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Yahoo Yahoo: ‘My friend just picked N8m’

Don’t mind the caption of this piece; we will get back to it. Introduction; I am a journalist and a blogger, the major tools for my trade are my laptop, android phone, ipad and other such high-tech equipments my lean resources can afford. My office is anywhere that is conducive enough for me to work with the gadgets that aid my job, and that includes in peoples’ offices waiting to meet appointments, restaurants, my house, joints, my car or any other place. But I have very recently become worried that the rich display of gadgets on the table while carrying out my job leaves suspicion in the mind of people as to who I am. Once, I was in my mechanic’s workshop, and while he was fixing my car I decided to scribble something so I will beat deadline later in the day. As I typed away on my mini laptop, he came to confer with me about what the problem with my car was, then he met me working, and instantly his countenance changed. He asked, “Oga you dey follow do this thing? Guys for my area, small small boys don hammer all for this thing.” He told me. You can’t imagine the surprise on my face because I am sure he was referring to internet fraud. That was not the first time, I was also doing some typing once in a beer joint, and was already running short of time to beat my company’s deadline as network was not encouraging. I was frantic and needed to push the report, and all of a sudden network improved and I checked my status and saw that the mail had delivered. I heaved a sigh of relief and started smiling to myself and the guy who sat close to me sipping from a cold bottle of Orijin beer joined me in smiling. He then asked me and said, “ol boy, maga don pay?” Another way of asking if my dupe had complied by paying money to me. Again, I sat and typed my story while also browsing the internet on one occasion and a guy walked in and said, “Bros, you dey take risk oo.” I enquired what the risk was and he said, “to dey outside dey do this thing now. If na for Benin police go just arrest you here.” I tried telling him it was not what he thought, but his mind was already made up that typing on a laptop meant one thing… I am a scammer. Now, back to the caption above; Two guys, apparently students of a higher institution domiciled here in Awka, Anambra State sat in a joint and engaged each other in conversation, the first started with these words; 1st Guy: I have this job I have been programming for months now, I was hoping that it would have yielded last week but it did not. 2nd guy: What is it worth? 1st Guy: it was supposed to pay N20million but somehow, it dropped. But once it works, I will be picking N11million 2nd guy: My friend just picked N8million. 1st Guy: Which of them? 2nd guy: You should know Chike now? 1st Guy: Ah! I know Chike now, we are in the same department. No wonder, I saw him with a new model Toyota Corolla on Monday. 2nd guy: True! He did not even tell me, but I know he has bought a new Apple laptop, and several costly softwares. Kai, that guy sef. These two are not more than lads. They are second year university students and not older than 21 years each. But as small as their age may be, they habour tall dreams and are working assiduously to attain them, but the route for the attainment are all crooked. High Money to the tune of N8million which is enough to cover a high grade civil servant’s salary for years can be picked by them in a twinkle of an eye. A friend regaled me recently with stories of how these internet fraud things are done. According to him, an acquaintance of his recently made it big. Though the job took him close to a year to fine tune, he had posed as a high profile professional in the oil sector, working in oil rich Saudi Arabia. He met an equally rich woman who resides in USA on the internet through a dating site and they struck a relationship. The Nigerian youngster figured that if he gave his true identity as a Nigerian National, being known for internet fraud the lady may be pissed off. He sent her several fake pictures of a dashing young whiteman and even went ahead to send flowers to her. He did this through his contact in Saudi Arabia and the woman was now convinced that her lover boy is a Saudi National, and was also rich as instead of demanding from her sent her cards, clothes and flowers. With the game set, the young man now positioned himself to go to USA and the overzealous US lover sent down real money, but to tidy some business before coming, the lady had to help the guy with some money so the loose ends in business will be tidied fast to give him room to come faster, this is supposed to be a loan; and the lady had no problem sending that too if only to meet this wonderful lover. The snag then was that the money arrived Saudi and needed to be moved, but after some time, through contacts, the money was moved and thus the woman was scammed. That is the length these guys can go to scam one. Internet scam is now the in-thing in Nigeria, and among the youths there is nothing more of a fad than it is. They apply several means to ply their trade, and their identities can change. It could be as young lover boys, ready to provide a shoulder for rich promiscuous women to lean on and get sexual satisfaction, rich widows who have so much money bequeathed them by their late husbands but need responsible men to spend time with, or young girls whose parents died in air crashes and need to move funds bequeathed them for investment in safe countries. These categories are not the only ones I regard personally as fraudsters. Beyond this, there is now a culture of youths wanting to get rich by any means possible, and to a large extend they have always succeeded, and this has continually lured even those who did not have such inclination. Even the female folk among the youths are not exempted. Young undergraduates now attend lectures in modern cars that beat those of their lectures, and their friends who envy them want to hit it big too. For the boys it may be internet fraud, and the ladies who have the necessary tools join. But for those who do not, they engage in what has come to be known as ‘runs’ which if translated is not far away from prostitution, and most raise their game a notch by pimping. If nothing is done to stop the current trend of youth jettisoning quest for knowledge for quest for wealth, then the future of the country is not secured. As a way if making quick money, young people now believe in making unmerited wealth, such that the new fad is now sports betting. Older people will agree that pool of those days used to be very dangerous and only left for never do wells. It used to be so addictive, and those who indulged in it were usually written off because talking them out of it was not so easy. Today the culture of sports betting has taken over our youths. Maybe I am naïve, but I was shocked recently after listening to the conversation of two young men. The first started by telling his friend; “Liverpool fucked me up yesterday.” His friend responded by scolding him for betting two goals in favour of a team like Liverpool against Arsenal. The former revealed that he had stacked N7,000 for a match and that after Liverpool failed to score even a goal, he begged for a slash of price on the premise that the money was part of his school fees, but they refused. His friend had a different story to tell, the same match, in which his friend had stacked N7,000, another guy he knows had stacked just N3,500, predicting correctly the number of corner kicks and the name of the player who would score Arsenal’s goals against Liverpool, and guess what; he made a whooping N500,000 from the match. Beyond being lucky, the tendency that the winning will only bring him close and also wipe him up on a later date is high. In the past, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) lived up to its bid in not only pursuing politicians who indulged in money laundering, but also ensuring that cyber cafes where fraudsters patronize are raided frequently, but these days when every one browse in the comfort of their homes with their laptops, EFCC has to device new ways of keeping youths out of fraud if Nigeria will maintain a good image outside. Eleke, a journalist, blogger and social commentator sent in this piece through donbaron2004@gmail.com.

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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