Wellofexcellence | March 16, 2019 | 0 | Reflections , The Advocate's Column


Cyber Fraud which is also known as cyber crime can be defined as: “Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (networks including chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones ( Bluetooth /SMS/MMS).This act is popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo, scammers or “419” in our country.

In Nigeria, Cyber-crimes are performed by people of all ages ranging from young to old, but in most instances the young. Several youth engage in Cyber-crime with the aim of emerging as the best hacker, or as a means of making money since the tools for hacking in our modern world has become affordable by man.Everyone who uses a computer or electronic devices such as phones,is target but the most affected is the financial sector.From 2004 to 2014, Nigerian Banks have lost over N165 billion by electronic fraud and Cyber-crime.Cyber criminals also target and wreck havoc to computer systems of oil facilities and government establishments.
This quotation by the National Security Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari says, “Nigeria loses N127 billion annually to cybercrime”. That is how devastating the effect of cybercrime is to Nigeria. Hence, fighting and defeating it is the only way forward.Moreover, it is embarrassing when foreign countries catch Nigerians who commit cybercrimes.Nigeria still suffers from the stigma of 419 put on the nation in the 90’s.Unfortunately, a large number of young people now see Cyber-crimes or internet fraud as a source of livelihood.Below are some of the causes of these cyber crimes and internet fraud.

1. Unemployment

Cyber-crime can be linked with the high unemployment rate, harsh economic conditions, and poor educational system. According to available statistics, Nigeria has almost 20 million unemployed people.This shows that many youths are unemployed and this makes most Nigerian youths use their time and knowledge as a platform for their criminal activity, in order to earn a living.

2. Urbanization

The term urbanisation refers to the massive movement of people from rural settlement to cities. This phenomenon is a major contributing factor to the rise of Cyber-crime in Nigeria.This result in a heavy competition amongst the growing urban population. Consequently, the migrants find it easy to engage in the cyber crime since the business requires less start-up capital. These persons are commonly called “Yahoo Boys”.Urbanization can be of benefit if and only if decent jobs are created in the cities where population growth is increasing.

3. Weak Implementation of Cyber Crime Laws and Inadequate Equipped Law Agencies

In Nigeria, there must be implementation of strict laws regarding cyber criminals. Moreover, when criminal offences occur, there is need to punish the culprits for the crime they’ve committed because cyber crimes reduces the nation’s competitive edge. Failure to prosecute, cyber criminals, can encourage cyber crimes. Nigeria has weak laws regarding cyber criminals, unlike other criminals such as armed robbers who are treated with maximum penalties. Furthermore, Nigeria lacks sophisticated hardware to track down the virtual forensic criminals. Therefore, it is necessary for the nation’s legislation to ensure proper implementation of their laws against cyber crime.

4.Quest for Wealth

Yet, another cause of Cyber-crime in Nigeria is inordinate desire for wealth. You will find that a large gap exists between the rich and the rest of the population in Nigeria. Consequently, many attempt to get rich quickly by using the fastest means possible.

5. Lack of Parental Guidance

It is unfortunate that parents neglect their duties in monitoring their children especially in this digitalized era where everything is seen and learnt online.Pressure from mates and peer groups can lead the young ones into these criminal activities.As the saying goes “Charity begins at home” parents and guardians should be mindful of the happenings in their wards life.
How to prevent cyber crime and Internet fraud in Nigeria is evolving, as the crimes keep expanding and changing daily.

The following are ways to fight Cyber crime and Internet fraud:

1) Government Support for the Nigeria Cyber Crime Working Group

Government should support The Nigeria Cyber Crime Working groups and Organizations and providing good equipment that will help them create ways of preventing this crime.

2) Free Education and Vocational Training

Government should give Youth free education and vocational training to give them more opportunities to have decent jobs and live comfortable lives.
In summary,all citizens must be aware of the danger of cyber crimes and internet fraud and support government as they try to rid society of these criminals, save billions of Naira and increase the economic growth.

About the Author.

Kwaplki Uba is an editor in Well of Excellence and also an entrepreneur. She has written other works published in WEx and other platforms.


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