Everyone and their dog has been on the receiving end of the frankly awful Nigerian prince email phishing scams.
It’s gotten to the point now where people are so used to that type of con that it’s become a joke among regular users of the internet.
But one of the alleged conspirators to the scam was arrested in Louisiana on Thursday, and he is definitely not a Nigerian prince.
Police arrested a 67-year-old man in Slidell, Louisiana after an 18-month sting in connection with the Nigerian prince con.
The man is suspected of being a ‘middle-man’ for a group in Nigeria which used the email scam to get money from innocent people, according to the Slidell Police Department.
Slidell Police financial crimes investigators arrested , 67-year-old, Michael Neu (Slidell,LA), for 269 counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering.
Neu is suspected to have been the “middle man”, and participated in hundreds of financial transactions, involving phone and internet scams, designed to con money from victims across the United States.
Some of the money obtained by Neu was subsequently wired to co-conspirators in the Country of Nigeria.
The investigation is on-going, but is extremely difficult as many leads have led to individuals who live outside of the United States.
For those of you who don’t know just what the Nigerian prince scam is, you’ve somehow missed out on one of the rites of passage of the internet age.
Basically, it’s a phishing tactic in which an email is sent by someone pretending to be a Nigerian prince or other official, who asks for money because theirs is tied up temporarily.
The man who was arrested by police, Michael Neu, is suspected of helping these transfers of money between the victims and his fellow conspirators.
Despite the fact most people are in on the secret, the scam still results in millions of dollars transferred every year.
The Federal Trade Commission states on their website:
According to State Department reports, people who have responded to these emails have been beaten, subjected to threats and extortion, and in some cases, murdered.
So despite most people thinking of the Nigerian scam as a joke, there can be dire consequences for those who respond to the emails.