Ask Nigeria Header Logo

Internet Fraud: A Menace amidst Nigeria Youth

Photo of author

By Abiodun Okunloye

Many youths want to live extravagantly despite having limited resources.

The following is my opinion. The emergence of the internet has revolutionised the way people all over the world do business and socialise with one another. Some young people, however, have turned the internet into an aberration rather than making use of its many advantages. Many youths today want to live extravagantly despite having limited financial resources. As a result, cybercrime has emerged as one of the most pressing social problems in need of immediate solutions as people turn to the internet in search of easy ways to enrich themselves illegally.

It was discovered that the internet had become a tool for many young Nigerians to commit a variety of social, financial, and economic crimes. Internet fraudsters engage in criminal activities online to steal money or personal information from unsuspecting users. They utilise the internet to lure individuals into doing their bidding. Email spamming, account hacking, and other forms of online fraud fall under the illegal money-making activities named “Internet fraud, Yahoo or 419”, as it is being called. However, it is not a secret that criminal activity on the internet can be found in practically all countries throughout the world.

Both education and the economic sector have been affected.

Many youths have become overnight millionaires due to their involvement in such criminal activities. These days, lots of young people run dubious online businesses. Some students who are able to stay in school ultimately buy their way till they finish, while the primary purpose of their visiting the school most time is to flaunt their illicit wealth. The so-called “Yahoo boys” pose a danger not just to the economy but also to the Nigerian educational system. In addition, some secondary school students have been lured into illicit commerce.

Furthermore, the alarming surge of online financial services fraud was brought to light, with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System voicing their concerns about the problem. Despite the mandated NIN-SIM linkage implemented by the Federal Government, there are still questions on why those who utilise mobile lines and bank accounts to scam others were not quickly apprehended and penalised. Thus, this emphasised the importance of the Nigeria Communications Commission, the banks and security agencies doing more to solve the issue.

Many factors contribute to its spread in the country.

Looking further into the situation, several factors that contribute to the growth of criminal activities in Nigeria include the ineffectiveness or absence of financial regulation, lack of jobs for the enormous youth population, peer pressure, poverty, and the failure of the government to appropriately penalise offenders, all of which continue to pose a risk to the nation’s economic progress. From the information gathered, I discovered that the incidences of fraud has increased over the past few years as many youths are getting themselves involving themselves in the act.

According to Statista, 1.7 thousand males and 337 females were apprehended in Nigeria for advance fee fraud in 2019. Additionally, 73 females and 878 males were detained for cybercrimes. In general, males made up the large majority of those who were apprehended in Nigeria for committing financial and commercial crimes. In 2017, Nigeria’s Ministry of Communications said that the country’s economy as a whole was losing roughly N127bn per year to Internet fraud. Also, it stated that the vast majority of frauds were committed using foreign domain names but had grown in popularity among Nigeria’s millions of online users.

A productive environment needs to be created to curb the menace.

In order to solve this issue, Nigeria must take a long look at itself. The underlying causes of this societal illness in the nation must be addressed. It is imperative that adequate employment opportunities be made available to many unemployed graduates if they are to be diverted away from criminal activities. Also, the government needs to take a harder stance in prosecuting people who commit cybercrime in order to dissuade others from doing the same. Society must also play its part in condemning fraudulent activity as well.

Related Link

CBN:  Website

The content on is given for general information only and does not constitute a professional opinion, and users should seek their own legal/professional advice. There is data available online that lists details, facts and further information not listed in this post, please complete your own investigation into these matters and reach your own conclusion. accepts no responsibility for losses from any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of content contained in this website and/or other websites which may be linked to this website.

Fact Checking Tool -