From Nigeria with love: Young people, moral justification, and online dating scams

O.M. Akinlabi

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt Campus, QLD 4122

Online dating and romance scam is one of the most rapidly increasing forms of cyber-crime affecting people all over the world. The advent of the internet has provided limitless opportunities for cyber-criminals to easily reach their victims and to steal from them without the use of guns or balaclavas. Studies from the US, UK, and Australia suggest that most of the dating and romance scams are being perpetrated by young people in Nigeria. Against this background, this study examined the moral justification for scams among young people of some selected tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Findings revealed that, though the majority of the respondents claimed non-involvement in dating scams, many of them, however, morally justified online scams. The results further indicated that the respondents have tendencies to preserve their views of being moral agents, either complicit of dating scams or having the likelihood to look the other way when scammers inflict harm on others.


Oluwagbenga Michael Akinlabi has recently submitted his PhD thesis at Griffith University in Australia. He was previously educated in his home country of Nigeria, as well as at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. During the course of his studentship, Michael received a full-time international PhD scholarship from Griffith University. His research interests are in the field of policing, youth crime, violence, cybercrime, and comparative criminology.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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