Slidell Police financial crimes investigators arrested 67-year-old Michael Neu for 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering on Thursday.
Neu is suspected to have been the "middle man", and participated in hundreds of financial transactions, involving phone and internet scams, created to con money from victims across the United States. The police department did not immediately return a request for more specifics on his alleged role.
While this is now a "laughable" crime, at one point the "Nigerian Prince" scam stole almost $100 million from Americans, and even though awareness and the government have aided its decline, Neu's arrest is a reminder to citizens about the lengths they should go to protect themselves. They say Neu took part in hundreds of financial transactions involving phone and online scams to con money from people across the United States.
While Mr. Neu does not have a royal title, but a large portion of the money obtained through his scamming did go to Nigerian co-conspirators, wrote police.
Once the victim stops sending money, the perpetrators have been known to use the personal information and checks that they received to impersonate the victim, draining bank accounts and credit card balances.More news: Bayliss refutes ball tampering suggestions
Many of these scammers are indeed located in Nigeria, although scammers may be based all over the world.
Police in Slidell, Louisiana, say they finally caught up with one of the people behind some of those emails.
He said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". In addition, he said you should not wire large sums of money to people who you do not know.
Research by Microsoft in 2012 found that even though the "Nigerian prince" trope was well-known, 51 percent of scam emails sampled were still referring to Nigeria.