Most of you reading this have probably at some point been contacted by someone claiming you are the beneficiary in a will of a Nigerian prince. As the scam goes, all you have to do is submit your personal information and Western Union some funds to process the necessary paperwork, and in return you will receive hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. One of the people behind the popular scam, Michael Neu, has been arrested by police in Slidell, Louisiana.
This may come as a shocker, but Neu is not a prince, nor is he Nigerian. He is a 67-year-old male possibly of German descent (based on his last name) who is facing 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering for his alleged role as a middle man in the scheme. Following an 18-month investigation, Slidell police say Neu participated in hundreds of financial transactions involving phone and Internet scams designed to con money from victims across the nation.
This is not how we pictured a Nigerian prince would look. (Source: Slidell Police)
According to Slidell police, some of the money obtained by Neu was wired to co-conspirators who do actually live in Nigera. The police say the investigation is ongoing, and also "extremely difficult" since many of the leads point to suspected perpetrators living outside the United States. That said, Slidell police chief Randy Fandal hopes the arrest will bring attention to the scam and serve as a cautionary tale to Slidell residents.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out personal information over the phone, through email, cash checks for other individuals, or wire large amounts of money to someone you don’t know. 99.9 percent of the time, it’s a scam," Fandal said in a statement.
While that sounds like advice Captain Obvious would dole out, law enforcement officials report that scammers extract millions of dollars from victims each year on these types of scams.
Thumbnail Image Source: Facebook via Slidell Police