The internet can be likened to a coin with two sides. It has both good and bad sides.Undoubtedly, it is one of the greatest innovations in human history. The internet has eased communication, made life much easier and made trade truly global.
On the other hand, the internet has given room to cyber crime, which is popularly referred to as Internet fraud or ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ in this part of the world. Internet fraud has been so justified in the society that some people see it as legitimate to engage in.
As Hushpuppi reminds us, some of the biggest fraudsters are social media influencers with mammoth fans who want to ‘be like them when they grow up’ and musicians singing songs in their names.Fraudsters like Hushpuppi live an exorbitant lifestyle and flaunt it on the gram. Their fans or followers want to imitate them at all cost.
The shocking part of it is that some fans see these fraudsters as heroes that amass money from the wicked whites who looted their great grandfathers decades ago. This is the ridiculous justification most Nigerians give for engaging in this fraudulent activity.
Meanwhile, a lot of people can’t relate to this heinous activity because they are not the ones affected. The victims here are either foreigners, rich people, or regular people working legitimately to make ends meet but with no voice in the society. That is, until they or someone close to them, gets scammed.
It is more alarming how after their preys fall victim, internet fraudsters go ahead to broadcast messages or voice notes of their preys pleading for a refund, but when most people read or listen to it, they laugh at the victim without criticizing the ‘scammer’.
When people who have worked hard for their money wake up to find it all gone, they end up being broke, psychologically battered and in some cases, commit suicide. Fraudsters do not only cause financial or psychological damage to the victims, they also cause national damage. With every Hushpuppi, not only does Nigeria’s reputation sink further in the international community, it also makes it harder for honest Nigerians to do business abroad, school abroad or even receive money via payment platforms like Paypal.
Here’s my question for you: are you glorifying internet fraud or waiting till you fall victim before speaking against it?