Nigeria falls among the top 10 countries of global internet fraud, according to a report published by the Internet Crime Complaints Centre (IC3) Report for 2010.
Nigeria is at the third position and the report was indicative of the extent and nature of internet fraud in the country.
The top 10 countries, according to the report, are United States of America, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, China, Canada, Malaysia, Spain, Ghana, Cameroon and Australia.
The objectives of the study were to identify the types and causes of internet fraud in the countries and assess its effect on the nations.
Internet fraud refers to any type of fraudulent scheme that uses one or more components of the internet such as chat rooms, email, message boards and websites to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected to the internet.
Dr Asamoah-Baah said there had been a shift from physical assets to intangibles as objects of crime, with no boundaries or physical constraints.
“Computer crime is cheap, ubiquitous and fast. It can hurt a huge number of people with one crime and breaks state, national and international laws simultaneously.
“However, most cyber crimes went unpunished”, Dr Asamoa-Baah noted.
According to him, despite the research being limited to Accra, the respondents were unwilling to release information and it had to rely heavily on data from the Ghana Police Service.
High on the list are nationalities from Ghana, Nigeria and Mali with a high percentage of teenagers involved in the crime.
Stolen credit cards topped the list of the crimes, followed by sale of gold and online dating, confidence fraud, fake documents and transfer of inheritance, fake websites, fake contracts, kidnap and robbery and employment scam.