BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Youth engagement in horrible crimes such as cybercrime, cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and sexual abuse, and other vices is all too widespread and causes concern. Campuses at our universities have become safe havens or dens, albeit nests where students engage in a variety of illicit activities (Ninalowo, 2004).
According to Reddick & King, (2000), Hacking, unauthorized and illegal access to bank accounts, identity theft, phishing, spoofing, unauthorized reading of emails, desktop counterfeiting, pornography, cyber harassment, fraudulent conversion of property, chat room conspiracy, sending computer virus, plagiarism, phreaking, and downloading unauthorized data are all common cyber crimes committed by students. Internet fraud is one of them (Okesola, FB and Adeta, AK, 2013).
Oyebade (2019), explained that Internet fraud can be defined as the use of Internet services or software with Internet connection to deceive or otherwise exploit victims. Internet crime schemes steal millions of dollars from victims each year and continue to plague the Internet through a variety of tactics. Business fraud, credit card fraud, internet auction fraud, investment schemes, Nigerian letter fraud, and non-delivery of items are all common types of Internet fraud. In Nigeria, perpetrators of internet fraud use the internet’s e-commerce infrastructure to swindle victims, who are primarily foreigners, out of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. They falsely describe themselves as having certain things to sell or as being involved in a loan scheme enterprise. Many people have been deceived or become victims (Ninalowo, 2004).
Internet fraud, like any other criminal crime, has risen by leaps and bounds in Nigeria, gaining more souls from partner agencies that now contribute to the successful execution of Internet fraud. Many Nigerian university students have accepted Internet fraud as a way of life (Reddick, & King, 2000). Many of them have become wealthy, while others have been apprehended by the authorities. Internet fraud has infiltrated Nigerian society, with youths leading the charge. More people have been convicted of different Internet offenses in Nigeria, according to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), while others are still being tried in courts around the country (EFCC, 2019). Evidently, educated youngsters benefit from superior preparation, execution, and organization when it comes to Internet fraud. Most of these perpetrators are students of tertiary institutions. Students flaunt a lot of cash, which they flaunt everywhere, including school campuses. Most are without sources of income or parental support, but live a flamboyant lifestyle in and out of campus. Students from low-income families who want to be a part of or measure up to the children of the privileged look for a quick way to get money in order to obtain the status symbol. This leads to kids who have yet to graduate from university, much alone find a job, ride in exotic cars, wear the latest fashion clothes, expensive jewelry, and date the most beautiful babes in town while lavishly throwing parties at which expensive wines are guzzled. Some of the causes of students getting involved in cyber crimes are: Unemployment, Quest for wealth, Premature marriage, Age, relaxed cyber security laws, incompetent security personnels etc.
STATEMENENT OF THE PROBLEM
Factors like loss of societal values, peer pressure, loss of home values, financial constraint, schools, churches and mosque are some of the causes why youths/students get involved in cybercriminality. Regrettably, some students have graduated from the world of cybercrime (Oyebade 2019). They are currently involved in what is now known as Yahoo Plus. This entails ritual killings as well as the use of charms to hypnotize target victims. People have been accused of taking underwear for ritual purposes. This has led to Students becoming deviant and arrogantly hostile to their professors and non-teaching personnel, and occasionally openly challenging the management of their schools, blinded by their sudden and unexpected prosperity. Some of them are also snobs who cannot associate or live quietly with their colleagues. This has a negative impact on their academic performance. Ithis has led to the loss of body parts and precious lives when victims are maimed or gruesomely murdered for ceremonial purposes by students seeking’spiritual or diabolic power.’
The unchecked involvement of youngsters and students in cybercrime and other sorts of financial crime is harming Nigeria’s reputation and mocking the country in the international community. This study seeks to identify the causes of students indulgence in cyber crimes and how to checkmate it (Oyebade 2019).
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to critically investigate the causes of Students’ indulgence in Internet Fraud. Other objectives of this study are:
i. To examine the factors that leads students to internet fraud
ii. To examine the effects of internet fraud on students academic achievement
iii. To determine possible solutions to internet fraud.
The following questions will be looked at in this study.
i. What are the factors that leads students to internet fraud?
ii. What are the effects of internet fraud on students academic achievement?
iii. What are the possible solutions to internet fraud?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant to the education sector as the results of this finding will show the causes, effects, factors responsible and possible solutions to this problem.
It will also be beneficial to the Nigerian government as it enable them put in place policies that will effectively combat this scourge.
Finally, this study will be important to scholars as it will serve as existing material for further research and future referencing.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will cover this research topic “A critical investigation of the causes of Students’ indulgence in Internet Fraud. It will also look at the factors, effects and possible solutions to internet fraud. This study will be using students of University of Lagos as a case study.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will be limited to the topic “A critical investigation of the causes of Students’ indulgence in Internet Fraud. It will also be limited to students of the University of Lagos thus the results of this study cannot be used any where else until further research is carried out. This study was also limited due to time constraints as we could not effectively cover all the departments in the University.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Critical: expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work
Investigation: the action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.
Indulgence: the action or fact of indulging
Internet fraud: the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them.