Monday 8 February 2016

Demystifying Yahoo-yahoo

So recently Republican Senator Ted Cruz of the USA verbally attacked Nigerians with a sweeping generalization while he was criticizing some health care policy by the President of United States (Barrack Obama). Mr Cruz claimed that Nigerian Email Scammers were somehow responsible for the web-development problems that the Obamacare website had been facing.

(Note: My original post was in March 2014 but that website has been taken down)

Now this is quite an unfortunate and asinine way for a Senator, or even anyone who has gone through some form of high school to speak publicly. And we all know that every nation in this world has its own fair share of miscreants and law-breakers. 
Yet, who cares really? 
Everyone generalizes! 
So that is not what my article is about.

I am talking about…..

Demystifying Yahooyahoo!

Internet fraud, or Yahooyahoo, as it is fondly called by many young Nigerians, is an ugly anomaly that has greatly affected the global perception of our nation for quite a while now. And if you are in my line of business (digital marketing) then you most certainly would have come across many people from all over the world, who have had some kind of encounter with a yahooyahoo idiot from Nigeria at some point.
But thankfully, that doesn’t seem to have affected my online interactions so far so badly.
In this article, I am going to attempt to shatter some of the myths that surround this infamous yahooyahoo madness, and afterwards try to present an alternative for young people out there, who either think there is no other option, or those who are just on the verge of beginning their shameful Yahooyahoo career.
Ignorance may seem to be an excuse for some today, but you will always be responsible for your choice to learn or not to learn. So, if you would like to stop being a coward, and start becoming a responsible individual with a global view, with integrity, with family values, and with genuine self-esteem; then read on.

Now yahooyahoo is the name that young Nigerians came up with to describe the activities of their peers who engage in internet scams for the purpose of making some money. It entails the use of emails or other internet resources to execute confidence tricks on unsuspecting victims, usually (but not exclusively) foreigners. They do this with the goal of making some foreign currency from them. At times, and I’m not sure if I understood this perfectly well, they get access to hacked credit card details (from Vietnamese hackers I am told) and use those to shop online so they can sell off the items they buy as soon as they are arrive via shipment.
Now, while a minute few yahooyahoo fraudsters have been known to make insane amounts of money from this enterprise, clearly, a much greater majority have continued to suffer in their ever deepening poverty.
Now if you are one of those hyper-sensitive and overly self-defensive Nigerians who like to blame this embarrassing trend on the “greed of the foreign victims”, presuming that that somehow justifies those dickheads among us who perpetrate this act?
Then I would suggest that you open up your mind at this point, or stop reading altogether. Cos this is gonna get rough!

 This article should help you change your thinking so that you would longer be a passive abettor, or vindicator, or devil’s advocate (whichever way you view it); but become the kind of responsible citizen that is armed with the right kind of advice to give to his or her neighbor’s son or anyone else you know that might be misled with this warped sense of rationalization.
So here are a few hard and uncommon truths about the matter:

1. Yahooyahoo is NOT easy money

Now, you might even wonder why I think I know what I am talking about? If I am being so self-righteous, how come I claim to know so much about internet fraud if I myself haven’t also been a perpetrator of it?

Well, I haven’t. Sorry.

I have a friend who owns a number of cyber cafes, and I spent quite a few nights I the past surfing all night at his cafes. Many of his regular customers happened to be yahooyahoo boys and as a result, I am fully aware that these perps work as hard, if not harder than everyone else.

The kind of dedication they put into it: from as early as 9am till about 6 to 7am the next morning; doing the same thing over and over again and every day.

Bro, if that isn’t hard work, then I wonder what on earth is!

Then you might also need to inspect the conditions in which they do this laborious work:

First of all, I must point out that my friend’s cafés are among the finer cafés in the mainland area of Lagos. And while I spent my nights in his comfortable office with air-conditioning and an additional three-seater lounge chair, even I, still found it often very uncomfortable being there for so long.

Yet these kids have to endure in stuffy rooms with only a few fans, seating on metallic chairs or even wooden benches. And they have to manage this hardship while they do their so-called “work”.

They spend nights upon nights in front of very old and sluggish performing computers, in the most uncomfortable positions, often chatting with people who they often times cannot really understand (because of their typical poor grasp of the English language).

