A 67 year old white man by the name of Michael Neu from Slidell, Louisiana has been arrested after his participation in a “Nigerian Prince” email scheme was discovered from an 18 month long investigation. He is being charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering.
Neu was the American connection of the international scheme by accompanying the traffic of the fraudulently collected money to his accomplices who live in Nigeria.
Known among Nigerians as “419,” the scam find victims via email, as one is sent to an improbable recipient claiming the individual is listed as the beneficiary in a will and requests for the individual’s personal information that is a sanctioned requirement to receive the funds, but instead, the information is used steal money and conduct identify theft. The “Nigerian Prince” scam, which has been active ever since the wee days of millennial internet use, steals over millions of dollars every year.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal tells ABC. “Never give out personal information over the phone, through e-mail, 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.”
The scheme may also pose as a law enforcement official or utility company. It is always advised to simply leave emails of that nature in your spam folder and leave them unopened. Do not respond or request for a phone number to verify the claim. Simply, delete and keep it pushing.