have been getting several e-mails from criminals and rogues who specialize in defrauding unsuspecting, sometimes greedy, and at times gullible people through the Internet. The e-mails can be as many as five in a single day. There are several approaches these Yahoo! Yahoo! criminals adopt. Sometimes they 'capture' people's personal e-mails (through hacking) and use it to send 'please rescue me' messages to every contact in the mailing list of their victim. At other times, they send you fake e-mails supposedly from Yahoo! Mail requesting that you update your Yahoo! Mail account. Another way is to send you a fake request supposedly from a Nigerian bank asking you to update your bank account information, provide you a deposit slip, or to click on a link.
Criminal enterprise is big business in Nigeria and corruption is the number one citizen of our nation. Right from Aso Rock to the messenger and the jobless, corruption is the engine the nation rely on to live large and to defraud others, including the unsuspecting citizenry, and some times greedy foreigners who did not play lottery and yet expected to win millions of dollars. Do not be surprised if the document signed before you by the powers that be at Aso Rock turns out to be a fake. In the same vein, do not be surprised if an original version of that document is only available fifteen kilometres from Aso Rock through a front man such as O. Dauglas. The Yahoo! Yahoo! Boys are just replicating on a lower scale what is done in huge proportion at the very top of the Nigerian Federal and State governments. Doing business in Nigeria may, therefore, be a nightmare for unwary investors.
On Monday, January 28, 2013, I got an e-mail from the personal e-mail account of my publisher in Lagos, Nigeria. It was a short message with a request for an "urgent assistance" because his "clearing officer at the port of lagos called me and asked for the sum of N144,000 Naira to clear a vehicle I sent home." I knew immediately that this was a hacker's job and the goal was to get their filthy, criminal hands into my pocket, but I decided to play along and responded to the e-mail. I replied the e-mail and said I did not know he's out of town but still asked to be provided the details of the person to send the money to. After five e-mail exchanges I received an e-mail with a bank account information from the hackers in Lagos:
"This are his acc details, when you send it please do send me a scanned copy of the deposit slip, so I can confirm it with him
Account name: Innocent David
Account no: 0064440863
Bank name: Ecobank Plc"
I was shocked to get a bank account information sent to me from the criminals. My guess was that the bank account truly exist but the account was opened with a fictitious name, but I still felt it will be a good lead for the EFCC. I searched and found an e-mail address for the pseudo-crime fighter and anti-corruption agency in Nigeria. I sent an e-mail to the EFCC on January 29, 2013 with the details of the crime and the e-mail exchanges I had with the suspects. I am still waiting for a response, at least an acknowledgement from the EFCC. The publisher and owner of the e-mail account did not know at that point that his e-mail has been captured and he did not regain control of his account until the forth day after the hacking when he sent out warnings and a disclaimer to friends and clients about what happened to his e-mail account.
There was also the fraudulent e-mail I received from the European office of some Nigerian scam artists. Again by hacking into the e-mail account of one Eke Eke, who probably had had some e-mail exchanges with me in the past. Eke's sister needs a kidney transplant to save her life, I was told in the e-mail, and as such Eke needs "a loan of 2, 000 Pounds from you to take care of things" with a promise to "reimburse you at my return." I do not even remember this Mr. Eke; he is not a close acquaintance and he is as such not likely to ask me for such a large sum of money. I saw a red flag and knew at once that the Yahoo! Yahoo! Boys are here again; they are not about to go away and they will not quit stealing. As the Big Thieves in Abuja are doing theirs and looting the national treasury, the small rats are also sniffing around and pounding the pavement - this time, the cyberspace - to find people to steal from. Ah, the terrible story of the people of Nigeria, a fraction of them of course. As I am wont to do these days, I led the thieves on by the nose and bingo, I got and e-mail and information about how to send money to them by Western Union:
I really will appreciate your help. I am in Brussels now, my cousin is so sick and need immediate surgery to save her. I already spent all cash with me and my credit card has malfunctioned, you will have to wire the money through a western union outlet to my details below using money in minutes transfer.
Name: Eke Eke
Address: 8 Rue des Sols
Zip Code: 1000"
I did not expect that this lowlife will respond so quickly and very easily provide this much details. I guess I should know that the desire to get his lazy hands on my cash is his greatest motivator, the very same way Jonathan is motivated to use state funds to host a reception for his wife whose treatment in Germany cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars when thousands have died and are still dying from relatively treatable diseases in Nigeria.
There are also the endless e-mails from a group of Yahoo! Yahoo! Criminals in Lagos who pretend to be using and writing from the e-mail addresses ending with '@firstbanknigeria.com," but the truth is that their e-mails are not from First Bank of Nigeria. All you need to know and to verify that the e-mails are not from First Bank is by clicking reply and then place your mouse on the e-mail address, and you will see the true e-mail address from where the e-mail came from and where your reply will end up. If you also look at the e-mail below the new space to write your message, you will see the two e-mail addresses in the 'From' space such as this one from Funke Adekunle: From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com. It is an easy trick but one that the Yahoo! Yahoo! criminals have turned into a tool for defrauding innocent customers of First Bank of Nigeria and some other banks in Nigeria. They have been sending five or more e-mails to me on a daily basis. They have been using names such as Funke Adekunle with the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, but underneath that is the real e-mail source, email@example.com. Smart Joshua, I have a message for you: You are a loser and a shame to your generation and family. The other name from the Lagos Team of Yahoo! Yahoo! deadbeats is Sandra Adewale with the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, but underneath that e-mail is the real e-mail address, email@example.com. Do not try to open their fake copy of deposit slip or deposit statement as you may be giving away and yielding control of your e-mail account to them, or worse, giving them what they need to steal from your bank account. I know First Bank is aware of the endless efforts of the lazy guys in the Yahoo! Yahoo! business but what is not certain is if the bank has taken the time to study the situation and provide a detailed briefing to its customers. First Bank needs to educate their customers about how e-mails are sent to them from the bank, the bank's e-mail addresses, and provide signs to look for in suspicious e-mail messages.
I should add that I also receive e-mails from the Yahoo! Yahoo! lowlifes purported to be from other Nigerian banks such as UBA, Guaranty Trust Bank, Skye Bank and some others. The criminals fish around hoping that an e-mail will reach a true customer of any of the banks they are sending their dubious e-mails to, and as such hit an unlikely jackpot. Like looting and state corruption in Nigeria, these Yahoo! Yahoo! criminals should be put away for a long time when caught. There should be zero tolerance for corruption, looting and cyber crimes. Unfortunately, Nigeria is a nation, at this present time in particular, where corruption is loved and embraced right from the very top.