Internet fraudsters hijack police Facebook page to recruit members
Suspected Internet fraudsters, popularly called Yahoo boys, have turned the Facebook page of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force into an avenue to advertise their skills.
The suspects, through a series of comments, demanded between N5,000 and N50,000 from those who wanted to learn classified sites for defrauding people, especially foreigners, and offered options of online, as well as physical teaching platforms.
Hundreds of persons, including students, graduates and ladies, indicated interest in learning the skills for making quick money and provided their mobile numbers on the SFU Facebook page.
The comments were reactions to a post by the SFU sensitising the public to Internet fraud.
The unit in the post tagged, ‘Common Tricks Yahoo boys use to Swindle Foreigners Revealed,’ had warned people against falling victims of the fraudsters.
The post read in part, “One of the tricks they use in swindling foreigners is called ‘Freestyle.’ The Freestyle trick is the simplest and it is common among starters. Applying Freestyle trick, all you need to do is to open an account in any of the popular dating sites and look for someone to fall in love with you; afterwards, he or she starts paying your bills, sending hard currency.
“Also, one of the major tricks, Yahoo and Sakawa boys are using to perpetuate this act is ‘Over Payment.’ The Over Payment trick requires a lot of processes. The Yahoo boy who uses this trick pretends to be a prospective buyer by logging into any of the popular Internet classified sites, after which he offers the person who he is buying from, a cheque as a mode of payment.
“In this case, Yahoo boys have a way of persuading the seller to send the excess after issuing an over payment cheque. With this trick, a Yahoo boy can buy goods worth $1,000 and issue a cheque of $5,000. What the Yahoo boy is interested in is not the goods he claimed to be interested in, but the excess money that will be sent to him after the cheque must have been cashed.”
The update concluded with a slogan ‘Say No to Fraud;’ but what trailed the slogan was brazen defiance to the police warning, with commentators boasting of their mettle in various Internet scam sites.
The comments had reached over 1,762 with 158 shares as of 8.17pm on Tuesday.
In one of his comments, one Thomas Joshua, wrote, “If you are interested in G (Yahoo yahoo), message me ASAP (as soon as possible) via +2349021933459. Tutor fee is 5k (N5,000). I will teach you how to make cool money in a week and if you have interest in hacking, wire transfer, ATM card hacking etc., message me ASAP.”
One Kingxam Millionz stated that he ran tutorials on classified sites such as Dating, Spamming, Next of kin, Letgo and Grant, among others, with a fee ranging from N5,000 to N15,000.
Another poster, Stev Emmanuel, gave out his email address and phone number, 07064229454, to intending members, saying “Hello dear friends, for those that want to be Yahoo boys, here comes your opportunity.”
One Desmanking Destiny, who replied Emmanuel on the SFU platform, said he was “100 per cent serious” to learn the skill.
A graduate, Ajisafe Adekunle Olowolayemo, said he was jobless and was desperate to go into cybercrime.
He wrote, “Please, I’m a graduate of Marine Engineering… I have been jobless for good four years. I sought jobs in so many shipping companies, but to no avail. Please, I need a boss who will teach me the rudiments and basis of Yahoo yahoo.”
A poster with an alias, Kvng Segzkid, said, “I am a graduate of Science Laboratory Technology. Since 2015, I have yet to get a job. I have no choice but to venture into gee (Internet fraud). I need a boss and promise to be loyal and honest with him.”
One Sanni Rasheed cautioned the posters on the criminal chats, saying “This act will be prosecuted under the law of the country.”
But one Hon Stainless Cash, dared the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other security agencies to come after him.
He said, “To all the EFCC and SARS on this page, if you intend to trace me, please do trace me or track me if you can find me and I will highly welcome you. Please, make sure you track me; for your service is highly needed.”
Ladies also joined in the discussion and expressed willingness to engage in Internet fraud.
A commentator, Ugo Osinachi, wrote, “I want to be a gee guy. I need help from any boss please. Here is my number 09060655750; I am on WhatsApp and Facebook. Please bosses, help me out, I am serious about this.”
Titilayo Adetoba also said, “I want to become gee guy; any help should contact me, 09068646625. I am curious.”
The SFU spokesperson, ASP Lawal Audu, said the unit was aware of the comments on its Facebook page, adding that a manhunt had been launched for the posters.He said, “We are tracking them, but we don’t want to speak about it publicly. We are making efforts. Scientific investigation is not something you do anyhow; otherwise, you won’t get at your targets.”