banker now investing in Africa caught her attention. They started dating; the internet scammer acting like a big time investor in Africa started sending small gifts to the lady in Australia. They became so close. The Australian even travelled to Nigeria to meet his retired investment banker lover. The internet scam pretended all through the visit, they travelled around Nigeria with flashy cars.
The lady returned to Australia after 3 weeks holiday in Nigeria. The yahoo boy introduced a business to the Australian lady, the lady believed him hook, line and sinker, she sent over $500,000 in tranches (her life savings). The yahoo boy who pretended like a big time investor stopped communicating with her and changed all his contact details. The Australian lady almost committed suicide; she later knew that she has been scammed.
Yahoo boys are still making lots of money from this seemingly easy scamming trick. Most yahoo boys use the dating scam strategy to earn a living.
Buying hacked details from criminals
Yahoo boys also buy hacked personal details like credit card number, date of birth, home address, secure codes and other details from fellow scammers and hackers. They use these details to buy goods on ecommerce sites, they may even use the details to compromise the bank accounts of their victims and transfer huge sums of money out of the bank accounts.
The hacked details can be used to buy expensive things like iphones, jewelries and electronics. These goods will be shipped to a foreign address of a member of their gang and later shipped to the yahoo boy in Nigeria.
There are several hackers in Vietnam who sell hacked personal details to scammers worldwide.
Even in Nigeria, hacked bank details can be used by yahoo boys to transfer funds from your bank account. The hacked details can also be used to buy very expensive goods at the expense of their victims.
This is a type of scam that involves the setting up of fake lottery win notices. Yahoo boys often send emails, letters, SMS or even phone calls to unsuspecting individuals that they have won a huge sum of money in a lottery scheme. Some of these yahoo boys can design websites in order to make the fake lottery look legitimate.
Once, anyone replies them and accepts that they have won the lottery. The yahoo boys ask them to send some money to be used to process the lottery prize. The prize is often in cash, very huge amount that will entice the victim. Once the victims pay, they may further ask for another payment to process the lottery prize or they just stop communicating with the victim.
Mr. Ade is a Nigerian banker, he was told that he has won N10 million from a lottery someone played for him. The yahoo boys asked him to send N500,000 for them to help him fast track payment of the lottery prize. Mr. Ade paid the N500,000 and they stopped calling him again. He later knew he has been scammed.
Yahoo boys use this strategy to target people living in developed countries especially the United Kingdom because the country colonized Nigeria some years back. A yahoo boy may go on the social media and get a rich individual living in the UK. He starts communicating with them and try to win their confidence. Once this is done, he will tell his would be victim that his great grandfather worked as a district officer in Colonial Nigeria in 1901 and that his late great grandfather left assets including real estate in Lagos worth millions of pound sterling.
The yahoo boy will promise his potential victim that he can help him to reclaim the assets and sell it for huge sum of money. He will demand for money for him to reclaim and sell the assets. The victim may now send money at frequent intervals until he is fed up, by then, the deed would have been done.
Yahoo boys also clone ATM cards or debit/credit cards of bank account holders. With this cloned cards, they can withdraw or spend funds in the bank accounts of their victims. This type of fraud is common in Nigeria. Fraudulently deceptive emails are sent to people asking for their bank details. Once they provide these details, the funds in their account can be spent on internet transactions or transferred to the yahoo boys.
Proxies are methods you can use to change your computer’s IP address to a foreign IP address. This strategy can be used to deceive people that you live in their country. A Nigerian based yahoo boy living in Nigeria can buy UK proxy to deceive his would be victim that he resides in the UK. Some of these yahoo boys also use foreign phone numbers. For example 02 SIM card (a UK carrier) works in Nigeria, a yahoo boy can use this kind of SIM card to defraud a lot of people.
Bugs on shopping carts/Malicious codes
Some yahoo boys skilled in computer programming or hacking skills can put malicious codes or bugs on ecommerce websites in order to steal bank account details of customers. With these details, they can drain the bank accounts of their victims.
It is a known fact that yahoo boys make billions of naira daily in Nigeria. There are stories of scammers defrauding their victims of over $1 million in one swoop.
This article is meant to show how yahoo boys make their money. I do not in any way approve of their activities.