“Yahoo boys” phenomenon in Lagos metropolis: A qualitative investigation
This study investigated what law enforcement agents, who are saddled with the responsibility of curbing cyber crime, know about the malaise; how young people are initiated into cyber crime; the roles of peer influence, and parents’ approval of cyber crime. The study adopted cross-sectional design and the qualitative method of data collection. The study population comprises four (4) key informants who are law enforcement agents; two (2) “yahoo boys”, seven (7) parents, and seven (7) youths in Lagos metropolis. Purposive sampling technique (snowball) was used to select participants, while indepth interview guide was used to elicit information from participants. The data were analysed using manual content analysis. It was found that law enforcement agents have considerable knowledge of cyber crime and the different methods used by “yahoo boys” to defraud unsuspecting victims. Frequent interaction between “yahoo boys” and young people plays a key role in the initiation of the latter into cyber crime. Peer influence plays some role in cyber crime, but joining the crime is wilful and not by coercion or chicanery. Parents’ unwillingness to report the crime, as well as their acceptance of the proceeds, suggests that they do approve of cyber crime, and thereby contribute to its increased rampancy.