Lekki now hotbed of cybercrime – EFCC

NEWS DIGEST – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has labelled the Lekki area of Lagos State as the hub of internet-related fraud in Nigeria.

In a Facebook post, published on Friday with the title “Lekki Now Hotbed of Cyber Crime”, the anti-graft agency said it arrested 402 suspects in three months.

According to the agency, of the 159 suspects arrested by the Cyber Crime Section, 70 were arrested from Lekki, comprising communities such as Ajah, Badore, Victoria Garden City, Sangotedo and Oniru.

“Between April and June, 2021, the Advance Fee Fraud and Cyber Crime Sections of the Command recorded a total of 402 internet-related fraud arrests. While the Advance Fee Fraud Section was responsible for 243 arrests, the Cyber Crime Section executed 18 sting operations which resulted in 159 arrests, from which 13 convictions have so far been recorded.

“Of the 159 suspects arrested by the Cyber Crime Section, 70 are from Lekki, comprising communities such as Ajah, Badore, Victoria Garden City, Sangotedo and Oniru.

“Ajah accounted for 24 suspects, while Oniru and Sangotedo had 14 and 13 suspects respectively. Badore had 8 suspects. Neighbouring Ikoyi and Eko Atlantic had 2 and one suspect each. Ikorodu and Alagbado on the Lagos Mainland make up the remainder.”

The agency said most individuals arrested are range from students, recent graduates and university dropouts.

“The suspects are mostly millennials, with 82 of them aged between 25-34 years, which speaks to the fact that most of the individuals arrested are either still in school, recent graduates or university drop outs.

“Analysis of the data from the Cyber Crime Section further shows that the dominant form of internet crime is Dating Scam/Online Dating Scam/Romance Scam. Sixty Four percent (64%) of individuals arrested are involved in romance scam, followed closely by “Middle Man Scam” and “Picking” which account for 8% and 7% respectively of those arrested.”

According to the data released by the agency, the dominant form of internet crime is dating scam with 64%, gift cards rate at 39%, bank transfer at 27% and crypocurrency rate at 21%.

The 64% involved in the dating scam benefitted to the tune of N8, 310,000; $349,290 USD; £ 900; €10 and Cryptocurrency 0.17513.

“Other typologies of fraud identified include forgery, possession of fraudulent documents, spamming, credit card fraud, impersonation, rental scam, loan fraud, Business Email Compromise, Hacking, stealing, cheque scam, phishing, and money laundering.

“The data also reveals gift cards, at 39%, as the prevalent method employed by the suspects to access their illicit funds. It is followed by bank transfers at 27% and Cryptocurrency at 21%.

“A total of $12, 512.49USD was recovered from the e-wallet accounts of four suspects within the period.”