A Critical Examination Of Internet Fraud And Its Impact On National Image In The International Community (A Case Study Of Nigeria)
Internet fraud has become an increasing form of computer crime. This study investigated the effects of internet fraud on Nigeria’s image in international relations. The study adopted quantitative method and descriptive survey. Journals and materials from internet complemented the major sources. Findings showed that unemployment and poverty are major causal factors of internet fraud. The study concluded that, internet use by Nigerians has come with fraudulent acts, and this has put Nigeria under scrutiny and brought negative image in international relations. The study recommended that, government should enact a comprehensive law on internet fraud and empower graduates by providing employment.
Table of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Significance of the Study
- 1.6 Scope of the Study
- 1.7 Limitation of the Study
- 1.8 Definition of Terms
- 1.9 Organisations of the Study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Discussion of Findings
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background of the Study
The contemporary world of the 21st century has come a long way from the era of no internet, with most people unable to recall how majority of activities were accomplished in the past without the use of internet. For example, current undergraduate students’ commendation is always given to those whose era of educational experience was without the use or provision of the internet for purposes such as term papers, assignments, research and even communication. In essence, the development of the Internet is regarded as a paramount innovation as it has fostered different developments in the world including globalization. This has benefited the world over, including Africa.
In 1996, seven years after the internet was first introduced in the United States of America, it was also introduced in Nigeria and with it came amenities, job opportunities and the emergence of network providers. It is general knowledge that every development has its beneficial and adverse effect; the latter for Nigeria is the rampant use of the internet as a medium for fraudulent activities termed “Internet fraud” which is criminal activities majorly for the purpose of exploiting individuals. It is a multi-dimensional and intrinsically complicated problem. It has taken different forms containing numerous facets such as Online intellectual property theft, Identity theft, phishing, Page jacking, Advance fee scams, Bad check scams, Fake money orders, Wire transfer fraud, anonymous servers, hijacked emails, fake websites being used as tools and medium for fraud by perpetrators. In the last decade, the image of Nigeria and Nigerians took a very hard hit as internet scams and fraud assumed increasingly alarming and frightening dimensions. As internet scams and fraud got on the rise, the image of Nigeria seems to be synonymous with these scams. In 1989 and 1990 before the internet age, Nigerians were involved in cross border defrauding with the use of telex and written letter which is why with the advent of the internet Nigerians were wrongfully viewed as the progenitors of most internet scams because of how notorious citizens of the country became in the act all over the world. The Federal Bureau of Investigation took an interest in the investigation of internet fraud and as stated on their website (www.fbi.gov) the “Nigerian letter or 419 fraud” is of major target due to its notoriety. The name ‘419’comes from the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud. In some cases this type of fraud is referred to as advance-fee fraud.
|2001 and 2002 (FBI)||15.5 % of Internet Fraud report were Nigerian 419 scams, Median Loss for 419 was highest at $5,575|
|Nigerian Money Offers, 4% of total Internet fraud worldwide.|
(American National Fraud Information Center)
|Nigeria is 3rd in the world in the total Number of fraudulent, internet|
transactions, with 4.81% of world Internet fraud
|48% of global email is Spam, 6% is Nigerian Email|
The table above elucidates the rate at which Nigerians have been engaging in internet fraud since the late 1990s and early 2000s a few years after internet was introduced into Nigeria.
By year 2006, there was a significant escalation in the rate of internet fraud among Nigerians. In 2010, the Internet Crime Complaint Centre ICC, which is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and America’s National White Collar Crime Centre, revealed that Nigeria was ranked third among the list of top ten sources of cybercrime in the world with 8% behind the US (65%) and the UK (9.9%) (Daily Trust, 2010).
The Image a country portrays in the international system and in relations to foreign states plays a big role in determining its standpoint, recognition and credibility in the international system. The issue of internet fraud is not favorable to a country’s image and reputation. It portrays a level of involvement in criminal activities which scares away investors, discouraging local and foreign investment which is not good for the economy. It causes erosion in international and public confidence concerning the country’s financial sector. It discourages hard work in academic settings which is understandable especially; as it is assumed that most perpetrators of internet fraud are students of tertiary institutions.
Nigeria as a country currently has some laws that regulate the activities of the cyberspace. Such as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Act, Money laundering Act and the Advance Fee fraud Act. A ricochet of an adverse effect caused by internet fraud is that Nigerian ISPs and email providers are being black-listed in e-mail blocking systems across the Internet. The implication of this is that some countries websites like eBay do not receive materials from Nigerian ISPs. All the above can be very detrimental to Nigeria’s image in the international system causing numerous strain on its political, economic and diplomatic relations with other states. This, therefore, has necessitated Nigeria to take a stance in combating the issue of internet fraud and reform its image in the international system. It is against this backdrop that the study examines internet fraud and how it affects Nigeria’s image in the international relations
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The image a country projects in the international system and in its connections with other countries is crucial in establishing its position, recognition, and credibility in the international system. The problem of online fraud is not good for a country’s image or reputation (Dennis, 2014) . It represents a degree of engagement in illegal activities that scares investors away, inhibiting both domestic and international investment, which is bad for the economy. It erodes international and public trust in the country’s financial industry. It discourages hard effort in academic environments, which is fair given that it is estimated that the majority of offenders of online fraud are tertiary students. It is inimical to progress and development, and denies Nigerians opportunities abroad (Olusola, Samson, Semiu, & Yinka, 2013).
