Mmaduike, a yahoo kingpin in London, diverted a million pounds through fraudulent invoices
1. Overview of yahoo boys and 419 Scams in Nigeria
The phrase “yahoo boy” or the number “419” is used by Nigerians to classify an online scammer. Due to the broad use of the internet these days, even in Nigeria, to undertake financial transactions, internet scammers are able to utilize the channel to impersonate some legit businesses, including car dealers and dupe Nigerians. This is despite the constant arrest of Yahoo boys by EFCC and Police.
Citizens of Nigeria that are involved in these fraudulent activities, use different strategies to swindle their victims, both local and foreign. A lot of Nigerians have thus fallen prey and lost Nairas in the hundreds of millions to them. Today, let's explore all the Yahoo boy formats,
2. Yahoo boy formats
Yahoo boys have developed different amazing car-selling strategies that they call "formats;" these formats are presented to victims or "magas" with mouth-watering options. The "last-last" effect is that the boys play on the intelligence of their victims to get them to pay for cars that don’t exist. Yahoo boys continuously develop tactics that no one can suspect, and once that scheme is exposed by the security agencies, they quickly dream up another one, because ultimately, "maga must pay!"
Yahoo boys use unusual approaches to defraud their marks into purchasing fake cars online. These car formats include;
Format 1: Phishing or impersonation
Every yahoo boy spends a lot of time, researching the company or agency they wish to impersonate. They will recreate an online auto website or platform similar to that of popular car dealers. After creating the platform, they will target the platform at their prospective victims. These scammers add more features to their fake products and make them very cheap, in order to attract a lot of victims. This is also known as phishing. Once you pay or a car listed on these sites, phew! Like the wind, it's gone! Note, that these fake sites can look very much like the originals. Only use trusted websites spelled right, as the difference may be just one letter. For instance, don't go to a site called naijaauto.com. It is always naijauto.com, Nigeria's number one destination for all things auto.
Despite many crackdowns by Nigerian security, Yahoo continues to thrive among Nigeria's mostly poor youths
Format 2: Selling at cheaper prices than usual
Due to everyone’s dream to buy their cars at a cheap price, internet fraudsters have been using this tool to deceive numerous Nigerians. They will get the actual price of a car and list the same car at a smaller price. These scammers will convince you to pay for the car, before shipping to your doorstep. Once their victim pays for the car, they will devise other means to extort more money without delivering the paid service. Always compare with other car prices from other car selling platforms, before proceeding with your payments.
Format 3: Choose a location not far from the border
These scammers target their victims directly and choose a location that is close to the border, and then claim this is why the cars are cheaper. Local dealers sell their cars at a higher price, compared with the price at borders such as the Seme border. Fraudsters use this advantage to deceive their victims into buying from them. Once a client pays for the car, the fraudster will disconnect communications.
Format 4: Running fake Ads
Most internet scammers pay for fake advertisements on some popular websites. These ads can be seen by any victim, who might be interested in the listed cars. Always confirm if the car seller is genuine before proceeding with any transaction and purchase.
Fake ads, location scams, and phishing sites count as top Yahoo boys schemes
3. List of exposed "Nigerian Customs" scammers
Most of these internet fraudsters don’t just impersonate online car dealers, they also claim to be part of Nigeria Customs Service. Right from the beginning of their popular car auctions, Nigeria Customs Service has always issued a lot of warnings about these scammers duplicating their websites. Here are some of the strategies used by these scammers to impersonate Nigeria Customs Service auctions:
3.1 Social media scammers
Yahoo boys use social media to target their victims directly. Due to the high rate of social media use in Nigeria, internet scammers have consistently utilized that opportunity to impersonate Nigeria Customs Service. Some of the social media handles used by the scammers to defraud Nigerians include:
Nigeria Customs Auction, Auction House, Seme Border
Nigeria Customs Auction SALES Customs warehouse Badagry
Customs Community page about Cars (NCS Babanawa barracks Seme Officer “MS Bawa”)
3.2 Fake websites
These fraudsters also create a lot of fake websites claiming to be the Nigeria Customs Service. Below are some of the fake websites used by these scammers:
www.nigeriacarmart.com (Nig Customs Authorized 2013 cars & Trucks Auction sales)
Border Commandant Officer Mercy or Mike
www.nigeriacustomsgov.webbs.com (Babanawa barracks Seme Border)
www.classified.dailypost.com.ng (Nigeria Customs Authorized 2013 cars)
Officer Tunde 0816 314 5991
Please note that there are more fake Customs websites not included in this list; always visit the real Nigeria Customs auction website to check out services they render.
>>> It's great to know many credible Nigerians exist, such as this Pastor who refused a fortune offered by yahoo boys: Anambra pastor turns down SUV, ₦4m from suspected Yahoo Boys
Yahoo plus boys believe in the efficacy of charms and fetish power, called juju or "jazz"
4. Signs of Yahoo boys when buying cars online
Yahoo boys always try to appear real to their victims. But you will easily spot their scams when you take notice of the following:
- Internet scammers overload cars with features on their platform. These features like factory fitted AC, alloy rims, etc, tend to attract more victims.
- Fraudsters use cheap price options, sometimes about 50% lower than the actual price, to deceive people.
- Yahoo boys will try to convince their victims to pay for the car, before delivery.
Video: 10 Cities With The Most Yahoo Boys
These fraudsters always develop new strategies whenever people uncover their previous scams. So, always be careful when striking a deal with any car dealer online. You can also avoid all that drama by dealing exclusively with Naijauto's Car Sales Section.
