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Economic Recession And Cyber Crime A Study Of Owerri Municipal

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Abstract

The study investigated economic recession and cyber crime in Owerri Municipal in Imo State. Four research questions guided this study. The survey research design was adopted in the conduct of the study. The study area was Owerri Imo State Nigeria. The population of the study was comprised 301, 657 residents. Taro Yamane’s formula was used to determine the population. The instruments used for the study were a questionnaire. The questionnaire was subjected to face and content validity. Simple percentages and frequency table was used to analyze data in respect of the research questions.  The study revealed the relationship between economic recession and youth involvement in cyber crime, the implication of recession in Owerri Municipal in Imo State, the causes of cyber-crime in Owerri Municipal in Imo State and the consequences of cyber-crime in Owerri Municipal in Imo State. The study recommended Improving awareness and competence in information security and sharing of best practices at the national level through the development of a culture of Cyber security at national level. Formalize the coordination and prioritization of cyber security research and development activities; disseminate vulnerability advisories and threat warnings in a timely manner.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study

The effect of economic recession have on crime especially amongst youths whom according to demography analysis are from the ages of 15 to 35 years and who form the working population of a country. The question recession is often asked during periods of economic under performance, such as the recession that occurred in the United States in 2008. The economic theory of crime as postulated by Kurtz (2015), common intuition suggests that a bad economy will leave some out of work and will decrease annual income for many. Some criminologists and social scientists theorize that the rise of unemployment and decrease in income that results from a recession will cause crime levels to increase as some individuals turn to criminal activity to provide for their basic necessities. If this theory is correct, then policymakers have an even strong incentive to prevent recessions from occurring or lasting too long, as the poor economy will compound societal problems by driving crime levels up. This is so because we have seen increase in cult activities, kidnapping and robbery in Nigeria. Killing and maiming of innocent people have continued unabatedly across the states. Research reveals that scores of young men and women lose their lives daily to ritualists, kidnappers and other criminals. The social media and newspapers are replete with scary stories of crime of various dimensions being committed across Nigeria. Nigeria’s economy has recently slipped into recession and inflation is already at an eleven-year high of 16.5 per cent which leads youths in cyber-crime in other live up to expectations (Vanguard, 2016).

Information and communication technology (ICT) systems are used virtually in all walks of life. They are used at home for personal uses, and at various offices for business and commercial uses (Maitanmi, 2013). Most organisations, institutions, agencies and government today, depend on computer networks to carry out both simple and complex business operations, engage in technological advances, and perform interdependent financial transactions, and also disseminate classified information (Ajewole, 2010). Further, ICT systems and computer networks enhance electronic commerce, mobile commerce, advances in medicine, research and innovations and social networking. In fact, ICT systems and computer networks are now regarded as basic essential utilities like electricity, water or telephone, without which, organisations and citizens would struggle (Abdulhamid et al, 2011).

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The country, Nigeria, the self-acclaimed giant of Africa is enmeshed in an emulating syndrome in the ICT world called cybercrime. Its manifestation is pandemic and difficult to eradicate (Morley and Parker, 2007). The task of re-stigmatizing cybercrime and re-dignifying honesty are not as easy as that of institutionalizing a deterrence mechanism like code of conduct bureau, Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC), Economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) and many more. This is after many years at the bottom of the ladder of the corrupt nations of the world, which is based on some index set by the Transparency International (TI), an anticorruption crusader group.

Corruption the father of cybercrime take many form in Nigeria from the police man that receives favour from government, student that buy gift for lectures or pay school staff to pass examination or receive certificate Teachers/ Lecturer that organise special centres during public examination to parent that give token to their children before they can help out with an assignment (Tade and Aliyu, 2011). To advanced fee fraud popularly called “419”, which has given birth to cybercrime, which could be a possible cause of economic recession.

Economic recession is a business cycle contraction, and it refers to a general slowdown in economic activity for two consecutive quarters. During recession, there is usually a decline in certain macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, employment, investment spending, capacity utilization, household income, business income, and inflation, with the attendant increase in the rate of unemployment. Technically, when economy experienced at least two consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP, thus the economy is said to be in recession. GDP is the market value of all legitimately recognized final goods and services produced in the country in a given period of time, usually one year (CBN, 2012).

With the credit crisis affecting consumers and businesses, spammers and cyber-criminals sought to take advantage of the resulting panic and uncertainty. To capitalize, spammers increased the number of financerelated emails, including phishing attacks targeting banks and credit unions, lottery scams, loan and job offers and other financial enticements. In late 2008, speculation about the future of many global banks ensued. Phishers exploited this uncertainty by increasing the volume of phishing emails targeting banks involved in proposed mergers and acquisitions, making reference to news of anticipated takeovers in their messages. Scammers swiftly updated their templates to reference other banks as news of which banks were involved in mergers changed. Security researchers have issued a security alert that reveals a direct correlation between the recent stock market volatility and the growth of new threats. According to the global IT security vendor, the two are tied together much more closely than previously thought and as the recent stock market instability has accelerated, so has the volume of targeted cyber attacks and their relative impact on the economy. In addition, security analysts believe the recent spike in malware could be related to cyber-criminals now having fewer possible targets as a result of consolidation within the banking industry.

 

In (Maitanmi, 2013) cybercrime was defined as a type of crime committed by criminals who make use of a computer as a tool and the internet as a connection in order to reach a variety of objectives such as illegal downloading of music files and films, piracy, spam mailing and the likes. Cybercrime evolves from the wrong application or abuse of internet services. The concept of cybercrime is historical. It was discovered that the first published report of cybercrime occurred on the mainframe computer in the 1960s (Maitanmi, 2013). Since these computers were not connected to the internet or with other computers, the crime was committed by the employers (insider) in the company, hence it was referred to as computer crime rather than cybercrime.

