ASSESSMENT OF YOUTHS AND INTERNET CRIME IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF WARRI SOUTH LGA)
1.1 Background to the study
According to techopedia (2016), the concept intercept crime is any crime or illegal online activity committed on the internet, through the internet or using the internet. Internet crime is a strong branch of cybercrime which includes identity theft, internet scams and cyber net crime as crimes that involve the use of a computer and networks in its execution.
These crimes are committed on the internet using the computer as either a tool or a target victim. According to him there is an alarming spread of internet crimes. Types of internet crime includes cyber bullying and harassment financial extortion, internet bomb threats, classified global security data theft, password trafficking, enterprise trade secret theft, personally data hacking, copyright violations such as piracy, counterfeit trademarks illegal weapon trafficking, online child pornography, credit card theft and fraud, email phishing, domain name hijacking, virus spreading e.t.c.
The contribution of internet to the development of internet to the development of the nation has been marred by the evolution of new waves of crime. The internet has also become an environment where the most lucrative and safest crime thrives. Cyber or internet crime has come as a surprise and a strange phenomenon that for now lives with us in Nigeria. Akogwe (2012) noted that with each passing day, we witness more and more alarming cases of cyber crimes in Nigeria, with each new case more shocking than the one before.
The youth in every society is of great importance and concern to that society because they are looked upon as the leaders of tomorrow. Olaidede and Adewole (2004), observed that a sizeable number of criminals in Nigeria fall within the youthful age. The youths at present have discovered different ways of using the internet in doing different types of criminal activities and these age brackets are usually found in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. These internet crimes being committed by youths in Nigeria is currently on the increase as more youths in Nigeria are becoming aware of the various activates that can be done on the internet.
Furthermore, Agba (2012) noted that youths in Nigeria are faced with so many economic challenges such as poverty, corruption, unemployment e.t.c which further prompt them to participate in various internet crimes. According to Sesan (2010) a 2007 internet crime report listed Nigeria third in terms of online crime activity and the prevalence of young Nigerians. Although Mc Connel (2000), argued that cyber crimes differ from most terrestrial crimes in four ways which are
They are easy to learn, they require few resources relative to the potential damage caused, they can be committed in a junsdiction without being physically present and they are often not clearing illegal. As such, internet crime has become one of the major security issues for law enforcement agencies and the world in general.
Ribadu (2007) stated that most internet crimes in Nigeria were committed by youths between the ages of twenty (20) and thirty five (35) years in Southern part of Nigeria. He further stated that the prominent forms of internet crimes in Nigeria are cloning of website, false representations, internet purchase and other e-commerce kind of fraud.
Olugbodi (2010), states that the most prevalent forms of cyber crimes are website cloning, financial fraud, identity theft, credit card theft, cyber theft, cyber harassment, fraudulent electronic mails, cyber laundering and virus/worms/Trojans.
UNESCO (2016) explained that the concept “youth” is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community. When carrying out its youth strategy, UNESCO uses different definitions of youth depending on the context. The UN, for statistical consistency across regions, defines “youth” as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by members state. The Oxford online dictionary (2016) further define “youth” as the period between childhood and adult age.
Crime on the other hand, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary (2016) is an illegal art for which someone can be punished by the government. It is the commission of an act that is for bidden or omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law which makes the offender liable to punishment by that law. The main criminal acts attributed to Nigeria youths are internet scam, bunkering e.t.c.
While the internet has offered a lot of platform for useful research purposes and business opportunities, cyber or internet crimes are world wide problem that is costing countries billions of dollars. Hasan (2012) asserted that internet crimes in Nigeria and the rest of the world is usually committed buy youths between the ages of 18 and 35 years. He further identified urbanization, unemployment and quest for wealth as the major causes of internet crimes among youth.
In Nigeria today, numerous internet assisted crimes are committed daily in various forms such as identity theft, desktop counterfeiting, internet chat room, cyber harassment, fraudulent electronic mails, automated teller machine, spoofing, pornography, piracy, hacking, phishing and spamming. Usually, these crimes are committed in forms w sending of fraudulent and bogus financial proposals from cyber criminals to innocent internet users. The increasing rates of cyber crime in the society have become a strong threat to Nigeria’s e-commerce growth and has led to ill-reputation internationally and consequently derived some innocent Nigerians certain opportunities abroad.
