From mere internet scamming games, and hacking into accounts to perpetrate frauds, a new frightening dimension was added to the scheme. The money they are able to fleece from mere love scams is not sufficient to support the lousy lifestyles they were living. And besides, many of the targeted victims, known as ‘Maga’ easily read through the lines and block them off or cut off communications with them. At this point, ‘Plus’ was added to ‘Yahoo, Yahoo’. They now called it ‘Yahoo Plus’.
‘Yahoo Plus’ is a purely occult ritualistic approach to internet fraud and the old Advance Fee Fraud popularly called 419. This is because Section 419 of the Criminal Code Procedure expressly outlaw the practice of obtaining money under false pretences.
The ‘in thing’ now in the trade is ‘Yahoo Plus’. ‘Yahoo Plus is simply and basically a ritualistic approach to fleecing money from victims called ‘Maga’. These rituals according to repented operatives spoken to by yours truly is involved in a lot of frightening and heart-rendering concoctions and fetish soups to make fast money.
Abbas Oloyede (not real name) spoke to our correspondent. He confessed that he is under investigation by the Ibadan Zone of the Anti-Graft Agency, EFCC. He is currently on bail from the Federal High court, Ibadan. In his words, the first approach is to locate a herbalist, who is well versed in the occultism practice, who would first check the spiritual being of the client to determine which concoction to prescribe. Some are to eat fresh bread with fresh human faeces. For this method, the operator buys a freshly baked bread and start looking around to see who will defecate in the many open toilet areas in the country. Once he is able to get one, he quickly moved over to the faeces and pack it as a sandwich with his prepared bread.
Like Abbas, Tony Okoroafor, (not real name) a graduate of Animal Sciences from a Federal University is full of regrets for his ‘time in the fantasy world of drinks, women, and chasing after nothing’. He said he was in EFCC’s detention facility in Enugu for 6 months. He recounted the ugly experience he had along with several inmates there.
Getting to sit these guys down is an arduous task. It requires lots of cajoling, appealing, petting, offering free drinks and most importantly, the avowal of confidentiality of identities. All these conditions were met and we were able to get a few of them to speak up. A female accomplice revealed to us that another weird method is the use of female panties to prepare concoction soup to drink. They mostly target ladies who are on their monthly menstrual period. The panties are usually collected with extreme planning and timing. The lady must have worn it during her menstrual period, either washed or unwashed. The underwear is taken to the Occult consultant who would use it as part of the ingredients to prepare a soup for them to drink.
Furthermore, she disclosed that the use of human organs, particularly females, are also rampant among the boys. This, we also gathered from many of the ex-operators spoken to that, confessed that ladies’ internal organs and especially the private parts are also in use to prepare various charms that will force a targeted victim to part with his or her resources, especially hard savings to these scammers without regaining consciousness until well after the deed had been done.
However, the fear of the massive clampdown and manhunt of the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC and Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS have largely driven most of them outside Lagos. They now operate from major but, largely susceptible towns like Ilorin, Oshogbo, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ado Ekiti and few others. Some even relocated to South Africa and Ghana in efforts to evade the Eagle sharp eyes of the security agencies.
The Acting Chairman of the Anti-Graft agency, Mr Ibrahim Magu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said at a recent press briefing that the Commission had successfully prosecuted and convicted over 20 thousand Internet fraudsters in the Country in the last 5 years. Actually, the detention centres of the agency are full to the brim, and so are Prisons facilities across the Country.
A disturbing fact is that these internet scammers and ritualist are mostly undergraduates and graduates of various Polytechnics and Universities in the Country, the elitist’s private schools are not immured. Secondary school leavers are also joining in droves just to make fast money or to be overnight millionaires.
Today, however, what started as ‘Lagos Yahoo, Yahoo Boys’ game at the turn of this century, has virtually spread to all cities, towns and even villages where any tertiary institution is located. Ado Ekiti, Ilesa, Epe, Shagamu, Esa Oke, Iree, ilaro, ijebu Igbo, and several other emerging metropolitan cities are now hubs of the escapades of these ‘Yahoo Boys’.
These boys and girls love weird partying. They love living ‘big’. They patronise upscale Club Houses and Stripe Clubs around Lekki, Allen Avenue and Toyin Street axis of Ikeja metropolis. At major Club Houses, you see them in the company of a bevy of ladies, mostly teenagers too. These girls are mostly accomplice in the dirty scamming trades. The new ones in the trade are also easily identifiable. They are seen with Red wines, champagne and other exotic drinks. Once they start receiving some money from their victims tagged ‘Maga’, they upped their taste to Whisky. Then Red Label is their stuff and later they move to Black Label.
Once a ‘Maga’ pays, they hit the streets. Mostly boutiques are their first port of call. Then car dealers’ garage. Their preferred brands are Toyota Camry and Lexus 350 brands. Then they tried to change their outlook. That’s when the strange looks set in. some engage in skin whitening, light skin toning. Their hairstyles take a new look, that’s when a new ‘Yahoo Boy’ emerges.
Next is Club Houses and Hotels with girls and ladies of different shapes. Home is eerie environments and developing areas where established senior citizens are not common. They tried to shield their nefarious activities far away from the prying eyes of the officious professionals and captains of industries.
They live a large, extravagance, reckless and weird lives. They live in all manner of hard drugs and drinks. Engage in wild sex escapades and in most cases, live a fleeting life.
The run-down life of a ‘Yahoo Boy’ is scary and heart-rendering. From the regular chats on social media, email exchanges, telephone calls, they move to Spiritual consultants. Prophets, Alfas, Herbalists, Occultists, all are engaged. Some crooked Pastors are also involved in prayers for their success.
A repented ‘Yahoo Boy’ scammer sat down with us and led us into full insights into their modus operandi. According to him, social contacts on social media is the first interactive point. A male may present himself as a female and vice versa. What one needs to do is simply look for a cute and sexy picture on the internet and use them to create an account on any social media or dating site of choice. The account carries the pirated pictures and comes with fictitious names.
Some start off as a mere dating chat until monetary and materials demands start surfacing. Tales such as mothers have a life-threatening illness, sisters involving in a ghastly auto crash, need to build Church or Mosque towards wedding ceremonies etc. are common. These generally do not generate much pay. This is when spiritualist’s services come in.
The theory of ‘David giving an uncommon gift to God to receive uncommon Glory’ according to one of them came from a Prophet they were consulting in Ikorodu area of Lagos. He also said there was a herbalist in Iseyin area of Oyo State who had a big and powerful tortoise in his backyard. According to him, one would sit on this tortoise and must use the Occult man’s handset while making a call to a victim. He said this tortoise has the occultic power to render a victim’s thinking faculty blurred and would have released his resources before regaining consciousness.
But one common trait in these boys and girls is that they live in perpetual fear. They are, therefore, constantly on the move from one location to the other. They trust no one, not even members of their own group.
Police Officers, too are constantly, on their trail, for yet another reason, other than arrest for prosecution. Once they get a piece of information that a ‘Maga’ has paid one of the group members, they will go after him to collect their share.
‘Yahoo Boys’ fast life always, almost certainly end in pains, sorrow and deep agony. From the fast life of shuttling 3 Star Hotels, Night Clubs, attending top-rated music acts shows, they always finally end up on sick beds and eventually die young, leaving the fleets of cars, jewellery, smartphones, wine and women for the uncertain life beyond.
The concluding part will sum it all up, the ripple effect of their actions on the family and the larger society.
Afolayan Adebiyi writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
Feferity (c) 2019