The recent indictment of 77 Nigerians by the United States' Federal
Bureau of Investigation has raised questions about the morals of
victims of online scams.
A number of Nigerian youths argued that some people fall for numerous
online frauds because of their greed.
SaharReporters spoke with some young Nigerians.
Yussuf Anka, a student of Ahmadu Bello University, said the many
foreigners, particularly the whites, are victims because they are
corrupt and looking to cut corners too.
"All the time we only hear the arrest of Nigerians no one tells us
about the deals. Some times they are defrauded in their efforts to
by-pass laws of securing properties in Africa. The other time we heard
about a fraudulent sale of an airport. Probably the victim was
avoiding the proper process, tax, engaging companies and lawyers and
all that. They want to easily secure things since they think we are
corrupt. Some times the yahoo fraudsters disguise as government
officials promising them corrupt cheap deals and contracts," he said.
A student of Lagos State Polytechnic, Dotun Olawoye, also blamed the
misfortune and the greedy tendencies of victims who are looking to
secure 'palaces in Africa'.
He said: "So we've heard stories of white folks trying to buy
'palaces' and 'African king' crowns believed to be very powerful and
are worth billions of dollars.
"And the fraudsters package these things for them, tell them the
actually worth, then give them out for a far lower (most times
ridiculous) price but the white folks who want to own these 'powerful
crowns' and big kingdom in Africa jump at it believing the scammer
doesn't know the worth
"Even though there's no 'crown' or 'kingdom' anywhere for sale on
Amazon or Jumia!
"This is just one example, there are different stories because some if
not most of these people actually believe they are the smart ones
until they realize they are the victim."
However, he added that the actions of the fraudsters were not justifiable.
"Because there are real victims, innocent people out there suffering
from these acts and it's sad Nigerian youths now see this as an
alternative," he explained.
Qudus Balogun, a chartered accountant, believed that only a greedy
person would fall for the tricks of fraudsters.
"Only the greedy ones fall for scams, they want to make quick money.
The whites are not fools, they only want to invest in miracles, that's
why they get swindled. Investing in miracles is nothing but greed
"He wants to make quick money because it's quick and returns on it
seem huge as well. He refuses to carry out all due diligence, he
refuses to consult because he wants to make the money secretly, he
refuses to do so many things because he wants to own the money all
"The white man that falls victim of a scam at this age, in my opinion,
is a greedy person and if not greedy, then, he is a thief too," said
Others who spoke with SaharaReporters said fraud victims were naive
According to Tella Temitope, who described himself as a business
coach, describing all the victims as greedy would be unfair.
He said: "Depends on the type of scam they fall for. Sometimes it's
not greed. It's a quest for a better life. You show me an opportunity,
sounds cool, I agree and I fall for the scam.
"Another could be marriage or dating. I need a better half, you
'convinced' - lied to - me, in my believing you were real. I sent you
money but you ran away. With the above, I just feel the Whites were
just naive and human."
Zainab Yussuf, a media enthusiast, said the fraudsters preyed on
weaknesses and insecurity of their victims, particularly in relation
to a romance scam.
She said: "Well, I have noticed that even those that fall victim and
are married are usually people who are lonely and depressed. They
crave for sweet words and attention that the fraudsters seem to give
them. Often times, victims are fat and ugly and pretty much seem like
easy targets. Weight and beauty are the two major factors of low
self-esteem and depression."
Davies Ikpoyi, a media practitioner, corroborated Yussuf.
He stated that fraudsters preyed on victims' weaknesses and that their
targets should not be blamed.
According to him, the romance scam is plain wickedness and criminal.