In Lagos, Nigeria, teenage boys use Internet cafes to craft scam e-mails and find Western targets who might pay a small up-front fee in hopes of getting a bigger payout, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Nigeria’s “yahoo-yahoo boys” – purveyors of their country’s most infamous export represent the lowest rung of powerful, politically connected gangs that aim to swindle gullible, greedy foreigners – especially Americans – out of millions of dollars.
Nigeria’s government is now cracking down harder on e-mail fraud, in part to repair damage the scams have done to the country’s global reputation. But the boys and their bosses may be difficult to stop. Many are motivated not just by greed, but a desire to leave their country – or retaliate against Westerners for perceived injustices.