Nigerian Prince Email Scammer Finally Arrested and it Wasn't Who We Expected
The 'Nigerian prince' king of Internet fraud, Michael Neu, was arrested in Louisiana and there's a huge a surprise when it comes to who it is. Michael Neu is neither Nigerian nor a prince. 67-year-old Neu could not look any less of what one would imagine a Nigerian prince scammer would look. He looks more like a sex offender.
Authorities concluded an 18-month-long investigation of Neu and his alleged doings. They say that he was a middleman in the infamous Nigerian prince scam. The scam usually involves e-mails sent out to the masses in hopes of netting just a few gullible people. They ask for personal information with claims that a non-existent Nigerian prince will reimburse them, or share his inheritance with them. Of course, nobody is ever reimbursed and there is no inheritance.
The only thing Nigerian about Neu and his alleged dealings is that he was found to have sent bank wires to co-conspirators in Nigeria.
Investigators from the Slidell, Louisiana Police Department said that their investigation was more difficult than expected as Neu's middle-manning was intertwined with many individuals outside of the U.S.
Michael Neu was charged with 269 counts related to money laundering and wire fraud. It is unknown at this time how many people he is alleged to have been a factor in the swindling of their money.
Fraud schemes out of Nigeria are nothing new and were actually around way before the internet. Groups of Nigerian fraudsters took advantage of the 80's oil problems and contacted British executives with promises of profits from Nigerian-docked oil tankers that have not been accounted for yet and promised them insanely low prices on the oil cargo. As you might have already guessed, when the British executives sent money to get the oil, the Nigerians they were in contact with vanished, along with their money.
Slidell Police warn that if something is too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.
The F.B.I. has recommended that if you receive correspondence from Nigeria or any other country requesting personal or banking information that you report it to either the Secret Service, local F.B.I. field office or the Postal Inspection Service. Additional agencies that you may report this shady activity to are the FTC's Complaint Assistant website or the F.B.I's Internet Crime Complain Center (links below this article).
While this scam has widely become a household joke, millions of dollars per year are still attained by these fraudsters. There will also be someone gullible, greedy or both that will fall for this scam. Do your part to help shut down these operations.