Petty online 'recharge cards' scam by Nigerian girls

The internet is no more a safe place for social relations. Most Nigerians act under the self deceit that their mission online is just for the purpose of making friends and probably networking. It amazes me how people play hypocrites and act as if they don't know what they want. Firstly, friendship is like a structure you build over time. I am not disputing the fact that real friends can be made online. Internet is just a place for fun when people just wake up to assume unreal identities. Why will someone want to build a world or friendship around such? As for networking, what will a lady that has no business to run, idea to sell or professional service to render in exchange for money network with others? Probably she wants to connect with what she has under legs.

Dating online in the year 2005 and probably down till 2011 was quite clean. I remember my days on,, and the Yahoo messenger chat room. We never really had real pictures, so some people chatted with their passport photographs which was quite hilarious before the advent of Smartphones which high quality pictures and videos. Then the internet was like a luxury before the introduction of simple and cheap data plans in the year 2010 with MTN leading the course. Chatting online used to be highly restricted as most ladies used their credit directly to chat. Only the privileged ones could afford Blackberry Smartphones with the high cost of subscription. The frequent internet users were more of people connecting specifically with a family member or members abroad. The others were up to nefarious activities like internet scam. I remember in the year 2008 when you will send a friend request to a Nigerian lady living in Nigeria and I will probably take her another week during a short session at the cyber cafe to respond. You could only get prompt responses when you message a foreigner on Facebook or probably a Nigerian living abroad.

Flirty deals were clean with comfortable ladies using the internet. The success stories were quite impressive. Personally, I am a great achiever in the field of online dating where I kick-started my online career with some amazing relationships that I still wish I could turn back the hands of time to experience once more.

In no time the ''runs'' girls or let me call them "aristos" embraced the concept of 'online marketing'. The idea of standing by the road side pretending to be heading to an unknown destination or going to busy places like the cinemas, restaurants, social events and others to meet prospective men became archaic. They stormed the social media with raunchy photos and the market became competitive highly competitive. This could be likened to the event turn-out in the English Premier league when the Arab oil tycoons invested in Manchester city. Every corner started boiling with bids.  It led to a situation where a lady with only one profile picture will receive 50 flirty messages in a day. A female friend of mine once opened an account on Facebook without a profile picture, when the horny guys saw her female-tagged profile; they started pleading with her to upload her pictures claiming they know she is beautiful. Can you imagine? The attention was sickening.

The ladies became self-acclaimed celebrities with guys pleading for their phone numbers on their timelines and uploaded pictures. It became a game of the highest bidder. The richest guy would win the lady after passing series of assessment tests ranging from calls, text messages, providing money for her data plans, funds for the making of her hair, other upkeeps and then her final transport fare to your place. This was still better. Although, the goods were exorbitant, they were still delivered to the final consumer.

Nowadays, there is a new trend. We now have ladies bringing the concept of ‘‘Yahoo Yahoo'' ( internet fraud) from the international to the local level. Ladies demand for cash from guys in the form of recharge cards mostly for the transport fare and they will NEVER come. A strong research has revealed that most guys also pose as females to con unsuspecting guys. They are on popular social media platforms like Badoo, Eskimi, Smiggle, and a host of others. Facebook is their headquarters. The simple truth about them is that the smartness and intelligence is absent. If you are very observant, you will identify them easily before falling for the scam. The following loopholes will exposes them:

1). They don't use original names. They use most of fake English names as their first name and surname which is so uncommon in Nigeria.

2). On Facebook, their timeline is always dry or empty. Most occasions, their Facebook wall is disabled so that nobody can post any incriminating claim there which could deter her 'business'.

3). The pictures are always few but really hot. She exposes her body without shame or caution to attract all the randy men in the world.

4). Her chat is always unserious and dry till the talk becomes highly financial. She is only concerned about your location which must be far from hers to facilitate the scam. She uses short chat terms like "ok" "kkk" "yea" "cool" "nice" so frequently. She will reply concrete messages with smileys because she has nothing to say and the guys to be attended to are numerous.

5). No matter the age her picture portrays, she is always a student. This gives her a vantage position to demand for money since in Nigeria students are widely believed to be financially dependent.

6). She will rarely ask about your personal life, experience or details.

7). She falls in love quickly. She uses sweet romantic names for you in the course of chatting as early as the first minute.

8). She is always too broke to come see you. And also, she always pushes to meet you promptly.

9). Her subscription is always set to expire the moment she starts to chat with you. Hence, the need for you to send a recharge card to her.

10). Her voice is never clear on phone. This is peculiar to the males posing as females who don't have ladies to pick calls for them. They either alter their voices through the aid of a special Chinese phones with the technology or tune their voices to that of a female. It works but a very observant man will never fall for such gimmicks. A concentrated attention will give away the real voice.

11). Some of them sell nude pictures. This is the funniest part and some dump Nigerians will buy. This was very common to the 2go community. Nude pictures were sold for as low as N100 or a dollar. This was a nice innovation to deal with immature and impatient guys in the culture of seeing the nakedness of ladies before meeting them. These smart scammers have a set of downloaded internet unclad pictures which rhymes with their skin colours.

12). She will never question you where you got her BBM pin from or her phone number. She plays alone. This is due to the fact that she has lost count of the hundreds of social media platforms she had dropped her number. Messaging her places you on the driver's seat immediately.

13). For the ones that collect funds through bank accounts, you will realize the bank account name doesn't correspondent with her name or identity. She will cover that up with some excuses, claiming that bank account belongs to her brother or trusted friend. Trust me, that account name is her real identity.

Well I wish I could go further with my analysis of how to spot them at a glance but the list is quite lengthy. The above are the cogent points.
It is quite despicable that Nigeria has gotten so marred with economic hardships that teenagers and youths now resort to tough and cheap ways to make money. Remember the hard hustle of political lobbying called TREKKING started by Suleiman Hashimu for President Muhammadu Buhari from Lagos state to Abuja, now we have adults engaging in petty online scam for quick recharge of phones. Who knows if some elderly men have also been indoctrinated into the dirty acts.

My advice is that the perpetrators of this shameful act should desist from it. Never beg for money online. It doesn't dignify you. Work for your own money no matter how small to boost your self-esteem. Never constitute nuisance to others.

There are petty jobs you can do for a start but a lot of Nigeria who are virtually empty feel so big and not ready to start small or settle for less. The irony of it is that work experience will always count and most people have nothing tangible to offer the firms set to employ them.

Nevertheless, keep meeting people online, keep dating. It is always interesting to come across new people and get to know them. We have had several success stories of married couples that met online and their unions are waxing stronger every day. So on this note; never give up on the hunt for love.

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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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