A Yahoo university with boys under an apprenticeship
5. Inside the world of Yahoo boys in Nigeria
Most Nigerian internet fraudsters spend extravagantly after a successful scam. It is usual to celebrate with wild parties in deluxe hotels with paid girls and champagne. They will also usually purchase cars, the more expensive the better, big houses, the latest technology, and other fancy gadgets. Yahoo boys stand as a security threat to our society.
Due to their flamboyant lifestyle, they have lured thousands of young people into the shady world of cybercrime. Thousands of Nigerian youths have joined this criminal lifestyle because of the fantasy of millions of dollars in a constant windfall.
Most times, yahoo boys operate as a syndicate. They function collectively, with every member of the organization playing a vital role in the ongoing scam. The members of the syndicate could include:
- The yahoo boys: This set of people initiate fraudulent activity. They research the victims and develop a strategy to enable the defrauding of victims.
- The bank account front persons: The major role of the bank account frontperson is to ensure that the funds transferred by the victims are withdrawn without any issues.
- The international call router: The role of this person is to ensure that international victims never suspect anything through routing a phone call for conversation.
- The document forger: A fake document may be required during the fraudulent act, and a document forger provides the syndicate with all the required documents.
- Tech experts: The role of this person is the handling of any technical issues that arise during the scam activity. The tech issue may involve hacking, phishing or any other technical matter.
- Observers: This category of people follows up on security threats to the syndicate. Whenever they notice any form of danger to their syndicate, they will notify the members.
- Fetish priests: These provide charms as well as spiritual counseling to the syndicate. This is more prevalent in Yahoo plus, or yahoo business executed using supposed supernatural aid.
>>> See the moment EFCC took down another yahoo syndicate: EFCC recovers flashy cars from arrested alleged Yahoo Boys
The potential of making a fortune instantly is Yahoo's biggest attraction for youths
5.1. Yahoo boys Whatsapp group
Internet fraudsters have created several WhatsApp groups to lure the marks or victims using the platform. Sometimes they use these groups to recruit young Nigerians who wish to become part of the infamous world. Such groups also help with training the newbies. Yahoo boys use WhatsApp groups also to communicate false information and convince the group members to enroll or register for a service that doesn’t exist.
5.2. Yahoo boy orientation
Before a Nigerian youth becomes a renowned yahoo boy, they always undergo a form of apprenticeship under older fraudsters. The essence of this training is to acquire the basic principles of internet fraud, learn how to evade police, and scam successfully without getting caught. The more experienced yahoo boys act as mentors to the aspiring yahoo boys. They usually engage them in the following training sessions:
- Decision making: The older fraudsters will discover if the younger yahoo boys are ready before engaging them.
- Online impersonation: They will show the younger scammers whole new procedures required to build an online presence that will impersonate their targeted personalities.
- Strategy: The younger fraudster will also learn the tactics required to deceive their victims.
- Advance Yahoo plus: Whenever their victims refuse to fall for their cheap scams, the younger fraudsters are advised to use spiritual aids like rituals to convince them.
An intense form of yahoo, called yahoo-plus, relies on fetishes
5.3. Yahoo boys website
Online scammers devise a plethora of ways to extort cash from their victims. Usually, they create a fake online presence to lure their victims. The online presence depends on the fraudster’s targeted audience. Most at times, they create a website to back up their fake products and services. Such websites appear to be standard, and engaging. Some of those websites include;
- Platform: Weblink
- Platform: Website
5.4. Yahoo boys app
Online scammers use different platforms to dupe people. The platform depends on the type of scam. Usually, for romance scams, yahoo boys use an online dating app to hook up with their victims. Car scams will usually require an auto platform or app. Most dating, VPN, and cloning apps used by Yahoo boys include:
- VPN app
- Video cloning app
- Google voice changer
- Google hangout
Sometimes, these fraudsters do engage themselves in a business scam. They tend to sell a product and services that don’t exist. Once their victim pays for the service, they will terminate all communications.
6. How rich are yahoo boys and who is the richest yahoo boy in Nigeria?
Internet fraudsters become very rich after a successful scam operation with rich victims. Yahoo boys in Nigeria always showcase their flamboyant lifestyles on social media as they flash exotic cars around like mere paper. Also whenever they are arrested, the most expensive cars are taken from the yahoo boys by security agencies. They appear to be genuine hustlers and draw a lot of attention on social media and other platforms. Their net worth cannot be ascertained because of their fake lifestyles. However, some of them are extremely rich, depending on how much they’ve extorted from their victims.
There are a lot of young Nigerians claiming to be extremely rich without a verified source of income. While there is no hard evidence that these are yahoo boys, it is so generally alleged. Two really super-rich Nigerian men stand out in this category. Again, there is no proof of any cybercrime committed by them, but here is the list of the two most flamboyant big boys in Nigeria without a verified source of income;
a flamboyant big boy living a luxury life in Dubai, was currently arrested in connection with a $5million or ₦1.8b scam. He appears to be extremely rich and poses with a lot of luxury cars online. His car fleet alone is worth around ₦600m. His source of income is unknown to date.
is another flamboyant big boy with unknown sources of income. He appears to be extremely rich and samples a lot of expensive outfits on his social media handles. He is believed to be worth something like $20m or ₦7.2b.
Is Mompha a yahoo boy? Many blogs report so, but there is no real evidence
7. The root cause of Yahoo boy crime in Nigeria
Most Nigerian youths embrace cybercrime due to the quest to get rich quickly. Some youths join the cyber fraud life due to greed, and laziness. Another very strong cause for all the internet fraudulent activities is a lack of jobs and opportunities. If the Nigerian government provides a lot of jobs and other opportunities in Nigeria, Internet crime will drastically reduce.
Yahoo boys generally are a security threat to our society and the act should be eradicated. Always report any social media platform or website you suspect to be a scam to the security agencies.