THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 7, No. 1, 2009
Globalization and Transnational Advance Fee Fraud: A Study of Perceptions of Undergraduates in Southeastern Nigeria
Ngozi G. Egbue
Department of Sociology/Anthropology Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
Transnational advance fee fraud has become a public issue since the 1980s, and has grown world wide within a background of corrupt dealings in foreign exchange and the transfer of illegally obtained money through foreign businesses and enterprises. In the Nigerian context, the general economic impoverishment with the attendant desperation of the educated to create self-employment and generate wealth, together with a tendency to get-rich-quick, constitute the background within which advance fee fraud has grown. At the global level, while contacts between different parts of the world have grown tremendously, with increasing potentials for personal, business and other forms of exchange, yet racial identities quite evidently tend to remain resilient, resulting in various forms of divisions and conflicts. This paper sought, with the use of a questionnaire, focus group discussions and interviews to examine the perception of undergraduates in southeastern Nigeria about certain aspects of this scam. This is because these youth are considered to be most predisposed, by virtue of their education, constant access to the internet, unsatisfied financial needs and the threat of imminent unemployment, to temptations to engage in advance fee fraud. The findings indicated that undergraduates were very familiar with advance fee fraud as a major economic activity. Furthermore, it was found that undergraduates generally viewed internet scam as less grievous than other irregular sources of income, largely because the victims were mainly foreigners, and also because there was usually no direct contact with victims. The study made recommendations for improved enlightenment of youth, stricter overall anti-corruption law enforcement, and increased employment opportunities for undergraduates.
Keywords: globalization, advance fee fraud, youth, corruption, racism