An 18-month long investigation has led to the arrest of Michael Neu, a 67-year-old Louisiana man who has bilked people out of thousands of dollars as a middle man in a “Nigerian prince” scam. Yes, that “Nigerian prince” who has been hitting up your inbox since the days of hotmail telling you that you’re the beneficiary of a large sum of money…but you just need to provide your personal financial information to reap the reward.
Neu was charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering following the Slidell Police Department’s Financial Crimes Division investigation. Neu reportedly sent wire transfers to co-collaborators in Nigeria.
“Most people laugh at the thought of falling for such a fraud, but law enforcement officials report annual losses of millions of dollars to these schemes,” Slidell police said in a news release.
Advance-fee scams can be traced back to the 18th century. The rise of computer usage and email in the 1990s gave fraudster’s a much simpler and inexpensive method to reach people all over the world.
So, sorry if you were gullible enough to share your personal information with that mysterious Nigerian prince… that money’s never showing up.