Title: The Trick of Financial Terrorists,
Publisher: Charleston, SC, USA, 2011
Author: Raymond Akinfolarin
Reviewer: Bayo Ogunmupe
The Book: The Tricks of Financial Terrorists, is an expose of the advance for fraud in Nigeria. It reveals local frauds and international scams from Nigeria. By exposing these tricks, the author Raymond Akinfolarin hopes to bring the perpetrators to book, thereby sanitizing the local business terrain.
Emphasizing that Nigeria isn’t the only country where scams are practiced, Akinfolarin hopes Nigeria’s name will gradually disappear from the global list of fraudsters. In the last 20 years, many Nigerians have fallen victim to the scourge of fraudsters. This book provides a compedium of the intrigues employed by criminals to deprive victims of their finances or valuables.
According to Akinfolarin, the scope of intrigues is quite elaborate, extending from card games, fake currency to palm reading, fortune telling and the sale of bogus products. Other areas of advance fee fraud include orders for sale or rent of real estate, use of other people’s property as loan security, employment, school and visa scams. The thrift fraud also known as wonder banks also constitute avenues of fraud. Sale of other people’s shares, internet fraud and other forms of obtaining preferment under false pretences are other ways of defrauding the public rampant in the Nigerian Federation.
Thus, this book serves a dual purpose of providing knowledge and insight into the fraud image of Nigerians thereby alerting the people of wiles of fraudsters. However, this book also offers signals to fraudsters that their nefarious activities have been uncovered. This book has 27 chapters, two parts and 108 pages.
A discourse on part of The Tricks explores reasons why Nigerians defraud others. The famous section four one nine (419) of the Nigerian Penal Code was designed to punish fraudsters. The law was revised under Decree 13 captioned, Advance Fee Fraud and other Offences Decree 1995. This was repealed in 2005 when we entered the era of democracy. The 2006 Act which amended the previous one took its inspiration from Britain. However, the frequency of frauds in Nigeria made this country notorious. Virtually every adult Nigerian knows what 419 means. Even children below the age of six use it as a derogatory remark, even though they do not really appreciate its true meaning.
But why do Nigerians obtain things under false pretences? In today’s rat race, it is greed, the greed to build mountains of wealth. Our culture of celebrating wealth does not help matters, either, because it causes many to believe that the end justifies the means. Well known 419 kingpins are being honoured by chiefs and universities. They even enjoy opulence openly at the expense of their victims.
It is a pity that the powers that be relegate genuine success to the background while celebrating thieves and vagabonds who make it to the top by fraudulent means. That is the cause of 419 and why it is increasing in leaps and bounds.
Unfortunately, we can not rebrand Nigeria successfully without taming this monstrous 419 image we have so unconscionably acquired. Indeed, it is the collective attitudes of Nigerians not slogans, that correct the warped image of our country. Our 419 image isn’t only disturbing, it is eroding our economy, scaring away investors and rendering our economic policies ineffective. Which is why poverty h as driven some into the fold of Boko Haram insurgents.
However, according to Akinfolarin, his aim of writing this book is to let the world know that the majority of Nigerians are good people. That a greedy few is causing the 419 havoc. Again the author reminds the Nigerian authorities of the need to urgently attack and destroy this cankerworm by exposing the fraudsters’ tricks, thereby reducing their patrons both at home and abroad. In this way, Akinfolarin believes, the perpetrators of advance fee fraud will change their line of business.
Written in simple down to earth style, The Tricks is an incredibly readable book. It provides information of great benefit to youngsters usually prone to this trade. Parents wont regret introducing it to their wards, for holding the promise of saving their children from fraudsters. Also, I would recommend this book to the tertiary education curriculum for its use to curb advance fee fraud.
Author Akinfolarin is a highly successful business man. He conducted research for this book posing as a professional scammer. I like to close this review as the author averred in the book. The purpose of scams is to drain the victim financially. Then the fraudsters will stop picking your calls, or throw away the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card used for the operation. Thus, whoever you are, if you are desirous of helping a Nigerian, you should make your nation’s embassy the go-between. Anything short of that will end in 419. Let me add that in the reprint of this book, the author should add greater information about himself and his publishers. It is one of the ways to undermine book pirates.