Wow! A 67-year-old white man in Louisiana has been arrested in the long-running “Nigerian prince” scheme.
According to the New York Times, Michael Neu was arrested by Slidell police last week for his involvement in the infamous online scheme.
After an 18-month investigation, the elderly man was charged with more than 200 counts related to scam, including wire fraud and money laundering.
Neu reportedly acted as a middle man in hundreds of financial transactions that were designed to scam individuals across the United States by phone and online. Authorities believe hewould acquire personal information and schemed nearly $100 million from victims, some of which was wired to co-conspirators in Nigeria.
For those not familiar with the scheme, one version begins with a letter sent via email, with the author claiming to be a government official who wants to share a percentage of millions of dollars, after it is transferred illegally out of Nigeria. The victims are asked to provide bank names and account numbers, as well as other identifying numbers, and even send money.
Another version claims that the email recipient is named as a beneficiary in a will, before asking for personal information.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal issued a warning to potential victims. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he said. “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.”