Yahoo boy format in Nigeria: All the details about fraudsters

Yahoo boy format in Nigeria: All the details about fraudsters

If you are interested in modern-day cybercrime issues, you have probably come across the term Yahoo boy. The term often comes up in Nigeria and involves people who have been scammed or swindled. So, what is a Yahoo boy? The term refers to a person who commits 419-fraud, the number referring to the article of the Nigerian criminal code that deals with fraud. Yahoo boys have perfected the art of conning people through numerous online and offline tricks.

how Yahoo boys make money
A depiction of an online hacker. Photo:, @B_A
Source: UGC

As technology advances daily, so do the methods that scammers use to dupe people. Yahoo boys now have numerous ways to scam unsuspecting 'clients.'

What is a Yahoo boy?

Here is everything you need to know about today's Yahoo boys, their modus operandi, and the vices and devices that facilitate their trade.

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How do Yahoo boys operate?

Here is a quick look at how Yahoo boys make money.

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The apartment trick

This is one of the most common types of Yahoo work. To pull off the scam, the fraudster will do several things meant to portray them as real estate agents or realtors. This often includes creating a nice-looking website. The fraudster will then upload fake photos of luxurious houses purporting to be selling the properties.

An unsuspecting buyer, lured by the images, decides to make payment into a specified account to purchase the property. In reality, the property depicted in those images is never for sale or is actually located in another country. Once the payment has been made, the fraudster shuts down the website or blocks the person who made the payment.

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ATM fraud

how do Yahoo boys operate
A lady usign an ATM. Photo:, @Uriel Mont
Source: UGC

This method typically targets old people or those with reading-related challenges. To pull off the trick, the Yahoo boy will hover around an unmanned ATM and wait for their target to approach. They will then pretend to offer them assistance in withdrawing their money. Several things could then happen, including an ATM card swap or deduction of the withdrawn amount.


This is one of the more advanced but still common Yahoo boy techniques. Phishing involves illegally acquiring another person's private data. For fraudsters, some important information includes credit card data, usernames, passwords, and phone numbers. This is often done via phishing software, often downloaded and installed by an unsuspecting user.

Price baiting

This is a technique designed to prey on the normal human being's affinity for discounted products. A scammer will create a product site, say, dealing with automotive sales. They will then upload photos of cars with significantly lower prices than the average market rate. The victim will then call, enquiring about a specific model.

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At this point, they will be asked to pay about half the amount to 'book' the vehicle and prevent it from being purchased by another person. Once the victim makes the payment, the scammers disappear, at times even shutting down the website.

Web freestyle

Most fraudsters in Nigeria reportedly start with this Yahoo format. The method involves creating a fake profile on the most popular dating websites. The scammer then poses as a needy student, divorced wife/husband, or any other persona to stir their victims' emotions. Once the victim falls in love with the impersonator, they will probably begin sending them money before deciding to meet in person.

Unsolicited email

meaning of HK in Yahoo
An illustration of emails being sent. Photo:, @ribkhan
Source: UGC

This scam is designed to prey on people who love winning free stuff. The scammers collect numerous emails belonging to locals and foreigners. They then send them emails notifying them that they have won a jackpot or lottery. The victim is then asked to send a small amount as a 'processing fee' for the award. Once they send the amount, the scammer cuts all communication.

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What do Yahoo boys use to facilitate their trade?

Here is a look at the societal vices, circumstances, tech advancements, and networks that facilitate the Yahoo boy problem.


Most Yahoo boys who engage in bank-related fraud, such as credit card phishing, ATM fraud, and price baiting, do so on weekends. This is because most banks are closed, meaning the victim cannot do much to stop or reverse their transactions. By the time banks reopen on Monday, most of the victims' money is usually gone.

Bank networks

Most Yahoo boys have contacts on the inside. This makes it extremely easy for them to withdraw money obtained via illegal means. If a person obtains an ATM card from an older person, gets their PIN and then swaps it, they can walk in and have their teller attendant on the inside withdraw large amounts of cash for them. This, of course, happens at a fee.

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Corruption and societal rot

In Nigeria, modern-day society praises wealth, regardless of how it was acquired. This makes vices such as 419-fraud quite prevalent since the scammers will get social admiration even when their wealth has been earned illegally.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Before the advent of VPNs, it was quite easy to trace a person carrying out internet fraud. This was because their IP address was easily visible and traceable. VPNs make this tracing very tricky since they essentially mask a person's actual location and instead show them to be located elsewhere, most times in a different country.

Internet, smartphones, and laptops

how do Yahoo boys operate
Depiction of a cybercriminal. Photo:, @vickygharat
Source: UGC

These are the tools of the trade for virtually every Yahoo boy. These three have made it extremely easy to access millions of unsuspecting victims, not only in Nigeria but across the globe.

What is the meaning of HK in Yahoo?

HK means headquarters in Yahoo boy code. It refers to a place or structure where the fraudsters converge to carry out their criminal activities.

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What does picker mean?

In Yahoo boy language, a picker is a person who stays in the same country as the scammer's target and collects or receives the money on behalf of the fraudster.

What does Work Boy mean in Yahoo?

A work boy is a term used to refer to a Yahoo boy. It is a general term the fraudsters use amongst themselves.

'What is a Yahoo boy?' This question often lingers in many people's minds, especially those who have come across the numerous scams carried out by these fraudsters. Figuring out how they operate is essential to avoiding falling victim to their scams.

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Road transportation enhances cultural, economic, and social interactions by connecting people and places. For instance, the nation's GDP and revenue decrease when people, goods, and services cannot move from one location to another on time.


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