In 2019, the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has prosecuted 80 individuals – 77 of them Nigerians – in what it depicts as the “biggest instance of online extortion in US history”. Be that as it may, generally stunning for Nigerians was the different capture of their universally praised business big shot, Obinwanne Okeke. This was a young man so called top of Nigeria’s Invictus Group, who had interests in divisions extending from agribusiness to land, he was named by the regarded Forbes magazine in 2016 as one of its 30 top African business people matured under 30. It beats one’s imagination how such could make it into Forbes’, a reputable World magazine. Presently Mr Okeke – or Invictus Obi as he is presently known – is accused by the US experts for taking $11m (£8m) in one online swamp alone. He is currently pleading not guilty in a US court a week ago, and was detained.
All these seem not to deter young Nigerians from such social vices as several of them often blame bad government, joblessness and power outages as reasons or excuses to cling on to. On the flip side, several countries in the World are also faced with similar circumstances, yet they do not resort to such disturbing and implicating lifestyle.
Another twist to this is the lavish lifestyle being portrayed by Nigerian Politicians who so often steal from public funds during their term in office and ship funds meant for local development to offshore banks, as well as of late, Pentecostal Pastors in the Country who recently have also shifted from “gospel missions” to lavish lifestyles in the eyes of local churchgoers who can barely afford three square meals a day.
Social engineering through online networks, email scam, hacking, phishing, identity theft through electronic devices are some of the instruments used to perpetuate these schemes.
They are generally sentiment tricks, or phishing, which FBI specialist Michael Nail once alluded to as “cutting edge bank burglary”.”You can sit at home in your PJs and shoes with a PC, and you can really burglarize a bank,” he said.
Any honest human being who works for his/her money legitimately can never afford to live extravagantly, long story short.
Should any of these recent Nigerians be found culpable in Court, there is likelihood that they may face up to over twenty (20) years in penitential prison and possibly live with a completely destroyed life and career.
It should be noted though, that not all Nigerians are cyber frauds, so many Nigerians are making a good legitimate source of income from the offline and online. Proven records shows Nigerians are one of the well skillful immigrants World over including the United States where so many Nigerian Doctors and artisans practice their profession legitimately.