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In Nigeria, cybercrimes are perform by people of all ages ranging from young to old, but in most instances the young. Several youth engage in cybercrime with the aim of emerging as the best hacker, or as a profit making venture since the tools for hacking in our modern world has become affordable by many. Mbaskei in his publication on “Cybercrimes: Effect on Youth Development” noted that secret agents of the UPS (United Parcel Service) smashed a record scam with a face value of $2.1billion (about N252 billion) in Lagos. The interception was done within three months. Some of the instruments uncovered by the UPS were documents like Wal – Mart Money orders, Bank of America cheques, U.S postal service cheques and American Express traveler’s cheques. This record scam is made possible as a result of the large number of young people who now see Cybercrimes or internet fraud as a source of livelihood (Broadhurst and Grabosky, 2015). Nigeria itself is beset by high rate of poverty- people living below the breadline, high unemployment and corruption. Its people are willing to do anything, legal or otherwise, in order to make a living. However, since there is no clear legislation in Nigeria about cybercrime, it has become one of those grey areas increasingly exploited by unemployed young adults seeking an easy route to riches hence the emergence of a subculture called cyber criminals (Abdulhamid et al, 2011).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The contribution of internet to the development of the nation has been marred by the evolution of a new wave of crime. The internet has also become an environment where the most lucrative and safest crimes thrive. As a result, a good number of Nigerian youths, both in-school and out-of-school children, including those of employable age engage cybercrime as an alternative route to success. With cybercrime flourishing as it appears, adolescents who share neighbourhoods with perceived successful cybercriminals often see them as models worthy of emulation. While a huge amount of energy has been put in to curb the menace of cybercriminals, its radicalization effects on Nigerian youths has been largely ignored both in literature and in government interventions. Although a good  studies have attributed youth involvement in cybercrime to poverty and unemployment and other structurally induced vices, very few  have explained why those you never work would chose cybercrime and some others who are gainfully employed and those in school equally engage in cybercrime. This calls for direction of research on the effect of cybercrime on youth socialization.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What is the relationship between economic recession and youth involvement in cyber crime ?
  2. What are the implication of recession in Owerri Municipal in Imo State?
  3. Could there be other causes of cyber crime in Owerri Municipal?
  4. What are the consequences of cyber-crime in Owerri Municipal in Imo State?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The main aim of the study will investigate Economic Recession and Cyber Crime in Owerri Municipal in Imo State. The specific objectives includes;

  1. To determine the relationship between economic recession and youth involvement in cyber crime
  2. To identify the implication of recession in Owerri Municipal in Imo State?
  3. To identify the causes of cyber-crime in Owerri Municipal in Imo State.
  4. To examine the consequences of cyber-crime in Owerri Municipal in Imo State.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is a relationship between economic recession induced unemployment and involvement in cyber crime
  2. There is a relationship between economic hardship induced by economic recession and internet fraud.
  3. There is a relationship between implication of recession and involvement in cyber crime
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1.6 Significance of the Study                                          

Theoretically this study is very important because the study has added to the existing literature by revealing a number of different bases on what typically makes and motivates cybercriminals and also identify the consequences it has in the society.

Practically, this study will provide useful information on the factors responsible for the increase rate of cyber-crime in the society. The publicity surrounding Nigeria cyber-crime is raising fears that the country may face a slowdown in international investment in telecommunication as well as the financial sectors. As more Nigerians use the internet for their banking needs, the number of fraudsters eyeing people’s bank accounts and online financial transactions has also multiplied.

Unlike the advance societies, developing societies have almost little or no modalities put in place to curb the excesses of cyber-criminals. In order to out smart the cyber-crime fighting agencies, these cyber-criminals have connections with one another thereby learning more sophisticated methods/skills day in day out to commit this havoc. As such, the exposure of the techniques been used by these cyber-criminals will contribute positively to the efforts being made by these agencies.

Moreover, since youths within the age bracket of 18-30 years (Zero Tolerance, 2006), have been identified to be most vulnerable to this crime and have also been identified to be either in tertiary institutions or about to be admitted into one or graduates. The research work was able to identify other attributes/characteristics of cyber-criminals. In addition, since cyber-crime is denting the country image among the committee of nations and the present administration has vowed to place Nigeria among the top twenty largest economies in the world by 2020. This research will contribute positively to the efforts being made by concerned government and private agencies to develop strategies to combat the menace.

1.7 Definition of Key terms/Operationalization of Concepts

Economic Recession: Economic recession is a period of general economic decline and is typically accompanied by a drop in the stock market, an increase in unemployment, and a decline in the housing market. Generally, a recession is less severe than a depression.

Crime: Crime is an act that violates the basic values and beliefs of society. Those values and beliefs are manifested as laws that the society agrees upon. It could also be referred to an act of committing an offence that is not in line with the laid down laws. Crime is a legal concept and has the sanction of the law (Williams in Dambazau et al 1996).

Cyber: Cyber is a prefix referring to anything related to computer or networking. The word as often used with a growing number of times to describe new things that are being made possible by the spread of computer. Cyber can be combined to make words such as cyber-crime, cyber-space and cyber-café.

Cybercrime: Refers to any criminal act dealing with computers and networks (called hacking). Additionally, cybercrime also includes traditional crimes conducted through the Internet.

Internet Fraud: is a type of cybercrime fraud or deception which makes use of the Internet and could involve hiding of information or providing incorrect information for the purpose of tricking victims out of money, property, and inheritance.

Scammers: a person who commits fraud or participates in a dishonest scheme.

Youths: the period between childhood and adult age.


Pages:  70

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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