Adeta (2013) describe the menace of internet crime to have been successful in societies like Nigeria that is chaotic, where order is scarified and shame no longer exists. Shameful acts are celebrated and success is redefined as wealth becomes mere important than the means of obtaining it. Instant wealth is usually celebrated among Nigerians populace regardless of its sources. Inrfact, it is usually equated with smartness and never rebuked (Bola, 2009).
However, Laura (2012) opined that internet crimes among youths has continue to be on the increase in Nigeria and other developing countries because of weak implementation of cyber crime laws and inadequate equipped law agencies. African countries have been frequently criticized for dealing inadequately with internet crimes as their law enforcement agencies are inadequately equipped in terms of personnel, intelligence and infrastructure e.t.c.
Conclusively, defamation of image, slow production time and add to over head cost, reduction in competitive edge of organizations are some of the effects of internet crimes (Hasan, 2012). These effects does not only affects the youths of the nation but also gives a bad image to the nation as a whole. Adequate laws and law enforcement agencies must be put in place to effectively combat this criminal act that seems to be destroying the country’s image on the international scene.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since the information technology revolution began, law enforcement has faced the growing problem of internet crime. These internet crimes which ranges from credit card fraud, spoofing/phishing, identify theft to cyber stalking, and computer crimes e.t.c are mostly crimes committed by youth. This activities by the youths has made them ignore the African value of dignity in labour as most youth are infected with the get rich quick syndrome.
The participation on internet crime by the Nigeria youths has led to the falling standards of our international reputation because everyone wants to get rich at all cost (Dafe, 2015). With each passing day, we witness more and more alarming cases of internet crime. The strain of these internet crimes now imposes on the Nigerian economy and e-commerce.
Furthermore, Meke (2012) noted that the menace of internet crime have thrived more in Nigeria in the last twenty (20) years, thereby making the international community to regard Nigeria as one of the most corrupt places in the world due to its inability to tackle such crimes. This study tends to look at the youths and internet crimes in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study hopes to give an understanding as well as examine the youths and internet crime in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. The objectives of this study includes
- To determine the various internet crimes committed by youths in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
- To examine the causes of internet crimes among youths in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
- To examine the effect of internet crimes
- To examine the control measures of internet crimes in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
1.4 Research Questions
To examine the youths and internet crimes in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, the following research questions were formulated
- What are the various internet crimes committed by youths in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta Stat?
- What are the causes of internet crimes among youths in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State?
- What are the effects of internet crimes?
- What are the control measures of internet crimes among youths in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis were formulated for this study
Ho1 There is no significant relationship between internet and fraudulent activities
Ho2 There is no significant relationship between electronic funds transfer and crime rate through the internet
Ho3 There is no significant relationship between quest for wealth and fraudulent activities.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The research work will be of great importance to the students of sociology department, internet service providers, Nigerian government officials and students in other related fields.
The study will also help the government to appraise the situation in the state. Consequently, the result of this investigation will provide useful information to students who may engage in similar research in the nearest future. It will also add to the already existing literature in the subject matter.
1.7 Scope of the study
The scope of this study focuses on youths and internet crimes in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. Efforts will be made in examing the causes and effects on internet crimes among youths in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The study will also give a broader view on the various internet crimes committed by youths in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This study was limited by different constraints which prevented the researcher from enlarging the scope of the study. the study was limited by different constraints such as funds and time. The limitation of the study facilitated the use of a sample size for the entire study. The study would have been more productive if it had not been handicapped by founds and other resources needed for a through work to be done.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
- Internet: It is the global networking of interconnected computers that permits individual users to share information along multiple channels.
- Internet Crime: Crimes that involves the use of a computer and networks in its execution
- Youth: The found of transformation from the dependence of childhood to adulthood independence
- Crime: An illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government
- Cyber Crime: This is broadly used to describe criminal activity in which computers or network are a tool, a target or a place of criminal activity, a new type of white-collar crime facilitated by technological advance.
- Hacking: This is a crime which entails creaking systems and gaining unauthorized access to data stored in them
- Cyber Space: This is a collective noun for the divergence rand of environments that have arises using the internet and the various services
- Phishing: This is just one of the frauds on the internet, trying to fool people into parting with their money. It refers to the receipt of unsolicited emails by customers of financial institutions, requesting them to enter their user name, password or other personal information to access their account for some reason.