Nigeria cybercrime: Is unemployment a justification for Yahoo yahoo?

By Tochi Juliet
Nigeria cybercrime: Unemployment a justification for Yahoo yahoo?

Nigeria is a country in Sub Saharan Africa with a large number of unemployed youths. The high rate of unemployment has led to an increased rate of cybercrime in Nigeria.

Cybercrime, a.k.a 'yahoo yahoo', seems to be the latest business in Nigeria as unemployment in the country has pushed many youths to embrace this illegal way of making money. This article answers the question, "should unemployment be a justification for cybercrime?"

It is quite fortunate that as one of the world's developing countries, Nigeria can boast of 70 per cent estimated graduates from different universities.

Every year, thousands of graduates are certified. However, the sad part is that the government makes little or no provisions for these fresh graduates.

There is the popular saying that "a hungry man is an angry man". These thousands of graduates are left to hustle and cater for themselves. They take up their destinies in their hands and seek ways of survival.

It is unfortunate that some, after trying legal ways of making money, encounter failure, which makes them resort to illegal ways of making money.

Cybercrime ranges from hacking into a company's and individual system to personality theft. Many young minds are into the yahoo business in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, it seems the fastest way to make money now is indulging in cybercrime activities, also called yahoo yahoo.

What is Yahoo business?

In Nigeria, “yahoo yahoo” refers to the activities that entail using computers, phones and the Internet to defraud unsuspecting victims, especially those outside the country.

Yahoo business includes using the internet to rob unsuspecting victims, which they call 'clients' of their money via different ways such as romance, gold, or business scams.

It also involves identity theft. An example of identity theft is a scenario whereby a young man poses as Elon Musk, bearing the billionaires pictures, on his social media page and using it to dupe some gullible people who might be wishing to do business with Elon Musk.

The term “yahoo yahoo” originated from the fact that the use of Yahoo e-mails and Yahoo instant messenger was a dominant medium of communication between perpetrators and victims.

Those who are involved in “yahoo yahoo” are popularly referred to as “yahoo boys”. With the popularity of Gmail services and use, “yahoo boys” are now being referred to as "G-boys."

Nigeria cybercrime could be divided into two broad distinctions: contract and love scams. The love scam involves dating vulnerable and gullible women abroad that are mostly wealthy and single to get financial gains and other benefits.

These criminals change their IP addresses to areas of the target location, i.e. someone could be in Nigeria and pose as someone in the US.

We actually know the unemployment rate pushed some into such crimes, but the question is, does that justify it? Is unemployment a reasonable justification for Nigeria cybercrime?

Some of these yahoo boys go about with ostentatious display of ill-gotten wealth

People's opinion about cybercrime in Nigeria

To give a justifiable answer to the above question, ''Is unemployment a justification for yahoo crime?'' we conducted some offline interviews and gathered .opinions from some Nigerians.

A particular group agreed that yahoo should be legalised as a legitimate business. This group of people see nothing wrong in it. This particular group sees Yahoo business not as a cybercrime but as authentic hustling.

For them, these guys are helping Nigerians to return the money our politicians has embezzled to abroad. They are of the notion that so far, the yahoo guys did not dupe their fellow Nigerians; it is a welcome opportunity.

The second group sees it more like stealing from the rich to enrich the poor, and as that, it isn't bad considering the rich will never willingly give out to the poor.

Despite the two somewhat unpopular opinions, some still condemned Yahoo business. Yahoo business is fraudulent activity, and they see it for what it is not minding the person(s) involved.

The Writer's opinion

A spade should be called a spade. Black can never be called white not minding the shade of white it is. Yahoo business is cybercrime, and every cybercrime is a fraudulent activity.

There is a saying that that "no matter how hungry a lion is, it can never eat grass". The lion is the king of the jungle, and it recognised its strength and worth.

The situation of Nigeria is looking bad. In fact, it seems to be moving from bad to worse. It can drive any sane person insane. However, that won't make me exonerate the yahoo guys who steal from others pocket.

Yahoo is a form of Cybercrime, and if found, wanted should face the wrath of the law.

Yahoo is a form of Cybercrime, and if found, wanted should face the wrath of the law.

Nigeria Law Enforcement officers and their efforts to curb yahoo yahoo

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC has been at the forefront of the arrest and prosecution of “yahoo boys” together with other law enforcement agencies such as the Nigerian Police Force.

The EFCC does not work in solitude because cybercrime is similar to drug-related crimes, usually involving large criminals' networks.

So, officials of the institution work with the police, ICPC, NDLEA, immigration, custom and other international bodies such as the FBI to reduce Nigeria cybercrime rate. The USA is the most defrauded country, as most of its victims fall prey.

Some people believe that the whites are not vulnerable as many think, but they fall under the spell of "yahoo plus" (Yahoo plus is a practice of fetishism, where rituals are carried out by “yahoo boys” to aid the defrauding of victims).

Efcc is doing its best to curb such menace in society. Some have been caught and prosecuted.

Last year, a 400-level student of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) was sentenced to three months of community service for committing a romance scam.

Akinsanya, according to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Dele Oyewale, was arraigned on one count bordering on Internet fraud.

The charge read, “That you, Akinsanya Ridwan (a.k.a Alex James) sometime in March 2020 or thereabout at Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, attempted to commit an offence of cheating by impersonation by pretending and representing yourself to be a white man called Alex James to an unsuspecting white woman, Stewart Sonia, on a dating site, named Hangout, as it is contained in your Gmail account.

Some months ago, EFCC equally arrested 32 fraudsters which include corp members, undergraduates and others. Some twin brothers were equally arrested for the same Yahoo business.


Yahoo business in Nigeria, in every indication, is a criminal offence punishable under law. No doubt, the country is hard, and our government is not doing enough to provide for this country's youths.

However, there are other businesses and even online business to indulge in. There are top IT skills you can learn today and many ways to earn extra money.

Do you know you can even start earning money doing legit jobs online? There are lots of remote online jobs to earn from in Nigeria.

It is important that our youths know their self-worth and, just like the king of the jungle, they should not eat grass because there is hunger in the kingdom.