As Nigeria transitions to a cashless society, the threat of internet fraud becomes even more relevant. Individuals, businesses, the Nigerian government, and the international community must all work together. Reforms such as raising knowledge about cybercriminals’ methods of operation, improving personal security, establishing anti-scam centers, and so on are critical in reducing internet fraud. The Central Bank of Nigeria introduced a risk-based cyber security framework and guidelines for deposit money banks and payment service providers in an effort to combat cybercrime in Nigeria (Olugbodi, 2010).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary objective of this study is critically examine Internet Fraud and its impact on National image in the International Community. Other objectives of this study are:
- To critically examine internet fraud and how it impacts on the progress and development of the country.
- To examine how internet fraud affects Nigerians living abroad.
- To examine the effects of internet fraud on the level of foreign investment in Nigeria
- To determine possible ways the Federal Government can protect the image of the country from internet fraud
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the impacts of internet fraud on the growth and progress of Nigeria?
- How has internet fraud affected Nigerians living abroad?
- What are the effects of internet fraud on the level of foreign investment in Nigeria?
- What are the possible ways the Federal Government can protect the image of the country from internet fraud
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be beneficial to the Nigerian society as it will be shown the effects of internet fraud on the national image and how this affects Nigerians living abroad, the growth and progress of Nigeria and the level of foreign investment. It will also be beneficial to the Federal Government as it will help them do more to stop the spread of internet fraud. This study will serve as an existing material for further studies and future reference.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study will cover the examination of Internet Fraud and its impact on National image in the International Community. It will also effectively cover the impacts internet fraud has on the growth and progress of Nigeria, Nigerians living abroad and the level of foriegn investment. This study will be using staff of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja for this study.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
This study will be limited to examination of Internet Fraud and its impact on National image in the International Community. It will also be limited to the impacts internet fraud has on the growth and progress of Nigeria, Nigerians living abroad and the level of foriegn investment. This study will be limited to staff of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.
1.8 Definition of Terms
A detailed inspection or study
Is the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them.
Marked effect or influence
Aims to measure, build and manage the reputation of countries.
1.10 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on Internet Fraud and its impact on National image in the International Community using Students of University of Nigeria, Nsukka as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was on Internet Fraud and its impact on National image in the International Community using Students of University of Nigeria, Nsukka as a case study. The study is was specifically carried out to examining internet fraud and how it impacts on the progress and development of the country; examining how internet fraud affects Nigerians living abroad; examining the effects of internet fraud on the level of foreign investment in Nigeria and determining possible ways the Federal Government can protect the image of the country from internet fraud.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 210 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are computer science students of University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;
The remarkable development in human history through computer technology has no doubt brought transformation in all aspects of life, especially in communication and information technology. However, the embracement of the internet by Nigerians has come with a lot of fraudulent acts. Individuals, groups, companies and government establishments have been found to be defrauded through the internet. Nigerian people are valued in terms of what they possess and command economically. Conversely, those without economic success are undervalued and the pressure to achieve success is intensified. This necessitated some Nigerian individuals to devise survival strategies to attain economic success, thereby causing them to indulge in cybercrime. However, this has put Nigeria under negative scrutiny and that is not good for our image in international relations.
Based on the findings and conclusion of this study, the following recommendations are made:
- Education is the most vital weapon for literacy; as such seminars and workshops should be organized from time to time with emphasis on internet safety. This will make the individuals learn to keep their personal information safe and youth will flee cybercrime.
- The study shows that youths involved in internet fraud are either in tertiary institutions or have graduated from tertiary institution. It is therefore, recommended that curriculum which will include courses on internet fraud, internet management and its prevention should be introduced to both tertiary and secondary schools to take care of the present social changes.
- For government agencies, law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and security agencies to fight and curb internet fraud, there is need for them to understand both the technology and the individuals who engaged in this criminal act.
- Cyber criminals’ assets should be confiscated by the government if discovered. There should be imposition of 25 year-jail term for cyber-crimes. This will serve as deterrence to those youths who may want to indulge in such crime.
- Internet users should inculcate the habit of continuously updating their knowledge about the ever changing nature of ICTs, through this, they will not only be well informed about the current trends in cybercrimes, but also be security conscious..
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