Nigeria’s infamous cybercriminals are working harder than ever to take your money in these tough times, reports the Washington Post. U.S. authorities say Americans — the easiest prey, according to Nigerian scammers — lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year to cybercrimes. And although they are financially squeezed, Americans succumb even more easily to offers of riches, experts say.
Though statistics are fuzzy, the FBI-backed Internet Crime Complaint Center says that scam reports by Americans grew 33 percent last year. Ultrascan, a Dutch firm that investigates fraud, says online scam offers from Nigerians have mushroomed this year. Nigerian officials dispute their country’s prominence in online fraud, but it is cemented in Nigerian popular culture. The scammers, known as “yahoo-yahoo boys,” are glorified in pop songs such as “Yahoozee,” which gained even more fame after former secretary of state Colin L. Powell danced to it at a London festival last year.