Bombing, Billing, and Cash-Out: the dynamics of the illicit flow of money through international cyber fraud by Nigerian “Yahoo Boys
Keywords:Cyber fraud, Illicit Financial Flows, Nigeria, Yahoo Boys
Cyber fraudsters, popularly called Yahoo Boys in Nigeria, employ different strategies and formats across various levels of sophistication to get in touch with potential victims and gain the trust of these unsuspecting victims (Bombing). Then the Yahoo Boys go ahead to devise means of requesting payments from their victims (billing) and secure a successful receipt of such fraudulent payments (cash out). This situation has affected the country, its citizens, as well as the victims adversely; hence, the need for innovative ideas to curtail the ugly trend. This essay sets out to proffer viable solutions to the illicit movement of money through international cyberfraud by Yahoo Boys in Nigeria. The essay starts by classifying international cyberfraud as a component of illicit financial flows. It continues to describe the nature, enduring patterns, and formats adopted by Yahoo Boys, and attempts a quantification of the magnitude of relevant outflows. The essay identifies poverty, corruption, harsh economic realities, indiscipline, unemployment, nature of security architecture on social media platforms, amongst others as enabling conditions for fraud. The essay finally recommends personal discipline, skill acquisition, and personal development, greater national commitments to the fight against corruption and poverty, rebranding corporate taxations to fix the education and skills gap, improved security on social media, sustained enlightenment of vulnerable populations, detention in special facilities for convicted fraudsters, and greater international commitments to the fight against cyberfraud in Nigeria. Several authoritative government publications, academic papers, journal articles, and online publications were consulted for this paper.