The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared the Lekki area of Lagos a cybercrime hotbed.
The Commission also disclosed that its operatives also arrested 402 suspects between April and June, 2021, for internet-related fraud crimes
According to the anti-graft agency, the majority of the suspects operate from Lekki, the fastest growing city in Lagos state.
The EFCC also noted that the common modus operandi of the internet fraudsters was Dating Scam/Online Dating Scam/Romance Scam.
In addition to the survey by the agency, it noted that the suspects were mostly millennials, with 82 of them aged between 25-34 years, which means that most of the fraudsters were either still in school, or recent graduates of university drop outs.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, who made this known in a statement issued on Friday by its Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the revelation followed data from investigation activities of the Lagos Command in the second quarter of 2021.
The statement reads: “Lekki, the fast-developing upper middle class area of Lagos Metropolis, is emerging as the new hub of internet-related fraud. Data from the investigation activities of the Lagos Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for the second quarter of 2021, indicates that Lekki District is the preferred location for all manner of cyber fraud syndicates.
“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 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 of university dropouts.
“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.
“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.”