Yet I wonder if any of them ever stops to wonder if their age mates who work in the daytime and in more comfortable offices are actually going through that much stress for their, by and large, CERTAIN monthly pay checks? 
Or if they ever do the arithmetic to figure out what the TRUE monthly “income” of their yahooyahoo runs come to? 
I mean, after they have calculated the difference between the seasons when they have “hit” and the many more seasons when they..............don't.

This brings me to point number….

2. The Nigerian Police Is Your Friend

Apart from the difficulty of the yahooyahoo work itself, and the cost of keeping the business going, and the risk of uncertainty, as in, “will they pay?” “will they not pay?”. There is still another major hazard to this profession….The ever loveable Nigerian Police.

One of the funniest things you will ever experience is when you are at most cyber cafés in Yaba environs (day or night – makes no difference) and a police van is driving by (and by police van, I mean a danfo bus that police men usually use to comb the streets for game). 

The way many of the boys and young men browsing in the café would suddenly jump up and run out of the hall, you would think that they saw a horde of rabid grizzly bears charging into the café.

The whole scenario reminds you of the biblical saying, “the wicked flee when no one pursues”.

Of course, they run because when they are caught, they know that our dear policemen are not in any way interested in their breaking of the law. But they harass them for large sums of money as bribes. Many of them have to borrow money to bribe the cops to “get out of jail”.

So despite the shame, and the two deterring factors I raised above, why do a lot of young boys still go into this….

3. The Fan Club Appeal

This is regarding the fact that there is a lot of misinformation going around about this scam life.
And just like many Nigerians do with other social plagues like gangsterism and occultism, they tend to sensationalize and glamorize yahooyahoo in all of their tale-bearing and gossip.

Most of the time, supposedly harmless, careless talk ends up in the hearing of unsuspecting kids, who in turn are quick to believe whatever they hear about “the bad guy” life of a yahooyahoo boy.

So it’s very easy for them to imagine the yahooyahoo life as similar to the Nigerian version of a future Bugzy Seagle or Don Corleone lifestyle.

We know that naturally VICE tends to be attractive to young boys. And when the added incentive of getting rich quickly is added to it, it becomes a much more potent drug. Especially in a society like Nigeria’s where things are the WAY they are! (I won’t say more about that one for now)

So it is very important for young boys (and girls) to get the more honest picture of this particular way of life. 
And that is why I have gladly taken up this task. But if everyone else prefers to be sounding-off no differently than fanboys of the scammers, please be my guest. See where that takes you?!

Meanwhile, I had promised that I was going to provide an alternative for young people who are out there and have gotten more and more frustrated by the poverty that prevails in our society. A poverty that came as a result of the thickness of corrupt leaders past and present, and perhaps also because of mistakes in judgment made by their parents….having too many kids, or not choosing a proper education for their kids.

What I say to this is, there is a way out!
But you can only find that way the right way.
SHAME: Nigerian fraudster arrested in a foreign country. 

4. Come & Think With ME

For less effort and fewer hours, I could teach how to make more money, and feel very assured about your future. And i will never charge you any money for this. You just have to learn to change your mindset about a few things first.

A) Money is NOT the reason why you are on this earth. You only need it to purchase the necessities of life and some luxuries if you like. What would guarantee you happiness and fulfillment is the DISCOVERY and drive to your true purpose in life.

B) It doesn’t matter who the richest man in Nigeria is. Once you get to a stage in your life, where poverty no longer has a strangle hold on you, you would begin to realize the things I have been saying. But it is better not to wait until you get to that stage.

C) Knowledge is key for the human experience. Decide you want to learn first, then accept that there are no species or races of human beings that are especially made to be more intelligent than others. Learning is a choice!

D) A good life is like both a tree and a building. You plant a tree and water it. But you don’t expect to eat the fruit from that tree the next day after you plant it. Also a building. It takes hard work to finish its construction. But it is hard work that looks twenty times harder than it actually is to the layman on the outside observing the builders doing the work. 

It is much easier for the builders who know exactly what to do at the right time.

Likewise success in life requires a waiting period and hard work (that isn’t that hard after all once you’ve gotten into the swing of what to do) before you can begin to eat the fruits of your labours.

So once you’ve wired your thinking into this paradigm, all you need next is to realize that there are tons of legitimate things you can do with the internet to earn a living. 

If you wish to know about these things you can join my community on Google+ where you can ask questions about digital marketing. It doesn’t matter what your passions are. I am sure we can figure out a way you can tap into the abundance of resources you can get on the internet to maximize those passions, and turn them into business ventures.

Thanks for sticking around.