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DSS arrests suspected Yahoo boys who were using 'Aisha Buhari, Osinbajo' names to defraud Nigerians

It is no new news that online fraudsters also known as Yahoo boys parade themselves on the internet commiting all forms of cybercrimes, defrauding people, using always a different identity. Majority of them in this act had been caught in the past yet others still refuse to be cautioned and deviate from this deviant behavior.

Most recently, the Department of State Service (DSS), Edo state command, arrested two suspected internet fraudsters  for using the names of Vice president Yemi Osinbajo and wife of the President, Aisha Buhari to defraud unsuspecting members of the public. (I wonder what level of sweet talking would make the victims fall prey to such activity when common sense would have played out to detect it's a fraud). The Deputy Director (Security Enforcement) of DSS, Galadima Byange, paraded the suspects before the news in Edo state in August 7th, and gave the names of the suspects as Amos Ehis, Asuelimen, a 30-year-old Business Administration student of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, and 18-year-old Kelvin Godwin Ogashi.

Byange said Asuelimen created a fictitious Facebook account in the name of the Vice President to scam unsuspecting victims. When interrogated, Asuelimen admitted defrauding not less than five persons, said he told them “to send money and recharge cards to process their registration and subsequent eligibility for a loan of N100, 000 each”. And I begin to wonder what on earth, I mean what level of sweet talking would make the victims fall prey to such activity when it is always on the news, the things these Yahoo boys do.

“This is my first time of doing it. I was a fashion designer, but there was no money for me to start up my own shop that is why I engaged in this,” Ogashi said.

DSS says both men will have their day in court soon. Nigerian email scams otherwise known as ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ and its variants are a major source of spam online, with a large number of internet users receiving scam emails every day. A small percentage of these internet users fall for this scam, which results in the loss of huge amounts of money, which is often very difficult to retrieve, despite tremendous efforts. The Nigerian scam also locally known as Yahoo Yahoo has been emptying the pockets of victims for decades, it started first through letters, then graduated with faxes, and now done via e-mail but this dates back to at least the 1920’s and was known as ‘The Spanish Prisoner’ con. According to FBI Investigation, When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you are increasing your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud. In this article, we will discuss in full, some of those lesser-known facts about this type of scam.

Here are some things you need to know about Yahoo_Yahoo and be more alert:
1. Email subject: The email sent has an eye-catching subject which promises easy money, like million dollar inheritance or unclaimed million dollars to lure the internet user to reading the entire email, enticing him with a promise of large sums of money for helping the person who is seeking assistance.

2. Email content: The email usually is written in a very formal manner, as if drafted by a lawyer or a paralegal. This makes it easier for the recipient to be convinced that the email is genuine and it is a real business proposal from a person who needs his assistance, not a con man seeking to fleece him of his hard-earned money

3. Email address for sending: The email address used for sending the email is usually a free email from one of the largest email service providers in the world like yahoo, google, outlook, hotmail, zohomail, rediffmail, indiatimes. These email providers only want to increase the number of users for their service, to increase their advertising revenue, and do not bother to check how the email id is being used or misused.

4. Replies to the emails: Since the sender of the Nigerian scam emails knows that some of the recipients of the mail may complain to the email service provider like Gmail or Yahoo that the email is a spam, they usually ensure that the reply to email is different from the email id used for sending the email. So even if the sender’s email id is blocked, the recipient will still be able to reply to a valid email, increasing the conversion rate

5. Number of emails sent: Typically thousands of Nigerian scam emails are sent every day to potential victims, by well-organized Nigerian scammer gangs. These gangs know that only a very small percentage of these emails will convert or the recipient will be unable to recognize the spam mail, so they increase the number of emails sent

6. Conversion rate: Most of these emails end up in the spam filter or are deleted by the majority of internet users, who receive many such emails in a day, and can recognize the emails just by the subject of the email. Typically the person who reads and believes in these emails will be a new internet user, who has no one to guide him or her.

7. Collecting email addresses: Since many email addresses become inactive over a period of time, especially free emails, as the service provider deletes the email accounts from their server, the Nigerian email scammers need a fresh supply of email addresses. These email addresses are obtained by using bots to harvest emails posted online. Every day fresh email ids posted at various websites are collected and used for email marketing by the Nigerian email scammers.

8. Sending Nigerian email scam: The Nigerian email scam is usually sent from a free email service like Yahoo or Gmail to keep the expenses to the minimum and also to keep the email sender anonymous so that it is difficult to initiate legal action. In some cases, web hosting accounts may be hacked and malware uploaded on to the server to send these spam emails so that the innocent webmaster gets blamed, while the real scammers remain undetected and unpunished.

9. Variants of the emails: There are many variants of the Nigerian email scam, but all emails tell a similar story. Instead of Nigeria, some other western African countries like Ghana may be used for describing the fortune that is available. Alternately the name of a recently deceased foreign leader may be invoked for luring gullible internet users into believing that the offer is genuine.

10. Foreign visits: After the visitor has spent some money, he may be lured into visiting a foreign country to retrieve the rest of the money. For Nigerian scam related emails, in some cases, the victim may also visit Nigeria, and this can be risky as the scammers may trap the victim further.
So, it is high time Nigerians begin to be sensitized about the activities of fraudsters and to not  fall victim to it

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